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With the upcoming celebration of Black History Month and Valentine’s Day, it is important to highlight the couples in television that have celebrated black love. These couples were not always perfect but the love they shared was always evident.  Some of these couples might have had a bit of toxicity in them, but who said a little toxicity is not fun. So here is my list of iconic tv couples that will always have my heart. 

This black couple pioneered the way for all black television couples, Cliff Huxtable and Clair Huxtable. The Huxtables were such an iconic couple because they were college-educated African Americans during a time when television did not highlight the success of African Americans. Cliff Huxtable was a respected obstetrician, while Clair Huxtable was a renowned lawyer. The couple raised five children together. Even though the Huxtables had demanding jobs, they always made time for each other and their family. One of the most admirable things this couple did for each other was treat each other as equals. The Cosby Show aired in 1984, when the relationship between man and woman was much different from what we think of today. However, Dr. Cosby never treated Mrs. Cosby like she was below him. The spinoff to this beloved family-oriented series includes the next iconic couple.

Whitley Gilbert and Dwayne Wayne from A Different World are the prime examples of young and foolish love. In the beginning of the series the two started off hating each other, but as time progressed, Dwayne and Whitley somehow found themselves quite fond with each other. Since Dwayne and Whitley both had big personalities, their relationship had a rocky start, but once they figured out how to properly love each other, their relationship grew into a beautiful couple. One of the most stressful scenes in A Different World is when Dwayne invades Whitley's wedding to the more reserved Byron. Mr. Wayne yells out to Whitley, “BABY PLEASE, PLEASE.” After a dramatic pause, Whitley chooses Dwayne and leaves Byron. Even though Whitley was snotty and high maintenance, Dwayne loved her immensely. At that moment, everyone watching felt a huge amount of envy toward Whitley because she had two men who wanted to marry her, but Dwayne’s desperation and charisma gave him a slight edge over Byron. This couple who had absolutely nothing in common but their love for each other made them inseparable. Dwayne and Whitley's relationship has led to so many college students to believing that they will find their soulmate at their university. 

Another black television couple that has warmed the hearts of millions is the famous Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  This couple was already well-established and had three children when the show first began. However, we learn the Banks did not always have the financial freedom they had when the series aired. During the 1stseason, Uncle Phil and Aunt Viv return to their first apartment to clean up around the area, and the audience realized that the Banks family grew together as a couple. Uncle Phil showed Aunt Viv that he loved her through taking care of the people that she loved.  Out of the love, Uncle Phil let Will come and stay with his family. In addition, Uncle Phil showed his love for Aunt Viv by treating her nephew like one of his own children. Even though it was not mentioned in the show, Uncle Phil’s love language consisted of acts of service. The couple lived in a lavish Bel-Air mansion, however their love story never focused on what materialistic things they had, but the bond that they shared with each other.

As we look back at all the black love distributed in the previous shows, black love is still celebrated in television now. Bo Johnson and Dre Johnson are the pinnacle of black love and black excellence in today’s television. The Johnsons are both well-respected in their fields, which enables them to provide privileged life for their children. The Johnson household seems like the perfect black family with the perfect example of black love. However, Black-ish takes it a step further and sheds light on the fact that every day will not be a fairytale, but if the relationship is worth saving, then they have to fight for it. Bo and Dre Johnson are the perfect example of black love because they exemplify how their relationship will not always mend overnight, but as time progressed, the couple remembered why they are in love. 

Black love has always been a crucial part of black television shows. The black love distributed in the shows above has enabled viewers to believe they can also have a Happily Ever After. Even though each of these couples had their own issues, they always found their way back to each other.

 

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Sydney Broadnax

Hampton U '23

Sydney Broadnax is currently a senior journalism major with an area of concentration in english from Detroit, Michigan. She has been in Hercampus since freshman year of college and is excited to serve as 2022-2023 Editor-In-Chief. She cannot wait to share her love for writing with her Hercampus chapter
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