There I was, scrolling on my Instagram app’s Explore page, which is usually filled with videos of Beyoncé and dancing children, but on this day, it was instead flooded with videos and memes captioned with a #ForeverDuncan hashtag. Curious, I clicked on the caption that told the story of one of the most beautiful, glorious and epic surprises I’ve ever seen.
Alfred Duncan, a Grammy and Emmy nominated vocalist, and Sherrell Duncan, a motivational speaker and fitness trainer, met in 2007 through a mutual friend. The two didn’t become an official God-fearing couple until 2013 and in 2015, they made the decision to practice abstinence until they were married. It was on Oct. 1, 2016 that Alfred took Sherrell’s cell phone in order to begin what they called “Servitude Day”, a competitive date day in which Sherrell was to do as told by Alfred. It began at noon when Sherrell was intimately proposed to in front of her loved ones. Immediately after, Sherrell was lead to a hotel where she was given a makeover— beat face and breathtaking gown included. Then at five in the evening, Sherrell was surprised with a wedding, all documented on the couple’s social media accounts.
Some may look at this story as an unnecessary attempt to set a trend, but it is the viral phenomenon that the world needed to see. People are so accustomed to seeing the same stories associated with black love. A woman, usually a struggling single mother, essentially being saved by a man who is well-off in either wealth or knowledge— “Diary of a Mad Black Woman”, “I Can Do Bad All by Myself” and “God Send Me a Man”. A couple whose relationship is wildly toxic remaining together despite all the wrongs doings during their time together— “Baby Boy” and “Waiting To Exhale”. A stubborn, strong woman with her guard up meeting a man who eventually allows her to become comfortable enough to fall in love— “Deliver Us From Eva” and “How Stella Got Her Groove Back”. And aside from the celebrity exceptions like Barack & Michelle, Beyoncé & Jay-Z and Will & Jada, these negative stereotypes of black love are prevalent in our box offices and on our television screens. When Sherrell walked into the venue in which her surprise wedding took place, the first thing she did was raise her hands and look up to the air, which I can only conclude was to praise Him for allowing her to meet such a wonderful man. #ForeverDuncan seems like a once-in-a-lifetime story when it should be the standard.