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Black Love Day (Nya Akoma)
Black Love Day falls on February 13 every year since it was founded in 1993. This spiritual holiday is rooted in African cultures and ideas, and the aim is to complete the five Tenets: to practice love toward “the Creator, for Self, for the Family, within the Black Community and for the Black Race” for 24 hours, according to the African American Registry.
Participants also say the greeting “Nya Akoma,” which means “get a heart, be patient, return to love.” You can also display the Akoma, an Adinkra symbol representing love, patience, goodwill, faithfulness and endurance.
What does celebrating Black Love Day look like? It can take many forms. The AAHA website suggests participating in Black community activities, supporting Black-owned businesses, reflection and other actions. Sometimes it can be as simple as hanging out with friends and posting on social media about your appreciation and love for Black culture.
Black Love Day isn’t exclusive to Black people either. People of other races can participate, as well, by putting their “love into action,” meaning they work on their behavior and racial attitudes toward Black people. That can include conversations, introspection or supporting Black people in any way they can.
While practicing the tenets is a mainstay tradition, the holiday itself is different every year. There’s a theme that changes annually for Black Love Day. Last year, it was “Reparations 2 Repair 2 Reconcile 2 Restore the LOVE.” In 2021, the theme will be “Healing the Wounds That Divide – Re-uniting Our Strengths Thru Black Love.