Of all the smiling faces present at the SPECTRUM event, Black Love co-creator Codie Elaine Oliver is certainly a stand-out that will captivate you with her effervescent energy. A driven entrepreneur, Codie, and her husband created their enterprise, Black love, Inc. with the intent to disband the perception that black women could not have successful marriages.
“There’s a narrative in the media about the Black marriage crisis, specifically that Black women are the least desirable of all women. Which is insane! And terrible!” Codie opened up about how her enterprise and docuseries came to life through the help of her husband, and what she hopes to inspire within both the black and white community through this medium.
Raised in a family with divorced parents, Codie Elaine Oliver always worried she would never get the ‘happy ever after’ she dreamt of as a child.
“I knew I wanted to be married and have kids and share my life with someone, but everything [in the media realm] was telling me that that was impossible. In part because my parents were divorced, and in part, because I’m Black”.
Determined to change the stigma of marriage in the Black community, Codie and her husband Tommy set out to redefine the narrative by creating their popular OWN docuseries displaying dozens of interviews with Black couples in different stages of marriage. Drawing in an impressive 1.2 million viewers at its opening premiere in August 2017, Black Love has been successful in giving black marriages the recognition they deserve. “I would see couples like Barack and Michelle Obama that I would look to and say, “well they’re making it work” and I realized I wanted to create a place to allow Black love stories to live”. After the show skyrocketed in success, the duo launched blacklove.com, a digital destination working to create content for the Black community with an eye toward fostering “healthy dialogue on topics including dating, health and sexuality, marriage, parenting, self-love and men’s lifestyle.” The website, blacklove.com, utilizes all elements that drive Codie’s passion for promoting healthy Black relationships.
At this SPECTRUM event, Codie wants to make it clear that she isn’t just here to promote her success. “The reason that I’m here is actually less about the show [Black Love]… I need to sort of reframe it especially in places like this because we created Black Love, Inc. and we do events in the community talking about marriage because it’s important for us to show our community that we can have happy, healthy marriages even when the media tells us that we can’t.” Likewise, the mission of Black Love, Inc. does not aim to exclude the white community. Codie encourages every race to see what Black Love, Inc. is all about because the mission is to spread awareness. “It’s important for the majority- i.e the White people in this country- to see Black people as loving husbands and wives and mothers and fathers and how we’re all the same! The intention was never that black love is different, it’s just that Black love isn’t as visible”.
Check out more on blacklove.com to discover more in-depth stories, interviews, features, and content created specifically to highlight and advise successful relationships in the Black community.