Black Marriage Day ‘reminds couples of their commitment’

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Engaged couple Tabitha Anderson and Jimmie Wason speak about the tradition and history of the jumping of the broom ritual at weddings. (Photo by LouRawls Burnett)

Terrance and Sabrina Holland don’t need to renew their vows to remember they are committed to each other. After 10 years of marriage, they still say “I love you” to one another every day. They hold hands and consider their spouse their best friend. Nevertheless, the Hollands thought it was important to attend a recent event at Brentwood Church of Christ, 6425 N. 60th St., to support marriage for black couples. “This is our third year participating in Black Marriage Day. We participated every year because we know the importance of marriage and we do it to show the younger couples as well as the older couples … what marriage means,” said Sabrina Holland. Founded by Nisa Islam Muhammad, Black Marriage Day is a national initiative started in 2002 to change the way marriage is perceived and celebrated in the black community. Brentwood Church of Christ started off its celebration with a prayer, followed by entertainment by comedian Marlin Hill. “Every year we have some sort of entertainment,” said Clarene Mitchell, host of the event. “We continue to do this because it helps strengthen our marriage and helps remind us of our commitment to each other, to be married for life.” This year about 25 couples and several singles attended Black Marriage Day. The couples ranged from recently engaged to one couple married for more than 40 years. The newest newlyweds and the oldest won small gifts from Mitchell. “It is vitally important that we highlight black marriages,” stated Thomas Mitchell, Clarene’s husband and co-host. “Healthy black marriages lead to strong black families and churches, and this leads to strong societies overall.”

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