Black Love Day – February 13, 2023

Black Love Day is observed annually on February 13. The day was created to demonstrate love, forgiveness, and acceptance among black people. Ayo Handy-Kendi, the founder of the African American Holiday Association, received inspiration to celebrate the day in 1993, after watching a movie where a black man was murdered by other black people. She decided to take action to promote peace and speak out against violence by creating the day, which has now expanded to include other races.

History of Black Love Day

Black Love Day was created in 1993 by Ayo Handy-Kendi, popularly known as ‘Mama Ayo,’ an author, breathologist, and founder of the African American Holiday Association (AAHA). In January 1993, Handy-Kendi watched Malcolm X shot down by other black people, and was particularly moved by the incident. As she sat alone on a bus on her way back home, her thoughts drifted to what she could do to stop the violence and engender peace. Recalling that moment, Handy-Kendi said — “I heard the creator say to me that we need more black love.” This was what inspired her to celebrate Black Love Day in February that year. After losing her son to an act of violence, she celebrated the day once again, the following year.

In an interview with ‘The Daily Dot’, Handy-Kendi explained how the day was to be celebrated. Said she — “We encourage people on this day to do something very simple — just demonstrate love for 24 hours, and celebrate and atone, offer forgiveness to ourselves and to others, and to accept the very important tenets — what we call the five black love tenets.” People are also encouraged to greet one another with Nya Akoma” — a phrase that means “get a heart” or “be patient.”

The celebrations have now expanded to include white people to “show love in action on Black Love Day,” thanks to a suggestion made by Handy-Kendi’s significant other. This inclusivity was needed so that both, the blacks and the whites, could heal their relationships and return to love. This necessitated that the whites examine their white privilege and racial attitudes. Today, on social media, Black Love Day has become a popular hashtag, thereby helping to spread more awareness about the day.

Black Love Day timeline

1989
The AAHA is Founded

Ayo Handy-Kendi creates the African American Holiday Association (AAHA).

1993
The Day of Love is Created

Black Love Day is celebrated for the first time.

2003
A Decade of Black Love

Black Love Day completes 10 years of celebration.

2013
The 20th Anniversary is Celebrated

Black Love Day celebrates its 20th year!

Black Love Day FAQs

Who was Malcolm X?

Born Malcolm Little, Malcolm X was a prominent African-American human rights activist during the Civil Rights Movement.

When was slavery abolished?

Slavery was officially abolished in the U.S. on December 18, 1865.

What does ‘akoma ntoso’ symbolize?

Shaped like a heart, the ‘akoma ntoso’ is a Ghanaian adinkra symbol, meaning “linked hearts.”

How to Observe Black Love Day

  1. Show some love

    Whether you’re black, white, Asian, Hispanic, or Indian, we all need to show love to one another. Celebrate by showing love through action on this day.

  2. Pledge to stop racism

    A person shouldn’t be discriminated against on the basis of their race or skin color. Pledge to stand for fairness, equality, and kindness toward all.

  3. Jump on the bandwagon

    #Blackloveday is a hashtag commonly used on Black Love Day, to spread awareness and information. Jump on the bandwagon by sending out your own personalized message while also using the hashtag.

5 Facts About The Essence Of Black Love Day

  1. Love the Lord

    It is about love for the creator.

  2. Love thy self

    It is about love for yourself.

  3. Love thy family

    It is about love for your family.

  4. Love thy community

    It is about love for/within the black community.

  5. Love thy race

    It is about love for the black race.

Why Black Love Day is Important

  1. It spreads love

    There is a need to promote love and peace within our society. With growing reports of xenophobia and segregation in different parts of the world, the message of love is needed now, more than ever.

  2. It opposes racism

    This day is for people of all races to stand together against racism. Black people have been subjected to systemic racism for decades, and it is time to put an end to such acts by spreading the message of inclusivity, love, and tolerance.

  3. It stands against violence

    The day offers a platform to preach against violence in all forms. Violence is a menace that destroys peace and perpetuates harmful acts. Black Love Day is an opportunity to stand in solidarity and say, “no more violence.”

Black Love Day dates

YearDateDay
2023February 13Monday
2024February 13Tuesday
2025February 13Thursday
2026February 13Friday
2027February 13Saturday

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.