Expressions of Love and Community

One of the most meaningful parts of my life is the opportunity to live and love in community. Sometimes, it is difficult to be “Pastor Ferguson”. I actually enjoy being Daddy, Pooh, C, C-Dub, Goddaddy, Unc, and many other titles that I will not reveal. I feel that it normalizes my existence. Matter of fact, it offers the chance to connect with a cross section of my world all at the same time. These expressions bring love and light to an occasional dark world. So please forgive me if I express a certain level of sadness when I read thought pieces on the critique of communal love language.

When I went to Ghana in 2001, I learned so much about the roots of my personal culture. I learned how important it was to greet in a certain manner. It did not matter if I was “important”. I made certain to honor my elders and others in the manner that was proper and befitting. I was taught how to express the desire to connect in community. The trip also reinforced my connection with my various uncles and aunties.

Yes, I am my mother’s only child. Yet, the years have caused me to gain more uncles, aunts, mothers, and such than any person I know. That village helped raise a son, a nephew, a man. The parts of the village that yet remain still cheer me on and encourage me in every endeavor. However, I find that we are allowing ourselves to get caught up in the politicking of love language.

Some popular and famous Black women are not fond of being called “Auntie”. Some people wonder why other famous Black men are not called “Uncle”. Let’s cut through the nonsense for a moment. We are a people that function at our absolute best when we form genuine, respectful, loving bonds. I just have grown weary of us missing the love in the intent.

I understand that everyone does not possess the same love language. People don’t want to be given titles that make them feel old. Some individuals do not desire to be connected in these type of sentimental ways. Maybe it is time that we see the deeper picture. It might be time for us to investigate how we love deeply as a community again.

The R&B artist Tank shared in an interview about the power of Black love. He says, “Sam Smith gets to sing a song–“stay with me”. That goes to power rotation on mainstream radio station. If I sing the same song–“stay with me”–limited bandwidth. Because our violence isn’t threat. Our love is.” Our desire to find new ways to stay separate is part of the overall strategy of keeping access to our love away from one another. Offering people another way to continue changing our narrative and redirecting how we express our love to one another lowers the threat of us finding unity, community, and care that we need.

So please brothers and sisters, cease and desist with allow others to create the greater wedge. Learn the love languages. Maintain the positive intent of love and respect for one another. Let our love be the catalyst that provides the change and liberation we desperately need.

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