The Coolest Black Family in America, No. 29: The Frames

Oman and Naimah Frame cuddle with baby girl Suriyah

Oman Frame, a graduate of Hampton University and teacher of race, class and gender at the Paideia School in Atlanta, recognized the woman he would later marry at a National Association of Independent Schools for People of Color conference. Two years prior, while visiting Bermuda with a group of kids for a science field trip, he ventured alone one night to Lover’s Lake.

“The legend of Lover’s Lake asks that you walk around the lake three times during a full moon at midnight,” he says. “Three days later you’ll have a dream of the person you’re supposed to spend the rest of your life with.” Walking that lake in full faith, Oman was disappointed he didn’t have the dream that night. “I was like, I didn’t have no dream! I was all mad. Then I forgot about it.”

But on the third night, like myth-work she appeared, clearly. Oman goes on. “She was dancing, to the song ‘Romantic Call’ by Patra. But when I say the dream was clear, it was like a zoom in picture of her face.” That woman was Naimah Oladuwa.

Naimah, a Wesleyan University alum and math teacher at the Children’s School, met Oman two years later in December 2000. “Oman was sitting in the front row of the conference when I first saw him. I’m a back row kind of person,” Naimah says. “We ended up in a group of seven together and had to build this Lego project. He and I just clicked. I thought he was handsome, intelligent and very charismatic. Very opposite of me in some ways, and I think we complimented each other very well.”

But at the time, she lived in Boston and he resided in Denver. After a long distance friendship, he suggested she move to Denver with him. She did.

Oman didn’t reveal his magical dream to her until a year after they were together. He wrote his experience to her in a letter. Oman calls Naimah very pragmatic, and describes himself as all emotional, with heartstrings everywhere. “I was like, ‘don’t freak out, don’t freak out,” he recalls. He thought it was important for her to know that this isn’t any run-of-the-mill relationship; she was his ideal and this is divine.

Nature is an outstanding theme with the couple, and Naimah loves butterflies. That noted in the mind of the romantic. Oman took her to the Butterfly Pavilion in Denver to ask her to marry him. “I sat down on the bench next to her. I never wanted her to think I would be above nor beneath her—an equal playing field in life.” Naimah says, “It was fabulous. But we’re very simple people. It was the opening weekend for Star Wars. So we had our moment in the Pavilion, got engaged and we went to see Star Wars!”

The Coolest Black Familiy in America: No.29: The Frames

The Coolest Black Family in America, No. 29: The Frames

The two married in Martha’s Vineyard, where the felt they could be spiritually connected to the earth and the ocean as well as to family. Oman’s godfather and Naimah’s father, an African drummer, officiated. “We wrote our own vows.  We received the blessing of the elders from my grandmother and Naimah’s uncle.”

When the DJ got the dates confused and didn’t show for the reception, once again, there was divine intervention. “Can you imagine a Black party with no DJ?! But it’s great how the universe works.” For an hour and a half, waiting on the DJ, friends and family got up and told stories about Naimah and Oman. “There was laughter, tears and a good amount of libations [read: cocktails], so the stories got more and more interesting. It was one of the most amazing events of family and community.”

Naimah is currently six months pregnant, and the Frames have one daughter. Naimah’s family being deeply rooted in African tradition, they waited a month before naming her. “In one of her ultrasounds, we could only see her feet, and I love sneakers!” Oman adds. “So when we took her home from the hospital, she was called Little Foot. Little Foot Frame.” The name they eventually chose came to Little Foot’s mom in a dream: Suriyah Ngozi, which means “golden one who brings blessings and purpose.”

“Fatherhood has given me perspective on my purpose,” Oman says. “It’s the most humbling thing in the world to be present when your child is born. I’m already an emotional person, but it opened me up to being available emotionally. Naimah and I connected on a higher level, and it brought me into the perspective as a man raising a daughter.”

Oman feels having a daughter has made him more in tune. “It’s annoying: you go to the toy store and there are fifty different White dolls and three or four Black dolls. It made me open my mind to the situation happening to Black women in America. How the education system needs