“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”—Maya Angelou
While I 100 percent agree with the words of the legendary Maya Angelou, it’s pretty hard to these days. Trying to date now is more like engaging with robots, as people are more than likely to opt for a text message emoji of a hug or kiss than a real one.
Being single can arguably be one of the best times of your life, but depending on how you look at things, you could be headed down the path of no longer believing that finding love is possible. Here are five Black movie scenes that will renew your faith in love.
Jason’s Lyric [Riding Off Into the Sunset]
Yes, the lovemaking scene in that random Texas bayou was wonderful. But the real love rested in this 1994 classic’s final scene. After what could easily be described as a clusterf*ck of incidents leading up to Jason (Allen Payne) and Lyric’s (Jada Pinkett-Smith) departure from their hometown, the two finally depart for a new life. I’m not sure if it was Lyric’s patient understanding of Jason dealing with his demons (killing your father is a pretty big deal), or his tolerance for her “thugged out” brother. But these two made it work despite the odds. Love is about seeing your mate’s flaws and choosing to stay if you can deal, and Jason had quite a few.
Love Jones [Kissing in the Rain]
Classic, classic, classic! As if declaring your love for one another after a yearlong separation isn’t enough to make you believe that true love never dies, that rain scene… boy! Darius Lovehall (Larenz Tate) and Nina Moseley (Nia Long) renewed hope for thousands across the nation in this timeless 1997 work. From the epic chase through Chicago’s Union Station to the well-crafted poem during his set at open mic night, Darius let the world know how he felt about Nina. The rain scene in the final few minutes of the film was the culmination of what we all knew: these two belonged together.
Claudine [Their First Date]
Aside from deviating away from mainstream media’s Blaxploitation era, the 1974 hit Claudine was a pretty accurate display of love, commitment and determination. After accepting Roop’s (James Earl Jones) invitation for a date, Claudine (Diahann Carroll) is not only late to her home where they’re supposed to meet, but introduces him to her six kids, who are anything but pleasant. Despite observing this struggling single mother fuss and fight with her argumentative and often rebellious children, Roop still insist on taking her out.
“Your mother is going on a date,” he tells her children. “Can you dig that? A date. Like the nice restaurants and fine music… She’s going with me and she’s going to have a good time. Can you dig that?” The situation was enough to chase any sane human being away, but Roop’s mind and heart was already made up. The scene was an accurate display of the one who you’re meant to be with possessing the ability to see your worth beyond your circumstances.
Boomerang [Marcus & Angela Reunite]
The 1992 comedy starring Eddie Murphy, Robin Givens and Halle Berry is a humorous classic that’s stood the test of time. A plot centered on “a playa who’s about to be played” isn’t usually a recipe for everlasting love, but there’s one scene in particular that lends itself to hope for that in which we all crave. After a series of romps in the sack with various women, Marcus Graham (Eddie Murphy) falls in love with Angela Lewis (Halle Berry), but cheats on her. During the final minutes of the film, he shows up at her job in dramatic fashion to declare that he “can’t breathe without” her. It wasn’t the fact that she forgave him for his wrongdoing. It was that he realized that his womanizing actions came at a greater cost: love.
Love & Basketball [Playing for Keeps]
The list wouldn’t be complete without Love & Basketball. For the duration of the 2000 film, viewers were left on the edge of their seats waiting in anticipation. It wasn’t very clear whether Quincy McCall (Omar Epps) and Monica Wright (Sanaa Lathan) would get their happily ever after, especially in the second to last scene where they face off on the court. Quincy’s harsh treatment of Monica on the basketball court as she literally plays him for his “heart” is one that pains any hopeless romantic to watch. But in the end, love does conquer all, and Quincy claims the heart of the only woman he’s ever truly loved.
This time of year can be quite discouraging for single people if you allow it to be. The reality is, while cuffing season is well underway, some may still be waiting on the sidelines to get “drafted,” so to speak. While the above movie scenes are fictional, art definitely imitates life. Do whatever you have to do to keep a renewed sense of hope in love. After all, everyone deserves his or her happily ever after, no matter how long it takes.
Shantell E. Jamison is a Chicago-based writer, radio personality and cultural critic is also the author of Drive Yourself in the Right Direction: Simple Quotes on How to Achieve Your Best Self.