Liberation Movements and Black-on-Black Survival Love

It’s No Ordinary Love

by Steven Cureton (Author)
©2021 Monographs XIV, 154 Pages


Black women are long overdue for proper recognition as primary love interests and researchers who are so inclined must do a better job of uncovering examples of black men who proclaim black women as more than a default companion. A primary objective of this book is to examine love letters, civil rights pursuits, and interpersonal relations amongst prominent liberation icons. Additionally, exploring colorism, black power, nihilism, race manners, race matters, black feminism, secular verification of spirituality and racial casting will hopefully provide insight concerning whether black-on-black love is a survival type of love. This is attractive for any undergraduate and graduate level courses seeking to understand the nature of the black experience in America. Moreover, this book is intended to reach audiences interested in the real thin line between love and hate amongst black men and black women.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Dedication
  • Table of Contents
  • Preface
  • Introduction: Not by Default but Foremost Essential for Black Love
  • Chapter One Good for One Another, No Good for One Another
  • Chapter Two A Love of Our Own: The Manner in Which Black Men Love
  • Chapter Three Revolution Is Not Reform: Black Lives Matter Movement, Racial Reconciliation, and Survival Love
  • Chapter Four I’ll Be There for You: Elaine Brown’s Bittersweet Taste of Power
  • Chapter Five Pillow Talk and Intimacy While Traveling a Perilous Road
  • Chapter Six Love Is a Task: Say It Giovanni, Say It Baldwin
  • Chapter Seven A Song: Deliver Us from Evil
  • Chapter Eight Closing in on Love
  • References
  • Index

←x | xi→ Preface

It’s No Ordinary Love

Before he was known as someone his becoming African American revealed the white man to be a colonizer, pillager, pirate, tyrant, slaveholder, thief, liar, vicious criminal, murderer, rapist, morally bankrupt, depraved, heartless, greedy, and out of character with any God, known to Africans, which directly created an American nightmare instead of an American dream for Africans who became black in America. The introduction was slavery, another human being having ownership over all things existentially critical for humanity. She was sold, he was sold, and children were sold, resulting in forced separation dissolving the very foundation of a relationship union and erasing stable nurturing that children should have been entitled. Security and certainty of life was replaced by looming death, but before that the horror of punishment at the hands of sadistic men fashioned as Christians reigned supreme in a developing America as early as 1526, and/or 1619 (Newkirk 2009; Ture and Hamilton, 1992; and Du Bois 1953). Slavery was destruction, the raping of innocence, the masking of identities, infecting of tribal ←xi | xii→ bonds, nothing short of Armageddon. The gaze of this greedy white man alone, buttressed by lust and a passion for destruction, consumed the air with a vile vapor before his application of a brutal initiation into a land far removed from Africa, the white man’s America. Slavery is precisely the time when the voice of the enslaved African Queen went away, returning with screams made silent by hiding her horror from the enslaved African man. Standing there, with nothing preventative for the white man’s lust except the black man lay down his life at that very moment, perhaps it was at that moment that he became a carbon copy from authentic African blood. Slavery compromised the crown of King and Queen, for in America they both were unsafe, unprotected black Americans!

In that transformation, what language pushed forward to resurrect hope from this white ditch we call America? There had to be liberation, the overthrow of property relationships where whites held dominion over blacks. There had to be a black liberation where blacks were tactical in countering structural, economic, political, cultural, social, and spiritual oppression. There had to be a black liberation where blacks’ consciousness understood that a harvest can come from engaging whites’ security as nothing more than identity frailty bolstered by real or imagined ownership of black people. Liberation recognizes the crisis of living in a society that keeps black people stuck on life and has not progressed beyond liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Liberation was a mandate to directly confront interracial violence, and targeted terror. White’s primal fear manifest as physical assaults had to be countered by blacks’ primal honor (McCreary and Wright 1997; and Cone 1992). Black people in this country have not advanced beyond occupying white consciousness as the epitome of a germ that infects the social health of America. Africans who became black in America are at worst beset and at best restricted in degrees of freedom by an American democratic money market system that promotes a racial hierarchy where white existentialism is privileged. Liberation movements in the form of slave revolts, freedom seeking, abolition, soldiering in wars both domestic and international, and active engagement in confronting legal and normative incivility to gain civil and citizen rights have been a major part of the black experience. ←xii | xiii→

Afflicted and Beloved Brothers: When the insurrection of the Southern slaves shall take place, as take place it will unless speedily prevented by voluntary emancipation, the great majority of the colored men of the North, however much to the grief of any of us, will be found by your side, with deep-stored and long-accumulated revenge in their hearts and with death-dealing weapons in their hands (North Star November 5, 1850 reprinted Newkirk 2009: 103).

Such a perilous liberation, partly revolutionary, and justice journey at times caused blacks to engage in social distancing from America’s version of humanity with respect to interpersonal social appraisals.

And last of all there trickles down that third and darker thought—the thought of the things themselves, the confused, half-conscious mutter of men who are black and whitened, crying “Liberty, Freedom, Opportunity—vouchsafe to us, O boastful World, the chance of living men!” To be sure, behind the thought lurks the afterthought—suppose, after all, this mad impulse within is all wrong, some mock mirage from the untrue. So here we stand among thoughts of human unity, even through conquest and slavery, the inferiority of black men, even if forced by fraud, a shriek in the night for the freedom of men who themselves are not yet sure of their right to demand it. This is the tangle of thought and afterthought wherein we are called to solve the problem of training men for life (Du Bois 1953: 75).

Certainly, black people countered indulging in negative social appraisals with identity affirmations and spirit-building communions. Along the way, love language was critical to survival. The way we love, the words spoken, and the actions taken to sustain a relationship provided armor, a shield and a sword. Still these instruments of protection functioned to create interpersonal damage, and spirit wounds. Black-on-black survival love never had the freedom to develop its full potential. At worst black-on-black love fell short, leading to psychological and physical harm, and at best black-on-black love represented and continues to represent a turbulent way to survive. One thing is clear, the soul, the spirit, and the heart of black people survived, and it appears that blacks’ actions of loving one another together was just as important as overcoming the chasm of wholesale human warfare (Newkirk 2009).

←xiv | 1→ Introduction

Not by Default but Foremost Essential for Black Love

I’m a Professor in the department of sociology at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. I teach an undergraduate African American Social Thought class, an elective course as part of the general sociology curriculum that concentrates on the way black men and black women have dealt with one another with respect to relationships within the context of a contested race legacy. The course examines the following issues: (1) interpersonal racial appraisals and the impact on relationships; (2) stratification, social mobility, and intra-racial perceptions relative to feeling better than less fortunate blacks; and (3) negotiating black cultural regalia within the context of mainstream America’s collective conscience. The focus on relationships during the course of the semester is not for personal benefit, rather it is an attempt to generate a level of comfort while dealing with a subject that requires critical thought and processing emotions with respect to how prior generations of black people have expressed their love for one another during times when blacks were facing extreme challenges to their survival, and/or contending with racial revolutions over physical and mental invasions. Stated another way, students enrolled in the course are required to ←1 | 2→ critically examine the nature of black love. They may discover that their relatively young attempts at relationships are exercises, in colonialism, integration and assimilation, systemic consciousness of kind, social norming, interpersonal definitions of the situation, and appraisals.

Additionally, the African American Social Thought course examines the degree to which the black body and black sexuality is significantly related to economic, social, cultural, and social regulation and social control politics.

Students are alerted to look for the common theme that the pursuit of black masculinity within the context of inter- and intra-racial dominance has manifest as an infection to the point that there is a fundamental break down in how black men and black women relate to one another. Seemingly, the failure of black males and females to engage in functional relationships can be considered a condition that shows that even when left alone (alone is relative) black people fail to relate to one another, which negates strong families. What’s more the cause of this seems to be that relative integration impacted blacks’ collective social consciousness whereby there is a degree of self-hate and perhaps an aversion (if you will) to blackness. These fundamental problems are temporarily overcome by the pursuit of interracial relationships dictated by placing white women on a pedestal and elevating white men to superior intellectualism, while simultaneously guttering one another. A primary objective of this book is to examine love letters, civil rights pursuits, and interpersonal relations among prominent liberation icons. Additionally, exploring colorism, black power, nihilism, race manners, race matters, black feminism, secular verification of spirituality, and racial casting will hopefully provide insight concerning whether black-on-black love is a survival type of love.


XIV, 154
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2021 (June)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2021. XIV, 154 pp.

Biographical notes

Steven Cureton (Author)

Steven Randolph Cureton is currently a professor in the Department of Sociology at The University of North Carolina-Greensboro. Dr. Cureton has authored four books: Racial Reconciliation: Black Masculinity, Societal Indifference and Church Socialization; The Social Construction of Black Masculinity: An Ethnographic Study; Black Vanguards and Black Gangsters: From Seeds of Discontent to a Declaration of War; and Hoover Crips: When Cripin’ Becomes a Way of Life.


Title: Liberation Movements and Black-on-Black Survival Love
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170 pages