Black Marriage Day encourages healthy relationships

admin | 3/22/2012, 5:30 a.m.

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Singles, couples invited to celebrate matrimony

For the past several years, media reports have been painting a picture of Black marriage in the U.S. and the image has been far from positive. I get tired of hearing all of the negative things about marriage in the Black community and I was thinking that there needs to be a day where we can stop talking about the negativity and talk positively about marriage, said Nasir Muhammad. So, nine years ago, Muhammad decided to offer an alternative image by creating National Black Marriage Day. This years date is March 25th. He says the celebration is necessary since the more negative perception of marriage is impacting Black marriage rates. If all Black woman hear is that there is no man out there for them, of course thats going to have an impact on them, the way they act and even think, she said. People fulfill the expectations that they have if they think theres no one positive for them they will attract men that might not be good them. What began as a one-day event in 30 cities has since grown to being celebrated in over 300 communities across the country. Organizations or individuals that participate are provided a list of suggested activities from taking a course about strengthening marriages to asking lawyers or judges not to declare a moratorium on divorce, according to National Black Marriage Day.com. In South Florida, the Xcel Family Enrichment Center, Inc. will be hosting their second Black Marriage Day Walk at the Carol City Park on Saturday, March 24th. The non-profit organization already offers services such as pre-marital counseling, marriage education classes, domestic violence classes and even wedding ceremonies for low to moderate income families. But Karen Gilbert, president and CEO of the organization, wanted to do more for Black marriages. Not many people know about Black Marriage Day in South Florida, so I thought that it would be fitting to have a walk so that the whole community would come out and become aware that Black marriages are declining, Gilbert explained. However, Muhammad founded National Black Marriage Day not just to encourage people to marry, but to create healthy relationships which she says is the key to building a lasting marriage. A healthy relationship is full of respect, its full of encouragement, it has love it has compassion, it feels right and it feels good, she said. Muhammad, is also the founder of the Wedded Bliss Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., that offers courses and counseling to couples and individuals and teaches relationship skills. For more information, please visit www.blackmarriageday.com or call the Xcel Family Enrichment Center, Inc. at 786-267-4544. By Kaila Heard kheard@miamitimesonline.com