Inclusivity as it pertains to all 50 shades of Black? Yeah, we'll take that.
After all, what's not to "like" about Black love?
In a time where positive portrayals of Black folks are few and far apart, it's refreshing to know that one Instagram page is shifting the narrative of how we see love in our community.
You may not know the face, but you most certainly know the feed. "Me and Somebody's Son" (@meandsomebodyson_) is an Instagram account devoted mainly to boasting the divine union between Black men and women around the world. Since its launch last year, the popular IG page has already amassed over 120,000 followers, thanks largely in part to its vibrant display of couples of color, paired often with the occasional poem in the caption.
We recently had a chance to speak to the creator of the site, who opened up about how she came about launching the popular page for hopeful romantics around the web. Dive deeper into the herstory of 'Me And Somebody Son,' the woman behind the brand and what's next for the booming hub of all things #BlackLove.
I was inspired by the page 'Me and Somebody's Daughter.' I have always been a hopeless romantic; I love the idea of love. So when I found a page for Black men expressing love, I was really excited about it, but I also found myself really yearning for a page that I can resonate with. A page that speaks to me personally and my perspective and my experiences.
So for fun, I would make these little posts on my [Instagram] stories here and there of 'Me and Somebody's Son,' and I had a friend one day reach out saying, 'I really like your post and I wish this was an actual page,' and a few exchanged messages later, I was creating one.
I feel like I haven't always had the best examples in my life of "romantic love." I was always surrounded by love- my parents loved me, my grandparents and my sisters love me- but as for great examples of "romantic love," I've never seen it. So I think that's something I've always wanted for myself.
In a way, I feel like the post tributes highlight some of those feelings that I've always yearned for. I don't know why I love "love" so much when I haven't always seen the greatest examples of it. I can honestly say it is kind of hard to be hopeful for it in the [social] climate that we're in. I'm a millennial, and my experiences in love aren't always the most positive, and I can feel myself sometimes feeling like, 'I don't want to do this anymore,' but I don't want other people to feel that way.
So that's why I created this page, because we should still have hope. Love is out there, and 'Me And Somebody's Son' shows me that. It's kind of selfish to say this, but in a sense, I created this project for myself, to somewhat remind myself that Black love does exist, and that it's possible for me too. I've gotten so many stories from so many women that prove that.
There was somebody in my life, and they were usually the one I'd write about. But I feel like - and this is another reason why I wanted to keep my personal life off the page - I just didn't want people to look at me and my situation, and then tie that into what I'm writing, because my situation wasn't the most positive, loving "love" story ever, you know? I just didn't want that attached to this page.
But last year, I had someone in my life, whom I loved a lot at the time, and he did inspire most of the things I wrote. In that sense, I think I am a hopeful romantic. I did hope that it would go somewhere far.
Millennials love memes (laughs). We love to make everything. So I felt like that was a big way of connecting with other millennials. I feel like memes are lighthearted, and don't make the whole conversation on relationships feel too serious.
Some of the quotes I use are credited love quotes that I find online, but everything else is original content, meaning it's my original poetry and my original thoughts. I made sure to be majority original-based from the beginning because I never wanted anyone to feel like I'm stealing anybody's anything.
As far as how I go about finding the images, in the beginning it was more so me looking for photos of Black couples. However, as the page grew, I really didn't have to look for as many photos, because people were submitting pictures left and right. So sometimes I will look for them, and I will [search the] hashtag "BlackLove" and just find pictures through there.
Also, high quality photos are preferred for my feed. I'm really big on being aesthetically pleasing. I like the vibrancy and the vibrant colors that come with quality photos. I feel like those are the things that stand out to people, and stick out on their timelines. When it comes to social media, you can be scrolling for hours for a bunch of stuff, so I want to make sure that what I post is pleasing to people.
I graduated from Temple University. I wanted to work with the formerly incarcerated, and as a result, I focused on incarceration and recidivism. Now that I want to explore media and content creation, I initially felt bad because the job I once wanted helps my community directly, but 'Me and Somebody's Son' is also helping, just in a different way. I also realized I'm multi-faceted, and simply because I’m currently doing this, doesn't mean I won't focus on incarceration again, and I plan too.
This page has sparked so much creativity inside of me that I honestly cry about it sometimes. All of my friends are creative and for a long time I just did not feel like I was a creative person. It's so crazy. I really thank God, because I don't even know how all of this is happening for me.
I think that having a face attached to the brand would bring the focal point to one woman, and for this case I want the focus to be on all Black women. Therefore I do not want a personal narrative, or this one singlular narrative, attached to the page.
Yes, the brand is women to women, but I try to keep my personal opinions out of it, and keep myself far removed from from it all, period. I'd just like for it to be a space for women to talk to each other, freely.
I would love for it to grow beyond an Instagram page. I would love to be able to connect people in real life, maybe through some sort of event. I think that's the biggest thing; I want to be able to connect people. So different types of events will be coming soon. Like mixers, brunches, meet-ups, or professional woman's networking spaces. I don't want it to just be about love and couples. There is self-love too. There are other spaces where Black women can flourish, so I also want to highlight that as well.
People tell me all the time that they love 'Me and Somebody's Son.' They commend me, and they say they can resonate with the things that I post.
I just get so many "Thank you's"' and it's really overwhelming. Like, no, thank you guys for supporting me and allowing me to do this. Without the support, it would not be possible to continue doing this. So genuinely from the bottom of my heart, I thank everyone for rocking with me!
Be sure to support Black love and (double) tap that '@' by following @meandsomebodyson_
Photo credit: Getty Images / svetikd
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