In a world where divorce rates continue to rise, it’s always inspiring to see couples who have stayed together for decades. This is particularly true for black couples who must navigate various challenges. Here are seven black couples who have been married for over 20 years and are still going strong:
Barack and Michelle Obama are perhaps one of the world’s most well-known and beloved black couples. They met in 1989 while Michelle was an attorney at a Chicago law firm. They married on October 3, 1992, and have been together ever since. The Obamas have been open about their struggles as a couple, including a very public life which has often invited very public criticism of their public life and personal lives. But they have always maintained an elegant approach to dealing with each of those very public attacks and maintained a solid and united loving partnership. Their relationship continues to be an inspiration to many.
Denzel and Pauletta Washington have been married since 1983 and have four children. They met in the television movie “Wilma,” set in 1977, and Denzel has often spoken about how his wife has been a rock in his life. In a 2021 interview with Access Hollywood, Denzel said, “I wouldn’t survive without her. They both maintained their successful careers while raising a family and stayed married in an industry often unsuitable for healthy relationships.
Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett have been married since 1997 and have two children. They met in the 1980s while studying at the Yale School of Drama. Vance credited their strong marriage to their shared values and their commitment to each other, and it is often seen when they make public appearances together. They lovingly acknowledge each other as the source of their success.
Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson have been married since 1980 and have one child. They met while studying at Morehouse College in the 1970s and have been together ever since. In a 2013 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Jackson said, “I found the right person for me. She challenges me. She’s my biggest supporter. “my wife. She’s the greatest gift God ever gave me.” Their commitment to the family unit is one of the most powerful reasons we love about them–the family-first mentality is what they wanted their beautiful daughter Zoe to know and feel from both parents.
Steve Harvey and Marjorie Bridges have been married since 2007. The couple has been vocal about their faith in God and their commitment to each other. They have been each other’s greatest cheerleaders, and Steve is often very vocal about the strong impact of Majory on making him a better man. Family is cherished and is evident in their interaction with their children. But make no mistake, their love for each other is the nucleus of their union.
Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker have been married since 2005 and have two children. Both are successful actors in Hollywood and have been vocal about their commitment to each other. They speak kindly of each other and their characteristics as humans. In an interview with Essence, Parker revealed that respect and a willingness to work on their relationship have been the secret to their long-lasting marriage.
In conclusion, these couples that continue to serve and entertain us can also inspire couples planning their lives together in matrimony. They have shown that love, commitment, respect, and communication are the keys to a successful marriage despite living a very public life. Their stories remind us that marriage takes work and is worth investing in your partner and your relationship.
Photo of Michelle & Barack Obama by Michelle and Barack Obama in 2019. SCOTT OLSON/GETTY
Over the past several years, Myrdith Leon-McCormack has evolved from one of the nation’s most successful Celebrity Manicurist, represented by Factory Downtown, to one of the most sought after branding experts with her firm MLM Represents as well as a Huffington Post blogger.
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As the Editorial Director of World Bride Magazine (WBM), she drives the magazine into the 21st century, where visions of people of color are seen in a more positive and progressive direction.