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Black love celebrated with 'If Beale Street Could Talk'

MUST WATCH: 'If Beale Street Could Talk'

MEDIA PERSONALITIES and social media influencers gathered at the Charlotte Street Hotel for a night of celebration of black love.

From Instagram influencer Mariam Musa to comedian Tolulope Ogunmefun, the lively 5-star hotel was filled with people who were asked to describe what black love means to them, as they sat down for a screening of the Barry Jenkins directed If Beale Street Could Talk.

The movie, based on the James Baldwin book, centres around a young black couple who are faced with some tough situations as Tish (Kiki Layne) discovers she's pregnant and is later tasked with fighting to prove the innocence of partner Fonny (Stephan James) who has been sent to jail for a crime he didn’t commit.

Starring Fear of The Walking Dead's Colman Domingo and Regina King, the Academy-Award nominated film is a realistic portrayal of black love and the many obstacles that comes with it - a stark cry away from the fairytales and fallacies we're told as young children.

These sentiments were echoed in a panel discussion following the screening. Led by The British Blacklist founder Akua Gyamfi, the panel included content creator and public speaker Toni Tone, activist & influencer Karl Lokko, podcaster and founder of events company FADED, Tazer Black and podcaster Audrey Indome.

Actor Ebony Obsiden attended the special screening, where she was interviewed by Akua Gyamfi

The panelist discussed everything from the representation of dark skin black love on screen to the best advice about love they’d ever received.

Karl Lokko touched on how the film deeply resonates with most black people, and the trials and tribulations that comes with it. “I feel like this is everybody’s story, because it's a struggle to love in general, but it’s even more of a struggle to love as black people,” he said.

A surprise appearance from cast member Ebony Obsiden rounded out the evening, as she described her excitement of working with director Barry Jenkins and what black love means to her.

"I got the script early and then read the book and I knew I had to be a part of it early on, "she said.

“What black love means to me is unity. It doesn’t have to be a family dynamic, it can be brotherhood or it can be sisterhood. It means never bringing down somebody because you think there's only so much room.

“As a black actor, there’s definitely a stigma amongst some people that there’s only so much room for a young black woman in any arena. So black love for me is that acceptance and i’m gonna lift you up instead of bring you down.”

If Beale Street Could Talk is out in selected cinemas now

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