The Black Love Project, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this summer, hit the airwaves of BBC UK Black Radio in preparation for its relaunch and new survey announcement in the Spring 2023.
Co-founded by Joy Francis and Patsy Isles, hosted by Words of Colour, and the first initiative of its kind to survey the love, dating and relationship experiences of Black Britons, the project featured on five regional BBC radio outlets in February 2023, representing Derby, Merseyside, Sheffield, Bristol and Nottingham (see listings below)
The Black Love Project survey, which launched in February 2014, and re-opened during the Covid lockdowns, was completed by just over 900 Black Britons. It sheds light on why representation in the media, TV, film and books matter, the parenting experience, sexual identity and how Black Britons date, love and relate. The findings challenge the persistent stereotypes and tropes about black people.
At the point of completing the survey:
56% were single
56% had access to both parents their whole lives
72% didn’t see their parents being affectionate towards each other
Only 37% felt they could talk about and share their feelings with their parents
Overwhelming majority (61%) wished their parents told them more about relationships
When it comes to dating:
66% largely met their dates through friends
29% At work
When it comes to choosing dates based on ethnicity:
51% said Yes, they do
49% said No
While 39% admitted that they had never dated outside of their race
Co-founder Joy Francis said: ‘Patsy and I launched the project amid our absence in positive and constructive news and lifestyle coverage and our under-representation in books, films, on TV and in adverts. The black experience is not only defined by racism. Our lives are multi-layered and fluid. Yet there is a lack of data on who we are, how we live, where we travel to, among others. Instead we are saturated with news on our presence in the criminal justice system, mental health system and over-exposure to stop and search.’
‘People forget that answering questions while black has been a dangerous task for black people historically. Just ask our parents and grandparents. This project gives us the ability to celebrate and uncover untold stories intergenerationally, from romantic love and familial love to friendship and self love.’
The project, which also conducted focus groups nationally, hosted IG Live events during the pandemic and runs the black love bytes podcast, will relaunch with a new survey at the and revamped podcast series at the end of March 2023, with plans to host live and virtual events, including a tour in the summer.
If you are interested in taking part in the survey, email: [email protected] with the subject header ‘Black Love Survey’.
BBC UK Black interviews
BBC Radio Derby / Scroll 32 mins into the show / Available until the 14th March 2023