The Black Celebrity Power Couples We Want To Be Like

Photo: Soul Brother/WWD/REX/Shutterstock.
They say that love, by itself, is never enough to sustain a partnership. The older I get (and the more interest my student loans accrue), the more true I find that adage to be. The willingness to stay together that comes from being in love is honestly only the tip of the iceberg. Relationships require a unique combination of personal skills like empathy, compromise, and communication. And there are a ton of external forces — like death, money, parenthood, and personal identity — that can put a strain on how well two people work together. To top it off, there is an extreme misrepresentation of fairy-tale love across our media landscape, one that often ignores the ways race, class, and sexuality affect how partnership looks and works.
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People with marginalized identities are way less likely to see themselves depicted in those fairy tales. This is why Black love is so celebrated in our community. It’s a form of joy that Black people do and should enjoy. These celebrity couples have been putting a Black spin on #relationshipgoals. And one thing we know about most of them for sure is that even though money is the second leading cause of divorce, it won’t be the thing that pulls any of them apart.
It's Black History Month, but at Refinery29, we believe in celebrating Black voices, Black art, and Black women 365 days of the year. Follow us on Instagram at @r29unbothered for more on issues that affect Black women's everyday lives.
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Photo: Marion Curtis/StarPix/REX/Shutterstock.
Oprah & Stedman
I love Oprah and Stedman Graham’s relationship for two reasons. First, despite the fact that their romance is older than I am (they’ve been together since 1986), the two have never married. Oprah is unapologetic about her desire to remain unwed, and I use it as a weapon every time some stickler for tradition gives me a side eye about not wanting to be someone’s wife. The other reason I love them is because Stedman has absolutely no problem letting Oprah be herself, and not just his woman. He lets her best friend Gayle have plus ones that could just as easily be his. And he’s not permanently attached to Oprah's hip. This partnership is a such a beautiful example of how Black men can and should show up for women, even if they’re as successful and self-sufficient as Oprah.
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Photo: MediaPunch/REX/Shutterstock.
Gucci Mane & Keyshia Ka’Oir
Tough times make us stronger as individuals and as couples if rapper Gucci Mane and his wife Keyshia are any example. Sticking together through multiple prison sentences for Gucci has only brought the couple closer. While Gucci prepared for another epic comeback, Keyshia became a self-made beauty and fitness entrepreneur. The hustle is real for these two.
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Photo: Hagop Kalaidjian/BFA/REX/Shutterstock.
Beyoncé & Jay-Z
She’s the most powerful woman in music and the greatest living entertainer. He is considered by many to be the greatest rapper alive and a successful businessman. Despite never having had an official coronation, it is safe to say that that these two are America’s Royal Family. Not available to argue about it.
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Photo: Julio Cortez/AP/REX/Shutterstock.
Will Smith & Jada Pinkett-Smith
Both Will and Jada have such a strong sense of individuality that reminds us all how important it is to be yourself, even with someone else. The two children they share, Willow and Jaden Smith, are both testaments to how important unique expression and exploration are to the Smiths.
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Phtoto: Zach Hilty/BFA/REX/Shutterstock.
Cardi B. & Offset
When Cardi B. was coming up as a stripper, Instagram personality, and then a rapper, a question that kept cropping up by misogynists and haters what: “What kind of man would ever seriously date her?” This is a sexist question that deduces Cardi’s worth to her desirability under a male gaze while simultaneously slut-shaming her. However, I still get a smug sense of satisfaction from the fact that she’s is blissfully engaged to Migos member Offset. They’ve taken over the charts and our Instagram feed as a united front, and I love them for it.
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Photo: Bebeto Matthews/AP/REX/Shutterstock.
Gabrielle Union & Dwayne Wade
From photobombing each other’s press appearances to dressing alike, actress and activist Gabrielle Union and her NBA husband Dwayne Wade know how to have fun together if nothing else. They have a beautiful blended family and make each other so happy.
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Photo: Sam Deitch/BFA/REX/Shutterstock.
Solange & Alan Ferguson
Being an artist/creative is not a guarantee that you will end up alone as a tortured soul. Solange and her husband Alan Ferguson have worked together to create some amazing content including several of her music videos. Their wedding photos were their own work of art, and they may just be the most stylish couple on this list.
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Photo: Joe Schildhorn/BFA/REX/Shutterstock.
DeWanda Wise & Alano Miller
These two breakout actors — Wise is the new Nola Darling on Netflix’s She’s Gotta Have It, and Miller has enjoyed runs on both Jane the Virgin and Underground — have been quietly married since their college days. Having married after only knowing each other for three months, these two are living proof that in some cases you “know” when you’ve found the right one.
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Photo: Hagop Kalaidjian/BFA/REX/Shutterstock.
Teyana Taylor & Iman Shumpert
They may be young, but they’re ready. As Teyana Taylor goes through another iteration of her career as an entertainer, she has also taken on the role of wife and mother. And let’s just say she makes it look very sexy. She and her husband are one of the hippest Black couples out right now. Next month, they’re taking their love to VH1 for their own reality show called Teyana & Iman.
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Photo: Stewart Cook/WWD/REX/Shutterstock.
Sterling K. Brown & Ryan Michelle Bathe
When Sterling K. Brown wins an award, no one claps harder than his wife, Ryan Michelle Bathe, who he calls "Bird." They are always the cutest couple on and off the red carpet, and you should follow them both on social media to get a glimpse of their adorable life at home with their kids.
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