Our Love Is Black History
For Black History Month, Foria’s Head of Strategic Partnerships Michele Harrington asked some of her favorite couples about staying connected in the bedroom, what they’ve learned about themselves from their relationships, what Black love means to them and more.
And as athletes, creatives, and business innovators, they’re making history every day – together.
Meet the Harringtons - The Black Family Cannabis Empire
When retired NBA star Al Harrington met his wife Michele over 20 years ago, the couple had no idea where their love story would take them. So when the Harringtons launched Viola in 2011, a cannabis company dedicated to promoting social equity and increasing minority participation in the cannabis industry, they soon learned they had built the nation's largest Black-owned cannabis brand with locations across the U.S. and in Canada. Viola, and now Foria, are one of the many ways this power couple works and thrives together.
As Foria's Head of Strategic Partnerships, Michele uses her influence to educate and empower women of color about the benefits of CBD for sexual wellness and intimacy. At the same time, Al, a known trailblazer, focuses on launching new business ventures while breaking glass ceilings in the cannabis industry. Together, the Harringtons have successfully built the first-ever Black Family Cannabis Empire.
If you ask Al how this was all possible, he would point at Michele. Michele's "family-first" mantra propelled the couple's legacy-building mission of creating generational wealth for their four children.
Their love, drive for success and passion for educating Black communities about plant-based medicine are some of the reasons why their love is Black history.
Tammy & Stephen Jackson
Stephen Jackson is an NBA legend – with 14 seasons under his belt and a championship ring – and cohost of podcast All the Smoke. He and wife Tamara are newlyweds, having celebrated their nuptials on December 5, 2021.
Leticia & Rod Gardner
Rod Gardner hit the ground running when he retired from the NFL after six seasons. A fitness trainer and entrepreneur, he met his wife Leticia, owner of Total Body 21, in 2009 – and they’ve been making power moves together ever since.
Bre-Z & Chris Amore
Actor and rapper Bre-Z is best-known for her roles on All-American and Empire… and tearing up the red carpet with her fiancée, celebrity makeup artist and esthetician Chris Amore. They’ve been engaged since March 2021.
What does Black love mean to you?
Stephen Jackson: Black couples that love each other unconditionally. Black love is a healthy depiction of relationships within our culture.
Tammy Jackson: To me Black love is deeper than two people loving each other. It’s about protecting each other and showing the world that Black couples can have long-lasting marriages and traditional families too, because the world we live in will have you believing otherwise.
It’s about being your man’s peace because the world beats him down. It’s about him being your biggest supporter & cheerleader because the world will have you believing that black women are angry and strong and that we can never be vulnerable. Black love is resilient, beautiful and inspiring.
Leticia & Rod Gardner: Black love is unapologetic, a meeting of two beautiful souls that you pray grow together into eternity. We uplift others to see that they can come across their other half. Building strong Black families.
Bre-Z: Love from my POV doesn’t have a color. I heard someone say love is life’s only valid emotion, and I couldn’t agree more. Love just IS.
Chris Amore: Black love to me means many things, but mostly Strength & just keep it real! But honestly love is just that….. LOVE.
What has your relationship taught you about yourself?
Leticia & Rod: We feel like relationships reveal areas where self-growth is needed and uncover any unhealed wounds. Relationships make you reflect. It’s taught [us] patience, and the importance of working together as one unit.
We think the secret to a good relationship is open and honest communication, God being the center, and letting go of expectations of each other and giving each other the freedom to be who God created us to be. Not trying to change each other, but instead highlighting each other’s differences.
Bre-Z: My relationship has taught me patience. It has taught me honesty and vulnerability. This particular woman has helped me unravel and expose many things that were dormant for so long. Def. feels good to be free!
Chris Amore: It has taught me patience, acceptance, how to be free and how to be open and honest. My fiancée peeled all of my layers to really be authentically me!
Stephen: That I am a great protector and provider.
Tammy: That I am crazy in love lol. That I am patient. That I love unconditionally.
How do you stay connected in the bedroom?
Stephen & Tammy: We try new things. We’re spontaneous with it. We’re affectionate with each other all throughout the day, not just at night or during sex. We try not to keep it routine with where and how we do it.
We don’t have a typical “sex schedule” like most married couples or couples with young children, where sex only happens a couple times a week or only at night when the kids are asleep. We have it pretty much every day and sometimes multiple times a day.
We’re open and completely comfortable with each other. We never turn each other down for it, no matter how tired one of us may be or even if one of us is mad at the other we still fulfill that need for each other.
Bre-Z: In my opinion, it’s a bonus. We are so connected. The time we get to spend alone in the bedroom is just the icing on the cake. It’s private, intimate, and pure comedy!
Chris: To me it’s all about our connection! It’s all-around intimate. I believe that we truly know each other and know our wants and needs within our bedroom.
More on love and life.
Leticia & Rod: Our biggest advice for new couples is not being afraid of conflict in relationships. Instead, learn how to fight fair.
Chris: The secret to a good relationship is to be open and honest with yourself and within your relationship. I believe your partner should want to be open to learning who they are with.
Bre-Z: I feel like we enourage fearlessness more than anything. What we have is ours. That’s what matters, and we truly understand that. It ain’t for people to approve of. I love this woman, and there’s not a person alive that’ll make me not.
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