by cavanaugh nweze
in a world with endless choices at the tip of a finger, the idea of marriage can be quite frightening. i struggle with the idea of one year lease agreements, two year phone contracts and fifteen year mortgages. the phrase “until death do us part” seems mind boggling. as i think about marriage being revolutionary, dr. frances cress welsing comes to mind. in dr. welsing’s book isis papers: the key to colors, she states, “the black family is the one institution over which we as black people can begin to exercise some control. control of the black family will be evident once we gain some mastery over our individual lives.”
dr. welsing continues, “individual family units are but cellular units of a whole organism called a people or a nation. all of the units must function efficiently and effectively if the whole organism is to live a healthy existence.”
as a child i was raised by pro-black community activists. i was spoon fed lessons of the civil rights era, atrocities committed by colonialists, the power we possess as african people and a host of lessons that were not taught in a traditional education system. due to my upbringing, i felt my participation in political rallies, protests, boycotts, think tanks, community gardens were mandatory. as i continued to mature, i also noticed the same issues within the black family also exist at an alarming rate within the “conscious” and “pro-black” community.
now that i’m starting a family of my own, i’m paying closer attention to my own actions and how i can contribute to the improvement of our community by being a pillar within my family. out of all the revolutionary actions and teachings i’ve participated and been taught, i believe my marriage is my most revolutionary act ever.
my understanding of being successful in marriage is to embrace communication as a critical pillar. in order to communicate effectively with my wife, i must understand who i am as an individual. if i have no knowledge of myself, it is impossible to communicate a concrete message to my life partner.
a commitment to marriage is a personal commitment to my own journey of self-acknowledgement and personal development. even though it is a personal journey, this is a journey not to be walked alone. it is my actions with others that teach me the most about myself. my realizations usually fall along the lines of, “wow, i am pretty selfish.” or “you know what, you are right, i’m tripping.” the best realization of all time usually is, “damn, i never thought of it that way.”
while paying attention to myself and the missteps of other men, i have noticed that we are not always successful in our relationships because we have not gained the ability to simply relax and admit that we don’t have the answers. our bravado can be so strong at times that it actually pushes loved ones away rather than protecting or comforting them like we truly desire. it takes humbleness, strength, and courage to admit when i do not have the answers.
my marriage is the most revolutionary thing i have done because i am creating a life time partnership with an individual who shares my passion of living our lives according to the abilities bestowed on our souls, rather than the circumstances that have been imposed on our physical bodies. through my commitment to my wife i have increased my knowledge of myself, i have learned to become a more considerate and compassionate communicator, my skills in strategic planning have improved and most importantly, i have the ability to decipher when i should lead and when i should follow.
my marriage is preparing me to continue to raise the bar for myself, my family and my global community. this is why i believe my marriage is my most revolutionary act. ever.
pictures courtesy of cavanaugh nweze + shot by crystal eyed photography
bride’s gown: thai alexander of thai couture
mua: naturally glam by rae
groom’s wear: designed by himself and lawrence mcqueen of mcqueen’s custom tailors
cavanaugh nweze is a community activist and urban farmer living in houston, texas with his new wife raquel. the couple exchanged vows on february 18th in a beautiful outdoor ceremony among family and friends. as newlyweds, they join forces in their efforts to make “direct contributions to improving the lives of everyday people.”