The creators of “Black Love” on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network Codie and Tommy Oliver are back to share more love as their family grows and their show returns for a third season.
Codie Oliver, the creative brain behind the television series had the idea with her for years due to her desire to want to see true, positive Black love on television, highlighting Barack and Michelle Obama as a major inspiration for the visualization of Black Love.
“I want to create a place for Black love stories to live,” Codie stated. “It was born out of my need for hope as a single woman.”
After meeting Tommy at a Sundance Film Festival in 2013, the couple quickly began discussing the possibility of creating the show, as well as tending to their budding new romance. Within months, they begin conceptualizing the project, putting in hours of work to build both as a unit and business partners.
“The second we started talking about it, all the reasons why it made sense for me, were obvious. All the reasons why it made sense as something to share with people were obvious, and as such, it didn’t need the validation of anybody or anything else,” Tommy said of his reasons why he was sold on the idea one Codie shared it with him. “It was just a really cool idea, that would be helpful for me and I’m certain other people would appreciate it, so let’s just do it.”
Together they began creating a purpose and life they hadn’t expected to come about, however they trusted in their visions and focused on love. Just months after meeting, the two moved in together around the same time they begin the ground work on the Black Love project. By Fall of 2014, the two were engaged and had begun filming.
“This came entirely out of something we care about, this is something that we need, something that would be helpful to us as we embark on this relationship,” Tommy shared. The project was picked up by OWN post the film festival, which was also Codie’s number one choice for television networks.
Now, in season three and parents of three, the couple has learned a tremendous amount of knowledge regarding love and marriage. “Our evolution of a couple, and as a family has grown as the season and series have grown,” Codie states, “in that process, we learn new things to bring up to couples, new things to ask about to listen for.”
“In all of that i’ve learned there really is no shortage of topics to discuss in black love and ways to shape the conversation that we openly air on OWN.”
Codie shares her favorite aspect of season three is the couples abilities to share their truth about the work that comes with being married.
Since their first interview they have been able to make friends and build relationships with couples featured on Black Love, another aspect that creates meaning behind their show. The bubbly couple shared many jokes, hinting at a future podcast and the idea of getting in front of the camera for their series, a possible consideration but the two truly love their role as producers.
“There’s so many people who contribute different things and were open and honest and vulnerable and there’s no way to answer that,” Tommy says when asked if there is a favorite couple. Both agree, the show fulfills its purpose, both good and bad, the multifaceted views of love in a Black narrative.
“We both feel as excited and encouraged, the need for us personally is still there and the conversations that we’ve had as a result for the show and the platform, show us that there is still a real need for this information and entertainment and vulnerability, as such, we don’t plan on stopping,”Tommy explains the feeling they both share of the progress they’ve made. Codie adding to it, “this is why we do events like the Black Love Summit, Clips & Conversations Tour and why we launched blacklove.com,” she says, “these are conversations we should be having in real time with people who are hearing them and have questions.”
The future for Black Love is brighter than ever, as their brand grows the love also grows to never ending heights. Season three features multiple couples, including celebrity couples such as, Terry and Rebecca Crews, David and Tamela Mann, and Kandi Burress and Todd Tucker.
“Our goal was to show Black people in loving relationships, but also to show all of the worst things that could happen in a marriage and how to get through them,” said Codie, citing Black Love the series as a form of therapy or couple counseling if an honest and open conversation follows.
Black Love airs every Saturday at 9pm on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. You can catch past episodes on the OWN application and on BlackLove.com, where you can also find more information on the show and past seasons couples.
Follow the show and it’s producers on Instagram @BlackLoveDoc, @CodieCo (Codie Oliver), and @ProducerTommy (Tommy Oliver)