Celebrating Black Brides: Profile #65

Couple: Deidre Pinnix and Danny Yancey

Date of Wedding:  June 4, 2005

Place: St. James Presbyterian Church (Greensboro, NC)

Officiant: Rev. James Isaac III

Fun facts

The couple met on Blackplanet.com in January 2003.  They were both seniors in college--the bride at UNC-Chapel Hill and the groom at North Carolina Central University.  The groom sent the bride an online message and she responded.

The couple began communicating on Instant Messenger but the groom distanced himself a bit when he thought the bride was in Charlotte rather than Chapel Hill since she used the words UNC-CH in an online chat and he mistakenly thought that meant UNC-Charlotte.  When the bride mentioned hanging out with friends on Franklin Street, the groom realized that a long distance relationship was not necessary.

When the couple finally spoke via phone they talked until 3 am on the first night and talked daily for about a week until they decided to meet in person.

Their first date was at Miami Subs on Franklin Street.

What drew the couple to one another was their shared love of music and their faith.  The groom attended NCCU as a Teaching Fellow music education major.  The bride was a music double major at UNC.

After dating for 2 years and being engaged for 1 year, the couple married.

The couple chose to have their wedding ceremony at 10 AM so that they were able to enjoy the entire day as a newly married couple instead of being exhausted after a late-afternoon or evening wedding.

The couple had their wedding reception at the Regency Room, an event venue in downtown Greensboro.  They were the first people to hold an event at the center.


Celebrating Black Brides: Profile #50

Couple: Michelle Obama and Barack Obama

Date of Wedding:  October 3, 1992

Place: Trinity United Church of Christ (Chicago, IL)

Officiant: Rev. Jeremiah Wright

Fun facts

The couple met in 1989 when the groom interned at the bride's law firm.

Their first date included Baskin-Robbins ice cream and Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing

The bride's brother walked her down the aisle and the groom's brother served as the best man.

The couple's first dance was to "You and I" by Stevie Wonder.



Celebrating Black Brides: Profile #49

Couple: Eleanor Brokenbery and Ulysses Robinson

Date of Wedding: April 17, 1949

Place: Home of bride's mother (Big Bethel, VA)

Officiant: Rev. J.D. Adkinson

Fun facts

The house was decorated with spring flowers, carnations, and potted plants.

The bride wore a navy blue dress with matching accessories.

The bride carried a bouquet of Gardenias.

The couple married on Easter Sunday.


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Celebrating Black Brides: Profile #45

Couple: Tia Rowland and Terry Webb

Date of Wedding:  April 18, 2015

Place: Princeton Church of God (Princeton, NC)

Officiant: Pastor Barbara Vinson

Fun facts

The couple picked three wedding dates and put them in a hat.  The date randomly selected became their wedding date.

The bride and groom first met as children when the groom's aunt married the bride's uncle.  The groom was 10 years old at the time and the bride was 6 years old.  They started dating 17 years after that first meeting.

Both the bride and groom come from large families so they had a wedding party of 22 excluding parents, grandparents, hostesses, and ushers.

The couple has three young men ages 12, 16, and 21.

During the wedding ceremony the couple took a moment to salute the bride's deceased father by having his formal military jacket (dress blue jacket) brought into the sanctuary.  See the picture below.



Celebrating Black Brides: Profile #22

Couple: Sojourner Green and Derek McKnight

Date of Wedding: June 18, 2005

Place: Union Hill A.M.E. Church (Wilson's Mills NC

Officiants:  Reverend V.I. Tyrell and Reverend Rena McKnight (groom's mother)

Fun Facts:

The bride and groom met in the 9th grade after a Kenansville Eastern Missionary Baptist Association (KEMBA) Youth Missionary event. The groom was supposed to play for the service but,  declined.  Had he played that day,  the bride and groom may have never met.

While the couple met in the 9th grade, they did not date until their second year of college, at North Carolina Central University. 

The bride is 8 days older than the groom.

The date of the wedding is 4 days after the bride's Birthday and 4 day's before the groom's Birthday. 

The bride's dress was custom made by Alice Blake who is a Seamstress and Cutter/fitter for Screen Gems Studios.

Many people think that the bride and groom's two children are twins; however, they are 11 months apart.


Celebrating Black Brides: Profile #21

Couple: Willie Mays and Mae Louise Allen

Date of Wedding:  November 27, 1971

Place: Judge’s Chambers, Mexico City, Mexico

Officiant:Judge José Ignacio Fernandez

Fun facts

In 1952, the bride’s mother met Willie Mays and requested an autograph for her 13-year-old daughter (the bride) who was at home.

The bride’s white lace gown had an A-line skirt and high empire waist.  The floor-length dress had a scooped neckline and featured short puff sleeves.  She also wore a white lace mantilla.

The 15-minute ceremony was conducted in Spanish with an interpreter.

The groom designed the engagement and wedding rings himself.

Wedding guests enjoyed a dinner at the Fiesta Palace Hotel restaurant.  

The couple honeymooned in Acapulco.

The bride graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and Howard University and was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

The groom played Major League Baseball for 22 seasons.

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Celebrating Black Brides: Profile #13

Couple: Arthur Ashe and Jeanne Moutoussamy

Date of Wedding:  February 20, 1977

Place: United Nations Chapel (NYC)

Officiant: Ambassador Andrew Young

Fun facts

The couple met for the first time on October 16, 1976 at a United Negro College Fund (UNCF) benefit. They went on their first date three days later and married four months after that!  

The groom proposed to his bride several times before she finally said yes. 

The bride told the press that her groom hid her engagement ring in his medicine cabinet for weeks.

The bride's dress was a high-necked sheath with lace edging around the neckline, cuffs, and hem.

The groom took his marriage vows while wearing a cast and using crutches because he had undergone heel surgery 10 days earlier.

The couple had one child, a daughter named Camera which was a nod to Jeanne's career as a photographer.

The groom is the only Black man to have won the singles title at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and the Australian Open.


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Celebrating Black Brides: Profile #3

Couple: Countee Cullen and Yolande Du Bois

Date of Wedding: April 9, 1928

Place: Salem Methodist Episcopal Church (Harlem)

Officiants:  Rev. Frederick A. Cullen and Rev. George Frazier Miller

Fun facts:

The bride was the daughter of W.E.B Du Bois.

1,200 people were invited to the wedding ceremony but 3,000 attended.

The bride had 16 bridesmaids and two soloists (pictured below) and the groom had 9 groomsmen including Langston Hughes.

Gilded cages containing canary birds hung from the balcony rails of the church.

*The couple divorced after two years of marriage. 




Celebrating Black Brides: Profile #2

Couple: Martin L. Harvey and Emma Clarie Collins

Date of Wedding: August 1, 1943

Place: Central Methodist Church, Jackson, MS

Officiant:  Rev. A.L. Holland

Fun facts:

The couple’s romance began in Berlin, Germany, in 1939.

The wedding was profiled in three different black newspapers.

The bride had a cathedral train and the groom and his groomsmen wore white dinner jackets with black tuxedo trousers.

Clarie Collins Harvey was a funeral home owner who used her business to further civil rights.  See “DIGNITY IN LIFE AND DEATH: UNDERTAKER CLARIE COLLINS HARVEY AND BLACK WOMEN’S ENTREPRENEURIAL ACTIVISM,” JOURNAL OF MISSISSIPPI HISTORY LXXVI (FALL/WINTER 2014): 111-127.


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Celebrating Black Brides: Profile #1

I love LOVE, weddings, and Black history.  I have decided to combine my interests into blog posts about black weddings.  I plan to profile the weddings of well-known and not-so-well known African Americans.  Since April 15 is Jackie Robinson Day, it is fitting to begin this series with the wedding of Jackie Robinson and Rachel Isum

Date of Wedding: February 10, 1946 (year before Jackie desegregates major league baseball)

Place: Independent Church of Christ in Los Angeles, CA

Officiant:  Rev. Carl Downs, Dean of Sam Huston College (HBCU in TX); the church’s pastor was in Washington, D.C. at the time fighting for fair employment practices.

Fun facts:

According to the Chicago Defender, Mrs. Rachel Robinson graduated at the head of her UCLA class and studied nursing.

The wedding party consisted of eight attendants.

Mrs. Robinson wore a gown of ivory satin with a three-tiered bridal veil.