Meet The Couple Behind ‘Black Love’: Codie & Tommy Oliver

Black Love is not perfect, but it’s certainly worth it. That’s why we’re here for the new docu-series on OWN, Black Love, created by fillmmakers Codie & Tommy Oliver.

Codie got the idea for the film before she met her now husband, Tommy, back in 2008 when she was frustrated with the narrative about Black woman and marriage.

“The media was aggressively putting out a message about a Black marriage crisis and about Black women being the least desirable. Saying that the more education you have, the less likely you are to find a man,” said Codie. “Those headlines—though there was data to contribute to the story—the headlines did the most damage because they didn’t give any context. They didn’t give any context about how people are generally getting married later.”

“As a Black woman who was single at the time, we felt like the divorce rate is high and the media is telling me that statistically I can’t find someone and fall in love and have a happy marriage. It was just very sad. And at the same time I felt it was important to see the other side. This was before I met Tommy. If the media is saying we can’t do something and we know that there are happy couples exist, then maybe we just need to see them and hear their stories. At the same time the Obama’s were elected into office and everyone was just obsessed with them and their Black Love and they’re so happy. It felt beautiful to see them but it felt like we need more. It shouldn’t all hinge on this one couple so I wanted to create a place where Black Love stories lived.”

“It wasn’t until I met Tommy in 2013  and told him about it and he said, “Ok, this is a documentary, and we’re going to do it. And we’re going to do it tomorrow,” because that’s who Tommy is. He makes a decision and he moves quickly. And so that’s what we did. And we set out to make a feature-length documentary. Fast forward to two years later and 50 some odd interviews in and we realized we had such beautiful, robust stories and that there was more to it than 90 minutes and we decided to do a docu-series.”