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By Liku Zelleke
They are perceived by many to be America’s answer to royalty. They certainly have the media’s attention, they probably earn more than some of the world’s monarchs, and they have managed to lead a warm family lifestyle – a big deal when considering the pressures of their intensely busy work schedules.
They are Jay Z and Beyoncé, and this April, they are celebrating their 6th wedding anniversary.
We travel down memory lane to see how this “match made in heaven” was born and grew.
Shawn Corey Carter and Beyoncé Giselle Knowles first met in 2001 and things started rolling a year later when they worked together on “Bonnie & Clyde“.
“I was 18 when we first met, 19 when we started dating. There was no rush. No one expected me to run off and get married,” Beyoncé once said.
They had a year-and-a-half phone friendship before they started dating, something she says “is so important in a relationship” as it allowed them to know each other more intimately.
Even when rumors were abundant about their romantic relationship, Jay Z and Beyoncé never acknowledge it. They did, however, show up – separately – at public events and basketball games.
In 2004, they debuted as a couple at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Three years later, in 2007, Beyoncé let the world feast on her $5 million, 18-carat Lorraine Schwartz engagement ring. A year later, in April, news came out that the couple had gotten married in a private ceremony held at their Tribeca home.
Since then, the couple has consistently been ranked as the highest earning couple in and out of Hollywood, suggesting that their business acumen is as sharp as the adoration and respect they have for one another.
In January 2012, the couple became a family when daughter Blue Ivy Carter was born in New York. Since then, the usually private couple has quite noticeably allowed the world into their family life. In 2013, Beyoncé released a series of videos where she spoke openly about her family for the very first time.
“Nothing feels like my child singing ‘mommy’,” she said, “No, nothing feels like when I look my husband in the eyes, nothing feels like when I’m respected, when I get on stage and I see I’m changing people’s lives.”
So the question we’d like to ask the BLM fam is this: What do Beyonce and Jay-Z mean to the black community, if anything? Do they owe the black community nothing or should they use their position as entertainment royalty to help the black community overcome some of its challenges?