What Do Will & Jada (…And Their Marriage) Mean To Our Community?

By Neysa Ellery Taylor

By now you’ve heard all the reports: “Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith are getting separated” and “Will & Jada deny split: We are still together“. I am amazed at the number of tweets and facebook postings that have been dedicated to this couple. Statements ranging from “Pray for the Smiths” to “Oh NO say it ain’t so!” have populated my twitter feed this morning. Here is my question for everyone that is looking at the Smiths, have you prayed for your own marriage lately? What about the state of all marriages? Why do the Smiths garner your special prayers?

I understand that they are the King and Queen of black Hollywood. I get it. What I also see is that they were an example of everything we aspire to be – smart, beautiful, talented, rich, and in love.  But, I’m also willing to bet that while we’re all tweeting and posting away on FB about the Smiths many of us haven’t taken the time to have one focused thought today about how we can work on being smart, beautiful, talented, rich, and in love in our own lives. It is so much easier to live vicariously through someone else than to put in the work to make it happen in your own life.

The Smiths are our ideal. Just like the Obamas. But while we are putting people and couples on pedestals, we must stop to remember that 1. They are human, and 2. They owe us nothing. We made them the black family ideal. In reality, they are just 2 people trying to make a marriage work. It’s hard enough stay married without the public glare, but can you imagine it when a whole community has their hopes and dreams placed upon your shoulders?

If we are to learn anything from this separation rumor, maybe it’s to stop and appreciate your own relationship. Go home tonight and hold your spouse’s hand. Kiss them a bit deeper tonight. Pray a bit harder for God’s covering upon not just your family but all families. Maybe tonight is the night to let the argument go. Maybe right now is the time to reaffirm your commitment to your own covenant. Maybe that is the lesson that we are to learn from Will and Jada.

Neysa Ellery Taylor lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Chris, and their 4 children – Asyen, Maya, Preston, and Patrick. An Emmy-Award winning journalist, she hopes to share her passion for marriage and God through her writing. You can read more of her work at www.myriadthatisme.blogspot.com.

9 replies
  1. Trudy
    Trudy says:

    I am sure this is true for some but not for all (as with everything). I said "say it isn't so" as well. However, Will & Jada are not my "ideal" when it comes to marriage. My parents have been married for 40 years and my husbands parents have been married for 40 years as well. So I didn't have to look far for what a successful marriage "looks like". I think with anything I just want to see a young black couple "make it". I have been Married since I was 23 years old to same man that I have been with since we were 17 & 18 so I know first hand that marriage is not easy and takes "work". We had 11 years together as couple without kids so we have been through it. Not to mention that Will has been married before so certainly I wouldn't idolize his marriage when I have my own marriage to relish in. I feel the same way about my friends that I do about Will & Jada, I want to see them make it because divorce no matter how you cut it is terrible.

  2. powerandinfluencephotography
    powerandinfluencephotography says:

    Great article and I agree. Although it would be sad if the rumors are true they are human and we know that ALL humans have problems and issues.

  3. 20 and Engaged
    20 and Engaged says:

    I saw the tweets going in about it this morning, and I was just so sure/confident "they're not splitting; it's just a rumor" and come to find out I was right. Will and Jada are a great example of what marriage is like. I agree; people shouldn't praise them as if they're perfect, but it's so good to see a black couple making marriage work. A lot of the people on my timeline were saying "if Will and Jada can't make it, how can we?" I'll definitely be working on making my marriage the ideal though.
    My recent post Baby Bucket List

  4. Cynthia
    Cynthia says:

    Well said Neysa

  5. iya osun
    iya osun says:

    Great article… great advice for self-work… but I must say, I really am not enamored with their celebrity… I'm really not excited by black hollywood or their personal lives beyond normal, healthy curiosity… I don't love Will and Jada because of their celebrity status… I am aware of who they are because they are celebrities… What I LOVE them for is how beautiful they make marriage and family look… how hard and deep they love… how they work on their relationship daily… how they share what works for them so freely…. how they balance career and family… how Will seems to have not issues with Jada's strenght.. how they take raising children so seriously… how they are the epitome of extended family.. I could go on and on… they inspire me, and they happen to be famous… even if their marriage were to break up, I would know that those were two black folks who gave it everything they had! LOL

  6. Ms. Washington
    Ms. Washington says:

    I must say- I love me some Will & jada but this is so true. We have become so celebrity focused that we act like we really knooow them and their family or something. Point well taken Neysa.

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