Speakers share love and life lessons

Students gathered in the Grand Ballroom Thursday to tackle the issue of relationships in the Black community. Joined by Author Helena Andrews and Motivational Speaker Tony Gaskins, students took on toxic relationships, sexually transmitted diseases and self-love. 

Throughout the night students shuffled in and out of the ballroom while the speakers shared their knowledge about relationships. 

“The most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself.” Said Helena Andrews, author of Bitch is the New Black. 

This was Andrews’ second visit to the Hill and Gaskins first visit. 

The best-selling author and father said, “I feel it’s always important to give back and spread knowledge to the African-American community.”

The event was hosted by the FAMU chapter of Sistuhs and Progressive Black Men. It was a part of the Sexpectations series, which began earlier in the semester. 

Gina Davis, a 20-year-old chemistry student from Hampton Virginia and member of Sistuhs, said they want  students to learn about how sex affect relationships. 

Gaskins said he feels that the Black community suffers in relationships the most. 

Students asked questions via twitter and from the floor about the effect of missing fathers and broken relationships in the home.

“There’s too much importance placed on relationships,” said Andrews. The Root columnist added that sometimes people stay in relationships just to say they are with someone. 

70 percent of Black women are single according to US Census Data. Despite the reality of the statistics, Gaskins said, don’t look for someone else to complete you.

“Complete yourself,” he said. 

Andrews encourages students to focus on themselves in college. “It’s more than ok to be selfish.”

“If beauty were a minute you’d be an hour,” said Kalib Clarke, a 19-year-old architecture student from Jacksonville, during a game about pickup lines. Clarke said he’s confident in his game with women but, “knowledge means nothing without understanding. I want to learn by not experiencing it.”

Gaskins has been married for three years and he is the father of one. 

Although Andrews is in a relationship, she said that she is single because that is the status she files on her taxes.