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6 Women Share Their Unforgettable Proposal Stories

In honor of black love, we talked to six women who shared how their boos popped the question.

She Said Yes!

Love is in the air! In honor of celebrating black love stories, we talked to six women who shared their stories of how their boos popped the question. And y'all, these fellas got creative when asking the love of their life to marry them.

Related: 9 Months After We Broke Up, I Proposed

Whether these ladies got engaged recently or are already married to their forever, these stories will make you swoon, laugh and cry. Check out some of the most romantic proposal stories ever, starting off with my proposal story with my now-husband. Read on for more.

Char & Mark

Courtesy of Writer Char & Mark

"Mark and I were together for almost two years when he proposed. It was one of those relationships where we always knew we would end up together, it just had to be the right time. In all honesty, I knew a proposal was coming, but I definitely didn't expect it when it actually happened. We were planning a trip to Atlanta for his sister's birthday party, and he told me to bring something nice because he wanted to take me to dinner. I literally joked with my friend, 'And he BETTER propose!' but legit didn't think he would. From my hair, to my outfit, to being sick, it seemed like everything went wrong the night we went to dinner. But everyone went out of their way to make sure everything was perfect. I still had no idea why.

"We get to dinner at a beautiful restaurant, and he kept looking behind me and going to the bathroom. I thought it was really weird but I just took that time to eat some of the food off his plate. The waiter came and asked if we wanted dessert and Mark said yes. He brought the dessert menu and walked away. I looked at the menu and I told Mark, 'Oh they have apple pie!' I had been craving it. He was like, 'Well look and see what else they have.'

"I look at the full menu and on the other side was the story of how we met. When I got done reading (I'm still not sure what the end said because my eyes were blurry with tears), he had walked over and got down on one knee. I said yes and we became those people in the restaurant getting engaged as all of the other diners started clapping and cheering. We went down the elevator to the lobby and when we got off, my parents, brother, sister-in-law, his parents and a bunch of our friends were waiting for us. It really was one of the best moments ever!"

Janaya & Drae

Courtesy of Drae & Janaya

"Drae and I bonded instantly. After our first date (that lasted approximately 10 hours), I knew I had met someone special. We were so comfortable with each other and I could not wait to see him again. After about 18 months of dating, in addition to being in love, we realized that we had also become great friends. We talked about everything and encouraged each other through challenging times. Sticking together through those times and coming out better is what assured me that Drae was the one.

"On a Friday afternoon, he went and had a conversation with my father where he asked for his blessing of my hand in marriage. Later that evening, I came home to the words 'JANAYA WILL U MARRY ME?' spelled out in red rose petals on the dining room floor. Red roses are my favorite, and it was all so beautiful! He dropped down to one knee, presented the ring, and told me that life would be best together. Then he asked if I would do him the honor of being his wife. And I said YES!"

Sarah & Chris

Courtesy of Chris & Sarah

"Looking back on the day my husband proposed, it was an unassuming day to say the least. We had been together for a while and I hoped he would pop the question, but I had no idea he was going to do it when he did. Chris' dad is a head manager on a boat in Detroit called the Detroit Princess. The whole time we're dating, his dad would always invite us to have dinner on the boat, but Chris would always say no. Well on this 'unassuming' day, his dad invited us on the boat yet again, and Chris finally said yes. I still had no clue what was being planned. We arranged to drop off our daughter Jaedah to his aunt's house for the day and got dressed for our evening.

"We get on the boat and sure enough, the same group was performing all the Motown jams, but we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. This time was obviously different because about halfway into their performance, they started to perform "Never Let Her Go" and one of the lead singers came directly to our table and started singing to me. I thought it was strange, but I caught on to what was happening. Chris's starry face gave it away… he's never starry-eyed by the way. He's so stern and serious most of the time.

"He sat me down in a chair facing the band with my back to the crowd. That's when he did his spiel, asking me to spend the rest of my life with him and I said yes. We get up to start slow dancing, and wiping each other's tears and I said to him, 'Man, does my mom and dad know about this?' And sure enough, he turned me around while we were dancing and my whole family was there! Including our daughter Jaedah! He knows how much my family means to me, and to be able to share that moment with them broke me all the way down in the best way possible. We're celebrating six years of marriage this month, and now have three kids."

Bri & Joe

Courtesy of Bri & Joe

"My now-fiancé, Joe, and I haven't lived in the same state since high school and had been on and off for 11 years. I'm a realtor and radio personality in Chicago, and Joe is a football coach in Miami. But somehow through it all, we made it work. For the proposal, my nonprofit organization BF Cares hosts an event every month to give items to those in need. I moved up the date for this month so he could be there. Just a day before the event, he told me he wasn't going to make it but his family would. You can imagine how disappointed and sad I was. But I had to mask my feelings for this event.

"So while the group continued to make packages, my daddy pulls me to the side and tells me to follow him to the car. He gives me this card from Joe that said, 'Sorry I couldn't make it baby. I'll make it up to you.' I'm reading it like, 'Yeah yeah, okay!' I get back inside and while I'm hanging up my coat, all of my family and friends and his family are there with their phones out laughing at me and there's this BIG box. I opened it and Joe was inside on his knee! Before he could get the words out to even ask me, I damn near tackled him and said yes! I was just so excited to see him. Then he officially asked me and of course I said YES! IT was the perfect place to do it because both of our families were there and we ended the event Chicago stepping, dancing and giving back to our community."

Rae & DC

Courtesy of Rae & DC

"My boyfriend came home on his lunch one day (I've always worked from home), but of course I had no idea he was intending to propose. I was on a call and he insisted that I get off the phone. I immediately got an attitude because I'm like, sir, I'm working. Do I bust up in your office talking about 'Baby can you get off the phone and spend some time with me?' So I get off the phone and he asks me to warm up leftovers so we can eat lunch together. I warm up the food and then we sit on the couch and he turns on Maury. Yes, Maury. He's addicted to that show.

"So he's all into the show and who the daddy is and I was talking to him about something (who knows, probably complaining about work) but he was ignoring me because he really wanted to see who the father was. So at this point, I'm livid and like, 'You interrupted my work, make me warm up stupid leftovers, and now you're ignoring me to watch Maury?' I told him I wished he would just throw up the leftovers all over himself. Then he looked at me in this weird way and took a small box out of his pocket and threw it at me. I opened it and threw it back and was like, 'Uh no way… this is not happening.' I didn't even think the ring was real. And he says, 'No, really. I want to marry you.' He got down on one knee and proposed! Now, we've been married for almost four years. Ain't God good?"

Camryn & Jae

Courtesy of Camryn & Jae

"We'd been dating for five years, living together for four. Had a house, a child, even a dog, for me, the only thing missing was a ring. About a year into the relationship, we discussed marriage. He made it clear that his intention was to marry me, he just hadn't found the right ring in time for my birthday. Instead, he booked us an epic staycation in Atlanta during OutKast's last performance downtown.

"Fast-forward to four years later. I was getting incredibly tired of waiting and engagement season was officially here. I had been patiently waiting, and it was Christmas Day. We went to his family's house for dinner with my grandmother. After dinner, my fiancé's dad starts playing Christmas music on his saxophone. (He used to play professionally for the Clark Sisters) I'm sitting next to my grandmother, and my fiancé and his dad are both serenading her. I thought, 'OMG it's about to happen!' But it didn't.

"On the way home from my grandmother's, we started arguing because he wanted to go to the studio to record with a well-known international artist. Any other day I would have been cool, but the fact that it was Christmas Day, I was not about to be left at home alone. Luckily, he came to his senses quickly and he agreed that we would find a movie and cuddle. I got in bed still slightly annoyed, and he knew it. But he also knew what he needed to do to apologize.

"He started kissing on my neck, and of course one thing led to another. Taking full advantage of our son being away, we were being extra verbal in bed that evening. As I am about to climax, he asks me if I want to be with him forever. I say, 'Yes.' He asked me again, 'Are you sure you want me forever?' At this point I'm really almost there, and I scream, 'YES, FOREVER!' It was at that exact moment I felt him slide something onto my ring finger. I tried to look at my hand, but it was too dark, so I pulled him closer and we finished together. Next thing I know, I am being carried to our bathroom (still naked). As soon as he put me down and turned the light on, he was kneeling in front of me, holding my left hand and formally asked me to marry him."

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Originally published on March 20, 2019

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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