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Keith Powers & Ryan Destiny On Their Modern-Day Melanated Love Story

Celebrity News

Love is love, but we all know that sometimes, black love just hits a lil' different, and Ryan Destiny and Keith Powers are one celebrity couple that we just can't get enough of. The usually tight-lipped couple recently sat down with We The Urban to give us all the details on their modern-day, melanated fairytale and our hearts cannot take it.


Ryan and Keith's love story began in 2015 at a Teen Vogue party, where Ryan's one-day Prince Charming said that he was so smitten by her beauty that he was too nervous to ask her out. Over the course of the next year, the two communicated via social media and found themselves crossing paths more frequently than ever. Eventually, the couple's casual friendship evolved into a whirlwind romance that we can't get enough of. In their interview with We The Urban, the couple revealed that while it may not have been love at first sight, the chemistry between them was undeniable since the beginning. Ryan explained:

"I had shamefully liked Keith since we met though. We were just friends for a minute. So when we let things naturally happen, if you let it, love falls in naturally too."

Aris Jerome for 'We The Urban'

As two wildly popular stars in the public eye, their relationship hasn't been easy, but both of these boo'd-up celebrities say that having the opportunity to love one another makes the struggle for privacy more than worth it. Keith told We The Urban that it didn't take long for him to realize that Ryan was the one:

"I realized I was in love when I knew my life would be extremely affected in a negative way if Ryan wasn't in it. Loving someone is a very natural feeling that just happens. You can't just wake up and SAY I love this person, you FEEL it. You realize like wow, this person is a piece of me and regardless you don't ever want that person out of your life."

The couple made their relationship official in October of 2016 and they are still going strong. Ryan and Keith may be young, but they are ready to be a positive example of black love and we are here for all of it. In their interview, they dropped some major gems about maintaining a healthy relationship in this digital day and age. Here were the highlights:

Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy

Keith explained that being in a relationship inspired him to change as a man, but we all know that real change is never easy. The New Edition Story actor says his relationship with Ryan hasn't been easy, but nothing worth having comes without doing the work first:

"It taught me how much I love myself, it taught me about my insecurities, it taught me how to be more of a man. I'm still learning about myself. I think relationships really help you as a human. You have to be a student in a relationship as well, you have to be willing to learn. It also shows me that it's going to be work regardless. It'll never be perfect and you have to be willing to put in the work. It's not easy but anything worth having isn't."

Privacy Is Key

Minding your own damn business has become a foreign concept in the digital age, making relationships much harder for the people that are in them. Keith and Ryan are the masters of keeping things low-key and shared that privacy has been one of the most important factors in keeping their relationship as strong as Teflon. Keith said:

"The more you keep private the happier you'll be. It's not easy being in a public relationship, so you try to keep as much as you can private. Control your own narrative, don't give people too much because they make up stuff from the outside looking in. It's also very important to communicate and let each other know how you feel."

Ryan said that initially, they tried to hide their relationship for a number of reasons, but now, although things don't seem to get any easier, they fight to find a balance that works best for them:

"It's not easy, not going to lie. For a minute we tried to hide it for numerous reasons.. but as human beings sometimes you want to just shout to the world 'I love this person and I'm happy!' We try to find a balance. I'm already a private person and very career driven so reminding people that I am my own person is important. Luckily, for the most part, people recognize that."

If You're Not Growing Together, You're Growing Apart

I'm not the same person I was six months ago, and I'm for damn sure not the same person I was six years ago, and that's okay. The only thing consistent in life is change, so it's important to have a partner that you can grow with because if you're not growing together, you're growing apart. At only 24- and 26-years-old, Ryan and Keith are both in the process of building a legacy and growth is crucial to reaching their maximum potential. While some people may see their age as a downside to their relationship, the former STAR actress says that finding love at a young age is truly a blessing:

"I think there's a sense of freedom you feel at this age. I'm endless. I can do anything. Go anywhere. Create myself. Make mistakes. Learn. Make some more of them. Just grow in general. I think growing with someone at this age is interesting. It's beautiful to look back and see who a person was when you met them vs. now. We evolve every year. And… I don't think that ever stops no matter what age you are. I love that."

Keith says that because change is so consistent in our lives, we have to always be willing to learn something new. He explained:

"It's always great to grow with someone. You got more time for your love to get stronger. You get to make mistakes and learn, you also grow as a human. I believe love teaches. You get to be active in love young and you also get through obstacles you don't have to worry about when you get older."

Love Can Get Messy…

To us, it may seem like Ryan and Keith's relationship is all sexy selfies and butterflies, but in reality, they deal with relationship problems just like the rest of us. To Ryan, the key to overcoming these hard times is changing your paradigm:

"There have been many moments in our relationship that made my heart feel heavy. In a good way and sometimes not so good way. In those moments, whatever they may be... the way I would think and feel wouldn't feel surface anymore. You see things differently. Want to be different. The best you for yourself. The best you for your other. Knowing things will get-if anything more difficult but knowing you both are IN it. Once I realized that, and then some, it was a rush."

So Make Sure To Love Yourself First.

You should never be with someone who makes you feel hard to love, and yes, that includes yourself, sis. Before you explore your relationship options, you have to take the time to really get to know yourself, and that's exactly what Ryan Destiny did before meeting her current boo. She explained:

"How much I love myself. I got out of a relationship years ago because I needed time to work on that. Now around this time of my life, I've learned to see how much I do. There's a quote from a writer I love, 'Do not attach your happiness to anyone without checking in with yourself first.' I've always known the importance of that. Getting to that place is the challenge. Once you're there, you feel the difference. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually different and it is wildly beneficial for both people."

Read the full interview here!

Featured image via Instagram

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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