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Exclusive: LeToya Luckett & Tommicus Walker On The 4 C’s That Are Key In Their Marriage

In this xoNecole exclusive, the Walkers recall the lessons learned during their first year.

Our First Year

"First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in a baby carriage."

I'm sure we all can remember singing that idealistic love song as young ones, but for Tommicus Walker and LeToya Luckett-Walker, it's more than just a child's game--it's real life. With their beautiful new baby Gianna close-by during our conversation, the vibe you get from this married couple is one that's mixed with authenticity, love, soul, country, spirituality, and laughter. And it's a vibe that they say is only present because they decided to forge a new and better path individually before joining their lives together.

The two Texas natives originally didn't meet until a month after their first conversation, but it was during that time that they began to establish the foundation their relationship would be built upon: love of God and commitment to self-evolution. "After getting out of my previous marriage, where I was married for eight years, I began to really take a step back. I was fasting from dating, having sex, wanting to be around a lot of women, and just really clearing my soul and mind to hear from God," Tommicus tells xoNecole. "I was focusing on my daughter [Madison], running my business, waiting, and preparing myself for my wife to be presented to me."

As for LeToya, she explains that in life and especially in love, if you want something you never had, you had to be willing to do something you've never done. "I wanted to do things differently this time around. I didn't want him to know my name or what I did. In the past, I had put the physical sometimes before communication but for this I put communication before the physical," she says. "And there was laughter and great conversation, I felt like I knew him before. We read the Word together, we prayed, it just felt right."

With a year and three months under their belt, a new bundle of joy to add to their bliss, and new ventures on the horizon, it seems as if LeToya and Tommicus are quite literally a match made in heaven.

Read on as they share their insight on life and love in this latest segment of Our First Year.

The One

LeToya: He just felt like home from our first conversation. I know I've been in Los Angeles for the last 13 years, but we're both from Texas. We had so much in common with the way we grew up and eating, and family time. We both wanted to raise our family in Texas so off jump, we had a lot in common. I think the first time I prayed with him, I felt different. And I was also one of those girls who had a list before, and I finally threw it away. Because, there were things that he had that were on my list, but there were other things that he had that I didn't know I needed that weren't on my list. Sometimes we can get in our own way as single women. But it's nice to know that somebody is there that can be supportive. Once I had certain conversations with him, met him, prayed with him--God put it on my heart and told me this was it. This was my husband. He felt like a teammate and there was a real partnership that came into play. And I hadn't felt that before.

"He just felt like home from our first conversation... And I hadn't felt that before."

Tommicus: I think she said it best, we had so much in common. She was country as hell and she felt like a homegirl from the jump. But when we started praying together and having that spiritual connection--it was over. Outside of my ex, she was the only other girl I actually prayed consistently on a daily basis with. We read the Bible together, we read the book of Proverbs before we even met. Knowing that she was a Christian woman and a woman of God, it just felt right. God presented her to me. I knew after the third date she was going to be my wife. And I never looked back or questioned him.

"God presented her to me. I knew after the third date she was going to be my wife. And I never looked back or questioned him."

Overcoming Fears in Marriage

Tommicus: Being that I was married previously, I always said I would never ever get married again. I didn't want to have any more kids. I didn't want to put myself in a situation where I was heartbroken and having to pull myself out of the hole again. But honestly I can say, with LeToya, I never had any fear. And that was because my mind, my body, and my spirit was so clear and God was talking to me on a daily basis. I believe Toya is my soulmate, she's my best friend, now the mother of my child, my wife. I had my heart open wide and I didn't try to have my guard up. The thing is when you know, you know.

"With LeToya, I never had any fear. And that was because my mind, my body, and my spirit was so clear and God was talking to me on a daily basis. I believe Toya is my soulmate."

LeToya: When you're in and out of relationships, you learn to practice divorce. It becomes easier and easier because you know you can survive that. When certain things would come up in our marriage, it would trigger certain thoughts where I'd think: 'is it over?' And I had to learn to work through that and let him know my triggers. And he would do the same for me. So it was just fearing having to go through a breakup, that was what my biggest fear was. Because I don't get into marriage for it not to work out.

Important Lessons in Marriage

Tommicus: The Bible tells us that life and death are in the power of our tongue. And so what I've learned to do and what I continue to do is to speak life over my wife, over my kids, and our situation. I always look at the positive, me and my wife have received so much favor in this first year. And to be able to have that covering is something I believe is so important.

LeToya: Marriage isn't a sprint, it's a marathon and it's a lifetime. You're getting to know this person, you're getting to know yourself in different lights. As a wife, you got to stay on your knees in prayer, because the enemy doesn't like marriage. And you can't take your prayer life lightly when it comes to praying for your husband, your family and for our covering. And also I came into the marriage trying to be superwoman, I had to do all the right "wife" things. I learned quickly I can't do that because I'm not a superhero. I am flawed and I had super high expectations of him and myself. You have to take this thing day by day.

"I came into the marriage trying to be superwoman, I had to do all the right wife things. I learned quickly I can't do that because I'm not a superhero. I am flawed."

Baggage Claim

Tommicus: We had to just communicate with each other about our different trigger points. That was definitely key. We both came from childhoods that's similar to a lot of others. I came from a single-parent household but I always had a stepfather. As a child, I was never able to get these things out that I somewhat feared. And this is something me and my wife talked about not too long ago, the importance of not holding stuff in. So one of the things we try to do is try to communicate with each other and listen and try to see where the person is coming from. From a relationship standpoint, I was married for eight years so of course being a new husband, Toya wanted to know what happened.

LeToya: We've had moments where Tommi can go into that mode and retreat, and he's such an incredible father. But a lot of times I have to tell him, "Babe you're not a single father anymore. You have a partner, you can come to me. You don't have to go through this alone." So that was probably one of the biggest things we had to deal with.

"We had to just communicate with each other about our different trigger points. That was definitely key."

Love Language

Tommicus: I try to speak her love language through spending time, communicating, and she likes to be complimented a lot. She wants me to be the first one to say she looks beautiful or pretty. I'm always aware of that and she looks beautiful all the time. So I know that's a part of her love language and what she needs.

LeToya: We're still learning every single day! There are things that I didn't know he likes or appreciates that I do and it was something simple. For me, mine is quality time--I love having that time. Yes I love gifts as well! But I appreciate gratitude, when someone takes a beat to say, "I appreciate you for doing that." A lot of times I don't get recognized for doing certain things, I'm just expected to because I'm a woman. As women, men just expect us to do everything and to do it right and perfect. But I'm finally with someone who doesn't overlook certain things. And Tommi definitely shows gratitude a lot. For him, I think he develops new things every day.

Best Advice

Tommicus: I would say take care of yourself first, do not lose yourself. Make sure your mind is good, you're exercising properly and you're taking care of your body. And also know the order of marriage: putting God first, yourself second, then your wife or husband next, then your kids after that.

LeToya: The best advice I would give to someone else is marriage doesn't have to be what you saw growing up. You get to decide what your marriage is going to be. You and your spouse are in control of where your marriage takes you, outside of God. Take the time, take premarital counseling, and understand that when you get married, it's no longer about just you. Go into it with an open mind and know that there's going to be some stretching on your part. You can't have a selfish mindset going into that. So I would say: keep Christ first, make sure you're communicating with one another, go to counseling. Here it is: Christ, communication, counseling, and commitment. Those are my four C's.

"Christ, communication, counseling, and commitment. Those are my four C's."

Best Part

Tommicus: The best part is traveling the world! Being able to reproduce, hitting the goals we set each year as a team and making money together with my wife.

LeToya: There's someone there to go through life with, you know they're there through the ups and downs. The partnership and the love, I'd say those are the best parts.

For more of Tommicus and LeToya, follow them on Instagram @letoyaluckett and @tommicuswalker.

Featured image via Denisha DeLane / Shutterstock.com

Originally published on April 24, 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
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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