#InstaViral is a weekly series highlighting popular Instagram pages from social justice, entrepreneurship to entertainment with a focus on their viral factor.
Finding love is hard. The overwhelming cycle of letting people in and letting people go is a lifelong tax that we all pay to experience love. We’ve all been haunted by a text left on read or the sweet, lingering smell of someone whose presence sparks a flame in our gut. These nuances are what it means to love or to be loved. They are what make life so abundant.
Freelance writer Terron Davis knows this nuance all too well. After spending over a year in the right relationship with the wrong person, he was left with the classic sting of a breakup. His usual bounce-back routine consisted of sending a succulent to his ex-lovers to wish them good health and swear off any pettiness.
However, his last break-up was different. In search of a space to recuperate, Davis created a Black love fantasy of sorts. The 27-year-old writer took to Instagram and began creating memes of couples, where he would label himself the man and the woman as “somebody daughter.”
Inspired by the critically acclaimed poet and author Ntozake Shange, Me and Somebody Daughter is now an Instagram account for “Black men who have considered Love when emotional detachment wasn’t enuf’, or vision-boarding a new Black love politic,” the bio explains.
Each meme is of a couple in love and reads “me” and “somebody daughter.” Some of the memes are of couples like Beyoncé and Jay-Z relaxing in a pool of water. Another meme is of a man braiding his girlfriend’s hair. The captions of each post can range from poems, stories, or insights all written by Davis himself.
“When we delve into fantasy, I think it can make our reality that much more beautiful,” he said. “If you just go with me on my journey of where I’m taking these images, and when I’m making the memes, you can probably see that in your own mind.”
One of Davis’ favorite aspects of the account is highlighting the small things that often get overlooked in a relationship. In one post, he talks about the value of simply asking someone how they are doing.
“I think it’s a beautiful thing, and that’s like something so mundane and so small but you can marvel at,” he said. “I like to talk about the things that we take for granted. It can be [a] small gesture, like fixing somebody’s pant leg or fixing somebody’s collar.”
Since 2018, the memes have bloomed beautifully into a network of melanin-filled platforms: Me & Somebody Queer Kin and Me & Somebody Son. All three Instagram accounts display the most delicate, yet bold images of Black love, while inviting followers to engage and submit photos of their own.
Me and Somebody Queer Kin was one of the first accounts inspired by Davis’ memes.
“It felt good to come across the Me and Somebody Daughter page. I had a very visceral reaction to it,” Me and Somebody Queer Kin founder Turay Turay told ESSENCE.
“There’s not that much inclusivity for the reality of Black love and the diversity of Black love,” Turay said.
Turay’s account is an affirmative space for Black queer love, according to the bio. The page is dedicated to centering all genders, gender expressions, body types and abilities.
Turay personally identifies as non-monogamous, non-binary, and trans. They said they are still exploring how to best love themselves and love others around them.
“I wanted to represent people like me that were happy, thriving, putting effort into actualizing Black love and redefining what that looks like,” they said.
Me and Somebody Son was also created in response to Davis’ account and to invite women perspectives to join the meme movement.
“There’s already so many Black love pages, but I think the fact that it’s a meme, that people can see themselves, and relate to the picture,” said the creator of Me and Somebody Son. “That’s what made it so revolutionary. That’s what made it go viral.”
Me and Somebody Son now has over 70,000 followers and is curated by a Black woman who runs the page anonymously. “It inspires them, and I don’t want to take that away,” she said.
Me and Somebody memes uplift, complicate and redefine Black love. The accounts explore the various stages of love, even beyond just romance. Each post is equally a love letter to oneself as it is to a potential partner.
“It’s more than resilience,” Turay said about Me and Somebody. “It’s just this constant manifestation. Black folks are creating loving environments for themselves, loving environments for their peers,”
“to affirm and recenter love, always.”