By Je’Don Holloway Talley
For the Birmingham Times
Every second Friday of the month, Tremon Muhammad and his wife, April, go live on Facebook on one of the local stations to talk about topics in relation to the family and marriage.
“We get a lot of calls for marriage counseling, and I do a lot of speaking throughout the city on black love and relationships,” he said. “We have the ‘Black Love Show’” which strives to teach couples that marriage is not a fairy tale, and there is no such thing as “happily ever after.”
Tremon Muhammad is creator and founder of the Black Star Academy Home School Co-Op in Forestdale, believed to be one of the first culturally centered home schooling collectives in the state.
The BSA doesn’t just focus on children and teens; it focuses on adults, as well—especially when it comes to relationships.
“It is a struggle to become one with each other and their source,” said April Muhammad, who also serves as director of the BSA. “Happiness comes when you and your partner have been able to overcome the extreme difficulties of trying to achieve that oneness.”
Tremon Muhammad said they strive to teach couples that love isn’t a fuzzy feeling; it’s a duty.
“Most couples want to call it quits whenever they feel the ‘love’ is gone, but most of us couldn’t identify real love if we saw it,” he said. “The majority of us go into a marriage lacking self-love and a healthy dose of self-esteem, therefore it becomes difficult to love someone else.”
Tremon and April Muhammad, high school sweethearts who met at Midfield High School, have been married for 21 years. They have four children—ages 20, 17, 12, and 3—and live in Ensley.
The “Black Love Show” also aims to show couples the true value of a productive, prosperous marriage.
“Marriages should be about legacy building,” said Tremon Muhammad, who is from West End. “That’s not pushed enough within the black community. We are not taught that the purpose of marrying is to build. We are taught to look for the feelings.”
April Muhammad, who is from Brighton, said, “We have become so self-centered and selfish. That’s one of the chief causes for our marriages falling apart, too. You can’t have a strong community without strong families at the core. Strong black families equal real black power.”
The Muhammads are planning a few community-focused couples’ events in the city, and are open to doing speaking engagements and providing couples counseling.
Principles of Marriage
In addition to focusing on adults, the Muhammads offer a Science of Mating and Relating course at the BSA.
“We are already teaching [students] the principles of marriage,” April Muhammad said. “We are already instilling in them what a healthy relationship looks like.
“We’re ensuring that our young boys understand chivalry. … [We’re teaching them] to be respectful of women and to walk in kindness, in fairness. We’re teaching them that they are going to carry the burden and load of the household. They have to understand early that it is their responsibility to maintain the house.
“For our girls, we teach them as young as 3 years old to understand their roles. We provide sewing and cooking classes for them, but we want them to use those life skills to make them think of a tangible product they can produce and blend in with a business as they move toward entrepreneurship.”
Tremon Muhammad said the BSA’s Science of Mating and Relating course is designed to help students understand a healthy dynamic between a man and a woman and show them what sharing a household as a married couple looks like.
“Oftentimes, we wait until it’s too late to start trying to instill the principles of marriage,” he said. “Most of the time, we wait until we are in it [a marriage] to try and understand what healthy looks like. By then it’s too late.”