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Feb. 14 is an amazing holiday within a holiday. It’s a time to celebrate love when we’re also celebrating the numerous contributions of Black Americans from the past and the present during Black History Month. And these Black history icons have a lot to teach us about what love means not only in relationships, but in our community and for ourselves.

“I am grateful to have been loved, and to be loved now and to be able to love. Because love liberates.” — Maya Angelou

“Love takes off the masks we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” — James Baldwin

“We choose love. Our love for our children. Our commitment to leaving them a better world. Our love for our country … our love for our fellow citizens … that’s what we choose.” — Michelle Obama

On Valentine’s Day, let’s take some lessons on love from 10 Black history makers of yesterday and today who remind us what real love should look like.