Fashion

Grooming Los Angeles for the Black Love Sign


When Dana Elise McKinney’s father introduced her to David Emanuel White Jr. At an event in October 2016, Ms McKinney said she thought Mr White was “a bit cocky”.

Mr. White had a different first impression of her.

“I definitely noticed how beautiful she was, and obviously she was brilliant too,” he said. “But when you meet a woman for the first time with her father, it’s not the best time to ask her out.”

Both, then Harvard students, were at a dinner in Boston hosted by the local chapter of the NAACP. Mr. White was there on behalf of the Black Law Students Association of Harvard Law School, where he served as communications director, and Ms. McKinney represented the African-American Student Union of the School of Design. Harvard, where she served as president. She brought her father as a guest, and he introduced her to Mr. White after starting a conversation with him.

Although both were active in Black student life on campus – and took the same “Vision and Justice” course that fall – neither of them noticed the other before that. . And after that night, another year will pass before they meet again.

After completing her master’s degree in architecture and urban planning in January 2017, Ms. McKinney, who earned her bachelor’s degree from Princeton, moved to Los Angeles in March of that year. A few months later, Mr. White, a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, moved to Los Angeles after completing his law degree in May 2017.

When Mr. White had moved, a mutual friend from Harvard, who knew the two had met at the NAACP dinner, suggested he reconnect. Soon after, Mr. White contacted Ms. McKinney and asked her out on a date.

Despite her initial thoughts about Mr White, Ms McKinney decided to say yes, reminding herself not to “fall for the first impression someone gives you,” she said.

Their first date in September of that year at EP&LP, a restaurant and terrace in West Hollywood, California, lasted until the restaurant closed.

“He talked a lot about the work he did, including the year he was in Afghanistan as a scout platoon leader in the Army, for which he received honors including,” Ms. McKinney said. including the Bronze Star Medal and a Purple Heart. “I am proud to have a kind heart, but I feel that he is more pure and selfless than I am.”

[Click here to binge read this week’s featured couples.]

They soon scheduled a second date: to visit the recommended Los Angeles locations in HBO’s “Not Safe”, a favorite TV show of both because of what Mr. White describes as its depiction of “Black love and Negro’s search for love in particular.”

But as their relationship gained momentum, it also hit an obstacle: Mr. White, from Milton, NY, plans to move to New York City in October 2018, to start the job. at a law firm in Manhattan.

Although his move means they’ll have to go on a long-distance date, the pair are willing to give it a try, in part because Miss McKinney, who grew up in Trumbull, Conn., has a desire to eventually return to the Coast east.

In July 2020, after nearly two years of dating, Ms. McKinney moved in with Mr. White, into his apartment in Harlem. The next year, in June 2021, they moved into their current home in Washington.

McKinney, 32, now a design critic at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, is the co-founder of EnFold Collective, an interdisciplinary architecture and design firm, and the founder of Studio Kinn , a consulting firm focused on equity in design. Mr. White, 34, works in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel as a special assistant to the president on National Security Agency staff.

He proposed in July, asking Miss McKinney to marry him at the Griffith Lookout in Los Angeles, her favorite scenic spot of the city. She had come to Los Angeles alone to pick up some belongings from an old office, and had no idea he was planning to meet her there and propose.

On September 24, five years from their first date, the couple tied the knot in front of 350 guests at Kent Island Resort in Stevensville, Md. Father Paulette Jones-Imaan, an ordained minister by the Covenant Christian Community, was officially officiated.

At the ceremony, a Cherokee wedding poem was read as a nod to Miss McKinney’s Native American heritage. The couple also broom jump to honor their black ancestors.

“We arranged it to really try to reflect the identities of both of us, not just as individuals, but of our family and the history that our family lived in,” Ms. McKinney speak.

Mr. White added, “It’s just a great way to stay in the present, remember the past and prepare for the future.”

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