Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe are as close to the perfect black couple as one can get. She’s gorgeous, he is FINE, and they live a quietly successful life with their two children in the suburbs of Atlanta. Outer appearances aside, they also have a great relationship that never makes its way into the gossip pages. The couple sat down with Essence to talk about how they sustain their marriage and keep each other happy. Not surprisingly, communication and putting work into your marriage are at the top of the list of tips, and I couldn’t help but whisper “amen” when I heard what Nicole had to say about being yourself while together:

“As women we pass down a lot of misinformation on how to keep your man or get your man or all those things, and I think it’s really basic. I stopped doing a lot of unnecessary things. Like, he didn’t need me to show my love by organizing his sock drawer. I did a lot of things that he didn’t even notice. He’s not going to notice the new purse and I stopped thinking that he should. But when I cook for him it’s Christmas in my house … I just stopped with all the madness and became very conscious of what he does like, and he’s very conscious of what I like.”

Watch the whole interview below!

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Video courtesy of Essence Magazine.

How cute are they?

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  • I pray that the Lord Jesus in Heaven will continue to hold their marriage together, because every time that a starra couple gives advice, their marriage cracks.

  • chinaza

    Seriously when are some of you going to put down your coloring books and stop being so threatened by a lighter skin?

    • Jess

      I understand people’s concerns about “light equals right”. Their concerns are completely legitimate and understandable in the U.S. where the white majority constantly force feeds us this blatantly false ideal of white supremacy, and where non-whites constantly internalize this racists ideal, and use it against one another – thus light vs, dark divisions in the Black community.

      However, if you have ANY sense of yourself and your worth, you don’t need to hate dark skinned Blacks or light skinned Blacks based on white people’s sickness (sorry, but they did start this problem for Black Americans – I can’t speak for other ethnic groups), or hate certain skin types of Black people simply because society says you should. Many light skinned Blacks have felt insecure about dark skinned Blacks and thus talk about them negatively. As well, many darker skinned Blacks feel insecure about light skinned Blacks and also talk about them negatively. All based on what white society tells us to like or hate – and now what we’ve internalized and dictate those same sick ideals.

      It’s like this – BLACK IS BLACK IS BLACK. Doesn’t matter if you’re light, brown, or dark if you’re Black, you’re Black – all happening to be of varying skin tones.

      At one time, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis was our perfect Black couple, Barack and Michelle are, as well as a few acting couples LIKE Boris and Nicole.

      The author of this article wasn’t saying Boris and Nicole were the perfect Black couple because of their skin shading – by perfect, she’s talking about how two Black people married to each other in the public eye seem to generally like, love, and respect each other. They don’t seem false or just acting for the camera – these two seem to genuinely enjoy each others company, have a beautiful family, can joke with each other, aren’t hurting each other in domestic violence or any other way, and seem to be going strong still after 7 years of marriage and kids. THAT’S PERFECTION to alot of people when examining relationships – especially in an industry like Hollywood that loves to see couples fail – particularly Black couples.

      Maybe Idris Elba and could be considered part of a perfect Black couple – if he had chosen to marry Black – but he didn’t so he couldn’t be used as the dark skinned example of the perfect Black couple. And I’m sure that Denzel and his wife, and Angela Basset and Courtey Vance are just as loving as Boris and Nicole, but both of those couples seem a lot more private, and we rarely get to see raw emotions and feelings on display with them.

      On the other hand, Boris and Nicole have it written all over their faces in their interviews. They seem very sweet.

      Not only do they seem to be the perfect Black couple, but they seem to be perfect for ANY couple. They are beautiful and wish them the best in their marriage. I hope they make it for many more happy years to come (but if they do divorce, I got first dibs on Boris!).

    • Loe

      They are a great couple, but they’re are obviously of mixed ancestry; and Boris has a White German mother. Americans are getting confused by the 1-drop rule. Since Black people in America come from mostly the Brown West Africans (not Igbo), and if DNA testing is showing that Black people in America (who have Brown skin) have from 10-20% European DNA on average, resulting from mainly the slave-trade, then by comparison, this couple is so obviously mixed; just like Barack, Halle Berry, Shamar Moore, Rae Dawn Chung, Karen Parsons, Thandie Newton, Jordin Sparks, etc. They are mixed. Mixed people, who come from ~50/50 Black/White or even ~33/33/33 Black/White/Native American backgrounds come in all the middle hues just like this couple and the ones named a few lines above; typically from light yellows, to light tans, to dark tans, to light browns.

      Americans, of all races, are always getting it wrong and denying people of what cultures that they may have grown up with, and even making wrong genetic assumptions about people; like Black people having White kids, when in reality, those Black people are a ~50/50 Black/White mix.

      This couple represents how people of mixed ancestry can be successful, having blended backgrounds both culturally and genetically, and finding strength and love within each other…they are as much light-skinned Black as they are dark-skinned White. Why can’t we recognize that the Black/White mixture can be a successful pairing for some people?

      And if this was an article about Denzel Washington and his wife, I would be just as happy to see a successful couple, who is predominantly Black making their way in a White-dominated society.

      I hope that more brown-skinned couples can get the positive attention of Boris and Nicole and, as Hollywood still needs to make strides allowing more people opportunities in the mainstream media and not just channels like BET, etc.


  • Tawana

    Only way is keep God first :) That is the ”secret”

    • pink

      Tawana: No offense but there are zillions of people in the church that are divorced (and were keeping god first); so that antiquated advice doesn’t work. Why do you think there are mostly women sitting up in the church. Bless your heart

    • Nic

      Yeah, tell that to the women who got HIV from their married pastor. There are a lot of hypocrites sitting up in the church, so I don’t think that is the secret at all.

  • Nadia

    I’m sorry if this posts twice, Clutch keeps giving me error messages and a pop-up fills the whole screen when I hit the Submit button…


    “It’s like this – BLACK IS BLACK IS BLACK. Doesn’t matter if you’re light, brown, or dark if you’re Black, you’re Black – all happening to be of varying skin tones.”

    It does beg the question of where your line in the sand is, though, doesn’t it? If a 1/4 black woman who looked like Paz Vega said she was black, would she be black? And if you say yes, then would a 1/8 black woman who looked like Cameron Diaz who proclaimed she was black, would she be black? How about a 1/16 black woman who looked like Jessica Simpson, who said she was black, identified as black, etc? Would she be black? Where is the point where you say, “Sorry, you’re not black even though you want to be. Just saying it doesn’t make it so”, and so forth? Where is that line? How far are you going to run with that “one-drop” rule?

    I’m not trying to be a smart-ass, I’m just asking at what point does common sense take over, where you say, “Yes, you have some black DNA in you, but, sorry, you’re not black”? When does that happen? And is it triggered by appearance or by DNA testing or what?

    I don’t know what it is for being black (maybe it’s the same), but I know that for minority business status or college scholarships for Native American people, the federal government says you are Native American if you are 1/16 Native American, and can prove it. I knew a guy when I was in college (a really good jazz guitarist, actually) who was 1/8 Sioux Indian and he looked like Tom Selleck, except not as tall. Blue eyes, fair skin. Was he a Sioux? The government said he was.

    So I’m just asking, where is the line, what is the point at which you say, “Okay, you’re not black, you’re mixed-race with black, even though you say you’re black, sorry, this is where the one-drop rule gets tossed out the window”? Where’s the cut-off?

    • Jess

      Nadia, please. Get off it. They look like typical Black folks in that color range. Just like Jason George and Gabrielle Union look like typical Black folks in their color range.They’re Black and beautiful, nuff said. What country are u from anyway? They already told you who they are, just like Barack did – and they chose Black with no apology. So Leave it be. Quit hatin because they look better than you, and have no problem claiming their Blackness.

    • Cia

      (yeah I am a late responder…and what?!)
      Nadia your post was very interesting. I think it all boils down to how the person was raised. On my father’s side of the family almost everyone is very light. Many most people would assume are white BUT they were raised in 100% black homes. We had some random white rapist in our family’s history and I guess my ancestors just decided for whatever reason to always marry other super light people (my dad ended this trend when he married my very chocolate mommy and had little caramel babies)…but regardless if a person looks like your average white person if they consider themselves black then you should probably respect that decision. So yes…if Cameron Diaz wants to be Black and was raised as such why not. The black race is a beautiful rainbow and being dark doesn’t make you more of a real black person…

      Overall, I do not even know why skin complexion made it into the comments on this…pretty irrelevant to the subject of them being a seemingly model black couple.

    • Loe

      The article itself mentions race, so it’s not surprising that skin color made it’s way into the discussion. Race and culture are two different things, and that’s a source of a lot of debates because people are battling over the 2 sides of the same coin.. E.g., Carly Simon could say that she’s White culturally, but that will not take away the fact that she’s part Sub-Saharan African genetically, approx. 1/4.

      The human race is a rainbow. Race is a classification created by Europeans, and the racial divisions do not apply 100% to all groups of people; e.g., the blonde kinky hair on the brown skinned Solomon Islanders.

      It’s simply nice to see people who are not predominantly European looking getting positive attention, showing that success is possible for people who are not representative of the mainstream. And if couple had kinkier hair and darker skin, then I would be even happier to see such a couple in the limelight, as such couples are under-represented.

      (23andme.com is a great site for explaining DNA inheritance.)

  • minna k.

    THey are the perfect couple ” of African decent”, because of their values, sincere chemistry, and team spirit. Not because they both have light skin.

    Side note. I SO want to get my hands on this woman and style her a little differently.

    Boris hasn’t aged for 20 some odd years.