This has nothing to do with the fact that it’s an interracial relationship. We’ve been seeing that more and more on TV lately. Although this is beautiful, it is not the reason Michonne and Rick’s love story is the most important one on TV. Their romance is the most important one you’ll see on your screen because it shows a strong, independent black woman receiving love with no messy strings attached.
She’s not a side chick (I'm looking at you Scandal), she’s not having an affair behind her husband's back (I'm looking at you How to Get Away With Murder), she’s a woman who remains strong throughout almost unbearable circumstances. Michonne might even be able to teach us, women, a thing or two about keeping a man.
Michonne allows Rick to be a man, but never at her own peril. She doesn’t always agree with his questionable choices, but she expresses her opinions and walks away. Michonne doesn’t browbeat him or run a guilt trip on him. This depiction of a black woman is so important because we’re often depicted as loud, domineering women who drive men away. Michonne is brutal with the zombies yet tender with her man and it’s refreshing to see a black woman being treated well without having to deal with any unnecessary drama.
Now granted, their love story does take place during a time where the world has gone to hell. So, there’s not much time for side chicks or gambling addictions. There is, however, a lot of time for resentment. Michonne is a quiet, but fierce leader so it only makes sense that she would be drawn to someone of the same nature. She was clearly disappointed when Rick gave in so willingly to Negan, but she didn’t walk away. Being the fierce sister that she is, she planted the seeds of encouragement into Rick’s mind and although it took a little while to flourish, Rick used her words to regain his strength and fight the saviors.
Michonne is the definition of: behind every strong man is a stronger woman.
I have to admit, the show’s repetitive nature and long-winded storylines have caused me to get a few episodes behind. I might even wait until the show appears on Netflix to catch up. However, Michonne and Rick’s romance is one of the few reasons I continue to watch this apocalypse drama hanging on by a thread. Sure, they’ve got much more important things going on than maintaining a solid relationship so I look forward to seeing their little moments of touching intimacy. Who didn’t melt when Rick gave Michonne the metal animal from the junkyard because he saw her “eyeing it.” It’s the little signs of love they show to each other in the middle of all the chaos that make Michonne and Rick a glaring example of relationship goals.
The Walking Dead has done a lot wrong over the years and if I’m being honest, I’m not always the happiest at their portrayal of black men. Their male characters tend to come across as cowardly and inept including Morgan who is only a step up from past black male characters. Sadly, it is so rare to see such positive images of black women on screen (although television is slowly but surely coming around) that I’m willing to overlook that aspect of the show just to see a woman like Michonne kick-ass and positively love her man at the same damn time.
Michonne and Rick’s love story goes far beyond being an interracial romance. It’s a relationship that teaches us to appreciate each other’s feelings in both the good and the bad times. Let a man be a man (even when he’s wrong and as long as it’s not harming you). Always hold your side of things down and remain true to yourself.
The day Michonne exits the show will be the day I officially stop watching. I’m a long-time and dedicated fan of The Walking Dead, but this season has given us very few reasons to keep watching. Michonne is the true gem holding this show together.