Gifts for your HBCU bae this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day tends to bring out the love language of gift-giving, and if you’re romancing a bae that stands ten toes down on HBCU culture, then consider adding a few of these items to your gift list.

Maybe you and your Valentine’s date met at an HBCU. Perhaps your partner attended one. Or it might just be that the beauty of your Black love appreciates the HBCU aesthetic. No matter the case, this list is curated by Reckon’s HBCU and Blackness reporter, also an alumnus of North Carolina A&T State University, and offers a little something that caters to the adoration of HBCU style and culture as you shop for your date.

Ralph Lauren Collection with Spelman and Morehouse College’s ($$$$)

The partnership between these two HBCUs and Ralph Lauren is designed with a historic vintage theme meant to invoke pride and prestige in every thread from the Morehouse Collection Polo Coat at $2,500 to the iconic and staple white Spelman Collection Wrap Dress at $350.

While this collection is on the pricier side, it is perfect for your HBCU vintage bae who likes to support young Black designers.

Telfar bag ($$$)

The Telfar brand has more to offer than just its signature bags. They now have wallets ($144), puffer coats ($400+) and durags ($90). Everyone — from college students matching their Telfar bags to their outfits to even Queen Latifah dripping in a white Telfar beanie and sweatshirt to an NBA game — is wearing Telfar from head to toe and maybe your HBCU Valentine’s bae might want to too.

Telfar is a luxury brand, so its prices reflect that but if your Valentine’s is a ‘material (insert gender identity here) then adjust your budget.

Culture Tags card game ($)

Laughing while decoding key phrases and moments in Black culture is the purpose of the card game, Culture Tags. And if your partner loves spending quality time with you and friends while sharing in hilarious conversations then this might be the gift for them.

Not only is Culture Tags an inexpensive gift at $20, but it also doesn’t have to be a one-time present. It can continue as a way for you and your partner to share and build memories together.

Nike Dunk Low “Valentine’s Day” ($$$)

Nike must be feeling the love in the air with the launch of their new-themed Valentine’s sneaker. Whether your bae is a sneakerhead or just appreciates a nice Nike the maroon structure and soft pink swoosh offer versatility with a subtle pop of color.

The $120 – $200 Nike Dunk Low “Valentine’s Day” sneakers are also ideal for the couple who love to buy and wear matching shoes.

Phillip Ashley Chocolate ($$)

Chocolates are a Valentine’s Day staple, but buying chocolates from a Black-owned business makes them even sweeter. Phillip Ashley Chocolates is not only a luxury chocolate company with delicious treats ranging from $15 to $180, but they design each chocolate in every set with a signature design of bright colors and artistic flair.

If you don’t know what to buy your Valentine, chocolates are always the safest choice (unless they’re allergic or lactose intolerant) and one of the more yummy options.


TALLEY & TWINE has just the watch to make a statement in every room, which is why they call them attention-grabbing timepieces. A luxury watch is a Valentine’s Day gift that your partner will never forget and value, especially from a brand founded by Randy Williams, an alumnus of the HBCU Albany State University in Georgia.

TALLEY & TWINE watches start at $145 and are currently being sold in matching sets for you and your partner this Valentine’s day season.

Say Sukii Flowers ($$)

Everyone deserves to smell the roses and Say Sukii Flowers, a Black-owned flower shop has a custom, fresh flower arrangement for every couple this Valentine’s Day for around $85. If you want to make gifting flowers to your partner a more permanent part of your relationship, Say Sukii Flowers also has a subscription service.

Giving a bouquet of flowers on Valentine’s Day is like making a fairytale dream come true in the hearts of a hopeless romantic.

3 Sisters Embroidery – Divine 9 Greek Paraphernalia ($$ → $$$)

If your Valentine’s Day bae is part of a Divine 9 sorority or fraternity then a custom item, specific to their organization might be the way to go. Something as detailed as a tumbler etched with their line name or as thought out as a button-down sweater with a lapel pin can all be found online at 3 Sisters Embroidery. Prices range from $5 to $200.

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