Mr. Humphreys had remarried in 2014. A month before he knocked on Ms. Burke’s door, his second wife died from Covid. He missed talking to Ms. Burke. “I didn’t feel I was as compatible with anyone else,” he said. “We had the same friends, we liked the same music.”
On Oct. 10, 2021, Mr. Humphreys went to pick up Ms. Burke for a date. In her living room, he surprised her by getting down on one knee and proposing. “It was difficult,” Mr. Humphreys said, meaning the knee part. “He looked uncomfortable,” Ms. Burke said. Her yes came quickly.
Ms. Burke’s daughter, Tarana J. Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement, was among the first to know about her mother’s engagement. Her elation, Ms. Burke said, was contagious. “As soon as we announced it, everybody was like, ‘Oh my God, this is so great,’” she said. That included her son, Malcolm Green, and Mr. Humphreys’s six children. “They wanted to know why we hadn’t done it already,” she said.
On Oct. 1, they were married before 55 mostly vaccinated guests at Maestro’s Caterers in the Bronx, which had been chosen for its convenience. “We’re seniors now, and it’s close,” Ms. Burke said.
The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Felicia Smith, the senior pastor at Parkchester Baptist Church. Tarana Burke was matron of honor. Mr. Green walked his mother down the aisle.
During the wedding ceremony, neither had forgotten the sore knee from the proposal, particularly after they were pronounced married. “Right after the ‘now you may kiss the bride’ part, they suggested we jump the broom,” Mr. Humphreys said. “I said, ‘If you think I’m jumping over this broom, you’re crazy.’ Everybody was laughing.”
Instead of leaping, they took a pause. Then they stepped over, hand in hand.