I’ve often wondered what our ancestors think about us and the continued situation black people must endure. They suffered and died, laid the foundation and this generation is complacent with regard to all they fought for. Let me put it this way in church lingo – “the black people of today are “back-sliding”. I am sure Malcolm, Martin, and Rosa are all disappointed!
I have long wanted to write something like this that speaks to black men and family. I know this is a very polarizing and controversial subject – but it is a crucial piece of the African American Diaspora. I think I can speak to this issue because I am not unlike many African Americans, who have been touched by the consequences and the aftermath of not having my father in the home. I, like many black, had to find my way in this system that does not want us to exist.
My beginning began something like this; this guy abandoned me while I was in my mother’s worm; she was a teenage mother. I never met him until I was about eight and have only been in his presence for maybe two hours in my entire life. However, my grandfather was the man in my life who taught me how to be a man. His teachings resonate profoundly within my every waking moment, and dare I say in my spirit. I used his teachings to raise my son and to also teach my grandson. It is my passion to share the same knowledge with others, as they navigate the troubled waters of life.
We are, as a community in crisis, in terms of Black Men, fatherhood, and family. We need men who give of themselves to the benefit of others, raising children, empowering the community, carry themselves with dignity and respect, but more importantly to “represent”. Now to the ladies, like my mother, it may not or does not have to be your man but there has to be a man present in the lives of your children. Particularly, your boys because they need to see a man to be a man!
It is my sincere desire to help people understand that there is a conditioning in our communities by those who control it. This is not an excuse, rather an explanation as to why these behaviors were never unlearned and has been passed down from generation to generation. Over my relatively short lifetime, I have been referred to as Colored, Negro, Afro-American, Black, and an African American, which were the polite terms assigned to make known that African Americans were not American citizens. We are in essence a nation of people living in a nation without a nationality.
Images are and have been projected of black men falsely, most often, glorifying their role in society as thugs, gangstas, criminals, buffoons, clowns, and being worthless have permeated for far too long. I know many of you know this is not the case by enlarge. Nonetheless, when you open a newspaper or watch TV that is how we are represented. This assassination of character should now be removed or at least diminished because the most powerful man in the world today looks like us – African American.
The absence of the strong responsible black man holding it down, in the family and community, is destroying us as a people. I was taught a very significant lesson early in life, and reinforced every day of my life, by my Grandfather who said, “I raised you to be a man and as a man you don’t know what you might have to do but when the time comes you do it”. My interpretation of that daily message was preparation plus opportunity equals SUCCESS and that the difference between a man and a boy is the lessons he learns.
These platitudes are essential to the survival of our children and, frankly, our very existence as a people. There needs to be a man in the lives of these boys, and girls, because a father’s roll is to be an example, a role model, to guide, direct, and pass on the wisdom he’s gained. For example, how can you expect your daughters to choose a man if she has no model to base a relationship on? In addition, ladies please stop thinking that you can make your son a man – you can’t. You can raise, teach and nurture him – but you cannot make him a man – because you are not one.
It’s a shame that many parents are unaware of the consequences of “Stand your Ground”, yet you and your children can tell anyone how many points LeBron scored, Beyonce and JayZ’s latest single. Or what’s going on with Kevin Hart, Denzel, and Oprah! I am not being a hater here, but you see what I see and you know our young people are out of control and perhaps our generation is at fault here. I am sure if Big Mamma could come back she would wipe our butts and the children too.
Now, to the ladies that are holding it down, I applaud you, I know what an enormous job that is, my mother did it, and I was no walk in the park. Get mad if you will but our ancestors who struggled and died for what we think is freedom taught us better than this and they are almost certainly rolling over in their graves. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…
We must do better!!!