This is a topic that I have long wanted to discuss. I know it 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 was not unlike many African Americans who have been touched by the consequences or aftermath of it.
My father abandoned me in the worm while my teenage mother carried me. I did not meet him until I was ten 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, which I used to raise my son and teach my grandson to include sharing the same knowledge with others, as I navigate the troubled waters of life.
We are, as a community, in crisis in terms of Black Empowered Men. These are men who give of themselves to the benefit of others, raising children, empowering the community, carry themselves with dignity and respect, but most of all “they represent”. So I believe, it may not or does not have to be your man but there has to be a man present in the lives of these children. If this was being done with vigor it would have a ripple effect. The home would be held together, the community would be greater, there would be development in the minds of our youth, and maybe the carnage that is taking place would cease.
Images are and have been projected of black men falsely, most often, glorifying our role in society as thugs, gangstas, criminals, buffoons, clowns, being worthless, and hopeless have permeated far too long. I know that many of you know that is not the case by enlarge. However, when you open your newspaper or watch TV that is how we are represented. I argue that this assassination of character should now be removed or at least diminished because the most powerful man in the world today looks like us, an African American. Adding to this, he leads a proud dignified family that is positively on display for the whole world to bare witness too, which says all things are possible.
The absence of the strong responsible black man holding it down, in the family and community, is destroying us as a people. Having said that, the purpose we live is to continue the species. 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”. We don’t know what challenges are ahead of us. Therefore, 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 existence. 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 little girl to chose a man if she has no model to base a relationship on? In addition, ladies please stop thinking that you can make your boy a man – you can’t. You can raise, teach and nurture him – but you cannot make him a man because you are not one. Now, to the ladies that are holding it down, I applaud you, I know what that enormous job is like – my mother did it and I was no walk in the park. If it had not been for Granddaddy I would be lost – dead or in jail.
I recently became involved with a group of MEN who shared my vision and passion concerning the issues that face our community. Hence, I became one of the hosts of the BLACK EMPOWERED MEN Radio show (Show link). Where our mission is designed to focused on empowering Black Men to step up to success in their Family, Spiritual, Business, and in their Communities. Join your hosts: Walt Laurel, John T. Wills, Victor Henry, Clay Williams, and James Price – EVERY THURSDAY NIGHT at 8 PM (EST).
We have also formed a Facebook group BLACK EMPOWERED MEN (Group link) where you are personally invited to join. We want to use this group as a vehicle to communicate with our listeners to provide us with feedback, suggestions, ideas, and issues you may like us to explore. In addition, please do your part to reach on teach one and get involved. Mentor someone and by all means Black Men – Stand Up in 2010…