7 Sisters Speak On Black Men
A while back, we posted “7 brothers speak on black women,” a piece that shed light on black men’s thoughts about us queens. Now it’s time for the ladies to take the mic. As promised, here are the views of seven sisters on black men.
“The first example of a good black man I had was my father. He passed on last year, but the values he taught me, what he taught me to look for in a man, they’ve stayed with me. I admire black men (like my dad) who are strong-willed. One who puts his family first. One who looks at his kids and says proudly, ‘Those are my kids.’ My dad showed love and respect to my mom and us kids. He treated my mom like the queen she is. I would like to see all black men treat black women the way my dad treated my mom.”
“I don’t think it’s fair the way some parts of society looks at black men. I hate that they seem to expect black men to fail. I love it when black men succeed; when they prove that part of society that looks down on them wrong. I love seeing black men go after what they want and achieve it. I love seeing ambition in a black man.”
For me there’s nothing as attractive as a fine black man. Black men have a higher level of fineness. I admire their swag, too. A black man can be in his 60s 0r 70s and still have that signature black man’s swag. On a heavier note, what I’ve seen is that many black men don’t realize their potential. And if you don’t realize your potential, you can’t live up to it. What black men need to ask themselves is, why don’t they realize their potential? What are we doing wrong or what are we exposing young black men to in their developmental years, that makes them unaware of their own potential to achieve greatness? Listen, I once sat this young brother down, and I asked him what he wanted to do with his life when he came of age. He said ‘I haven’t thought about that yet.’ Now, this young brother was 17. At 17, you’re supposed to have some thought to your future. When I asked him why he hadn’t given any thought to what he wanted to do with his life, he said-he looked at me right in the eye, and he said ‘I’m 17 and I’m lucky to be alive. I have friends that ain’t even lived to my age. At this point I’m just grateful to still have my life. All I dare to be is grateful. It’s too much to dare to dream.’ Listen, his words tore me apart. We have young black men that are so scared of losing their lives that they don’t even plan for a future. They’re afraid to plan for a future. Isn’t that sad? We need to somehow erase that fear in our black men. It’s the only way they’ll live up to their potential.”
The biggest lie the black man was ever told was that he wasn’t worth anything. And the biggest mistake he ever made was listening to that lie. Have you ever seen a black man work? I mean, put his hands to anything with a purpose. Black men work so hard and so well. From mowing a lawn to working at the office, when a black man makes up his mind to work hard, he works so hard.”
Because of what has been plaguing some black men; that is the lack of a stable home and stable upbringing (a lot of black men were raised in dysfunctional homes), many of them never knew what love was in their formative years. They never had examples of love around them. This would have been passed on from one generation to the next; you can’t teach what you don’t know. So if a black man was not taught how to love, he in turn won’t be able to teach his sons to love. Many black men don’t even realize that they have these issues, and if you don’t realize you have issues with love and showing love, you won’t address those issues. Because these black men with these issues exist, people tend to focus more on the negative and not on the positive; they tend to label black men with these issues as ‘players’ or ‘bad men,’ and fail to take notice of those who are actually trying to do better. On the other hand, there are many black men who grew up in broken homes and dysfunctional families, but manage to break the cycle and become excellent family men. One thing I admire about black men is their willpower. Their ability to push for success against all odds. Brothers like Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder who were musical geniuses despite their disability. I admire their drive and ambition.”
“I don’t think all of society sees black men as negative or sees them in a negative light. There is an area of society, however, that tends to scrutinize black men and amplify the negative. There are good and bad men in every ethnic group. However, these parts of society that pick black men apart tend to focus so much on what is negative about the black man only. I believe in the good black man. He exists, whether some folk want to admit to it or not. I admire the strength that black men possess in the face of the prejudice they encounter every day. Another thing I love about black men is that they tend to be very passionate lovers. We’re a hot-blooded people as a whole (chuckling).
“I want to be as real and as honest as possible on this topic. From an early age, I was poisoned against black men. My grandmother, who was a black woman herself, used to say a black man couldn’t be trusted. She would say, ‘a black man’s mind is as black as his skin,’ and she didn’t mean it in a good way. She meant that the black man’s mind was a dark place and that dark, deceptive thoughts lurked in it. She taught that to my mother, and my mother taught it to me. As I grew older, I began to understand what was really going on. A black man must have hurt my grandmother. Consequently, she became bitter toward all black men. She instructed my mother to expect little or nothing from a black man, so, naturally, my mother didn’t look for a black man with good qualities. She settled, and when she got exactly what she settled for, she complained. She blamed it on the black man’s blackness. This poison went in and through me and shaped my thoughts on black men, and as I grew, I heard myself repeating the same hateful things that my grandmother and mother had said about black men. I didn’t believe they were any good. I didn’t even think they were capable of feeling or showing love. Then I ended up having a boyfriend who wasn’t black. And he was one of the worst boyfriends I ever had. And I realized, a man’s ethnicity doesn’t automatically guarantee that he’ll be good, and the flip side of that is, a man’s ethnicity doesn’t guarantee that he is bad. We have to stop believing these lies about black men; that they’re worthless, that they can’t get anything right. We have to stop putting that negative energy out there. If we want the rest of the world to respect and uplift the black man, then we as black women have to desist from tearing black men down with our mouths. It turns out that some of the best friends I’ve ever had; some of the kindest and sweetest men I’ve met are black men. We have to keep in mind that black men are HUMAN, and it is their humanness that causes them to make mistakes like everybody else; not their skin color.”
The mic has been dropped. Many thanks to the sisters who so eagerly shared their thoughts. Stay tuned for black couples speak.
By: Danielle Dixon
Follow her on Twitter: @tooprettydani