To the Black Women that STILL Love Black Men

***This was requested a while ago, but it seems as if the timing is most appropriate now.***

Recently, it seems that black men have been attacked from every angle possible.  From the media coming at Obama’s throat, from black women, from another Tyler Perry production,  and even cartoons on youtube are having a field day magnifying the shortcomings of black men.  There was once a time that at LEAST, at the very least, black women would support and defend black men at all costs, but it seems most of those have jumped ship…  I say it is their loss because it is clear black men are still a prize…even white, asian, and latinos women recognize this.  And really how can you not see it?
Black men are fine…as hell.  Personally, I don’t see how a woman could ever abandon that godly physique.  Shoulders so wide and broad that they are strong enough to love you, children that aren’t his, your family, and your past.  And after a long day at work, his arms embrace all of you effortlessly and instantly relieving the stresses of your day.  It is with his magical touch that finally your guard can come down and the façades worn to appease corporate America can be taken off because in his presence you have entered a safe place.  And you value this because it is the place where you get to be just you.  Only his full lips can smack your cheeks that force the most genuine smile out of you.
Black men are confident.  As a matter of fact, black men set the bar on confidence.  He is confident about the things he has done and equally confident about the things he has never done.  You see, this confidence rests not on what he does but who he believes he is regardless of others’ opinions. It is that confident stride, whether it is the brother in the mail room or the one in the corner office, that grabs your eyes attention every single time.
Black men are strong.  I know this is a label often reserved for black women- the strong black woman.  However, the strength it takes to be a black man that goes day to day without the respect, praise, or recognition deserved is in a league of its own.  Often they have no voice at work or have to fight harder for gain the respect of his white counterparts, and then come home to black women.  Well, we know how that goes.  Even with his boys, there is only so much as men, as black men, that they can share without appearing weak.  So the load, the burdens, the pressure, the frustration, failures, hurt, and pain they just carry…silently.  Every day.  Yet, somehow they find a way to be the charming, funny, lighthearted yet soulful men in which we depend to always do what is needed of them without exception.
All they ask in return is a little understanding, respect, and allow them to be men without undercutting their efforts and roles.  I know, they are completely unreasonable, right?
So to the black women that look beyond what is fed to them through media outlets, to those women that don’t use black men as a scapegoat for their own issues, to those that love and believe in black men without exception, you too deserve an applause.  We’re fewer in number, so we have to make sure we cheer louder so our men can hear us.

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Can a Woman Raise a Man?

Women innately have superhuman abilities that when determined makes any task possible.  This is especially true when it comes to providing for the ones she loves.  Women have the unique ability to balance a career, school, and family all while carrying a life.  Women can also manage their careers, education and own businesses and make it look easy.  However, women do have limits that no matter how hard they try they cannot achieve.  Taking into account the state of black men and the black community, the limits of motherhood may make it near impossible for a woman to effectively raise a man.
As much as I applaud single mothers and their tenacity and determination to give their children their absolute best, collectively I am not sure how good of a job black women have been doing raising productive black men alone.  Just based off the results of children coming out of broken homes by looking around my immediate and national communities, it is obvious that the current system is failing.  If you had a job where you worked 12 hour days, worked overtimes, never slacked, always gave your best yet still didn’t perform well I don’t believe anyone would fault you.  Similarly, the role of the single mother, though gives her best, still may fall short.  The reason for this is solely due that raising a man was never intended to be done by just a mother.   It requires a man to teach males how to become men. In the same manner, it takes a physicist to teach physics, and an engineer to teach engineering.
Originally, I thought that only men were needed to teach men how to be men. However, in having this discussion with some men, a man shared that it takes both a man and a woman to raise a man:
It takes both mother and father to raise a boy into a man.  As a boy grows up, the mother teaches the boy compassion and how to love.  This is why boys are closer to their moms.  At the same time, the boy is watching his dad how he does things, how he carries himself, the respect he has for the Lord, and how his dad treats his mom and interacts with others.  When the boy comes closer to being a man, he will need his father or a good role model to follow so that he can be the man that God wants him to be.  So to answer your question yes [a woman can raise a man], but without both that man will be incomplete, and he will have to learn the rest on his own. ~ C. Askew
I totally agree and this prospective sheds light on an otherwise bleak forecast.  A woman can raise a man with the help of a man whether it be the father or a good role model in her son’s life.  Or a man will try to fill in the void on his own which has been proven asking too much from a child.  I believe as a single parent, it is as vital as supplying food and shelter to seek and provide good role models for whoever is lacking in their responsibility in that child’s life.  In this parents will take the first step in raising productive children thus changing our communities…for the better.

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The Identity Crisis of Black Men: Big Meech, Larry Hoover

I’m a hip-hop head.  On any given evening after work, I turn on my rap playlist on my ipod and instantly become gangsta. On my commute home, blasting my music, and reciting lyrics- I am murdering cats; I am a dope boy; I’m balling out in my Lambo just living the life.  Then I get home, put my car in park, turn off my ipod, and return to normal.  It is easy for some to compartmentalize rap music as just entertainment.  However, it becomes the demise of a community when it is the most desired lifestyle because it lacks true substance.  It is even sadder when these rap artists are so confused on who they are they feel they need to portray drug lords to have a viable market and street credentials in the black community.  I have called it the “Big Meech, Larry Hoover” Complex.
Though I an not a black man, I have had lifetime court side seats, and I am the loudest cheerleader, supporter, endorser and sponsor for Black Men.  And from that standpoint, collectively, black men are lost and confused -some, most…not all.  They are trying to define themselves though socioeconomic status, religion, sex, and sexuality.  They have no idea what their role is in their family, community and society which is understandable because it is not like there are millions of examples running around.  And while black women are not far behind, I think there are more positive examples of black womanhood than black manhood.
So exactly what is the standard of excellence for black men?  Well, it varies.  There is not one definition of success for it can be achieved and measured a thousand different ways.  The focus should more be on setting a clear standard for failure- the denying of true self, circumstances, values and mores to mimic those images selectively dispersed through media for validation, economic gain, and/or achieve a certain status.  The face of what it means to be black and a man is vast; however there should be a collective agreement that black manhood will no longer hold the connotations of one that neglects his responsibility to his education, his family and children, his community and ultimately his respective betterment.
And while there is nothing wrong to have aspirations to be a hip hop artist, I would like to see more of young black boys say they want to be next Kanye, Common, Lupe, or Mos Def- those that are true to both the art and their own stories.  Then maybe we can raise the next generation to appreciate who they are and thus define the roles they play in their families and communities.  Then they may even to aspire to be teachers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and be the catalyst needed to change not only the images of black men portrayed in media but also globally redefine what it means to be a black man.

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To the Black Men That Love Black Women

I know we live in a supposedly post-racial society.  Yeah… no, I don’t believe that.  I do believe that most relationship issues transcend race and ethnicity.  But there is something to be said about black men that still love black women.
Of course, there is a lot to love.  There are the natural curves that create a flawless silhouette, the wide range of beautiful browns, the full lips & full hips.  Yes, any man can appreciate that from afar.  But it takes a special black man to handle the intricacies that come with loving a black woman.
Black women, to say the least, are opinionated.  Well, all women are opinionated.  However, black women are just a tad more vocal with their opinions.  We speak our opinions just a smidge louder than others.  We often upgrade our opinions to full fledged facts.  We are valiant defenders of our facts, I mean opinions.  We own our opinions/facts until the death; not our death of course, but whoever’s death that doesn’t agree with our opinion (figuratively speaking, of course).
Black women are beautifully animated.  Yes we could just tell you how we feel in a very stoic, docile manner.  We could.  However, we feel like you will get our point a lot better if we point our fingers, roll our necks, and wave our hands in the air.  Black women are natural pantomimists, except we add words.  We can tell any story to our friends and make them feel like they were there when it happened.  It is a gift.  Unless, we are arguing, then maybe it is a curse.  Yes we do curse, I’m assuming more than others, but only for emphasis and sometimes alliteration like an orator.  Black women are orators.
Black women are honest.  Our sharp tongue cuts the fat and goes straight to the point.  There is never a question of where you stand with a black woman- she likes you or she doesn’t.  There is little gray area.  Don’t ask black women any questions if you are not prepared to handle the candid truth.  We are also psychic, often delivering our input prior to you asking.  We are helpful like that knowing you would need it at some point.
Black women love hard.  We love our men, our children, and our various affiliations.  We love so hard as to ensure the intended receiver feels it…even if we are not there.  We give endlessly, selflessly to make sure those we love are taken care of to the best of our ability.  Our love, so strong, creates a bridge between our abilities and our needs.  We take on the needs of the ones we love as our own.  Then we take nothing, add our love, to create more than enough, not for ourselves but for them- our loves.
Black women are loyal.  We cheer the loudest.  We go all out to make sure we properly represent what we are a part of.  This is just to ensure everyone knows what we support because we realize that plays a role in who we are.  We are so loyal we automatically expect loyalty.  It seems like a rational philosophy.  We are loyal to you, so be loyal to us.  Maybe that is our sole flaw.  So we corrected it to maintain our perfection.
Black women hold down black men that love black women down like no other.  To the beautiful black men that understand and accept all of this is our saving grace because he understands that black women will infinitely be part of who he is.

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Code of Silence

“soooo….you good?” he confidently beckoned still trying to find his breath.
“mmm, wonderful,” she replied.
He grinned, mentally patting himself on the back, as he moved toward kitchen. “Where do you keep your glasses, babe?”
“In the second cabinet from the left…on the top,” she answered.  The sound of fumbling cabinet doors brought her back to reality but still too exhausted to move just yet.  The snap back to reality stirred several questions to mind. Will he stay the night or give an “I got to go” excuse?   They have been dating for several months now and after much convincing, she decided to take the leap….again. She had been talking to her girls about the likelihood that was indeed about to go down- that she was ready.  And they had all but said he would leave immediately afterwards. However, she decided to go with her gut.  And just as she was about to question her decision, he interrupted her thoughts.
“Here you go, fruit punch,” he said.
“Thank you,” she replied trying to remain cool.  As he leaned over to kiss her, she demanded her cheeks not to turn red. Or to ask what she really wanted to know.  Would he stay and what this now meant in their relationship. But she knew it was too soon, so she would just have to play it cool.
The stirring in the bathroom initiates the feeling of defeat.  Instinctively, she mentally prepares for his departure soon. To her surprise, he returned to the bedroom wearing nothing more than what he had before.  Her mind was asking a million questions but she said nothing. Simply waited. Silently.
“Hey, I don’t want to seem rude, but,” her heart stopped as he spoke, rage already building up. This is why she wanted to wait, until she knew…knew for sure.  The emotional roller coaster was too much to handle. “…But would you mind if I watch Sports Center to catch the highlights from the game I missed earlier today. Just want to see if my team won, then I promise I will turn it off and come to bed,” he pleaded. She smiled and breathed relief. Then breathed possibility.
An hour after he had returned to bed, she found herself still awake taking in the moment. She had promised herself to just enjoy it and give it time before taking inventory. Her internal debates eventually lured her to sleep.
Violent turns and mumbled screams abruptly interrupted the stillness of the night.
“What’s wrong?” she exclaimed in panic.
He opened his eyes trying to find his bearings. “Oh nothing. I’m fine. Sorry.”
But she knew exactly what it was, he had just had the same dream every black man she had been with before had had. She named it The Black Man’s Nightmare- the one thing they had managed to come together and secure in a code of silence.  She had always wondered what brought on the violent sleep. And while she didn’t know the cause, she had mastered the cure. She reached out to him and pulled him close, kissed his face gently. The light strokes in the direction of his fade comforted him back to sleep holding her tightly.
With time and trust, all of her questions were answered without asking any questions. For him, the nightmares stopped, and well, that told him all he needed to know about her.

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