The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife,–this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. – William Edward Burghardt Dubois
Power. Dominance. Respect. This, among others, is what was stripped from us during slavery. This is what turned men into boys. This is what turned Kings into the lumpenproletariat. These issues affected us for generations to come, and affects us today. What defines a man? What does it mean to be a Black man today? Our manhood is threatened everyday and is defined by our brute strength, insecurity, and paranoia which in turn causes us to “homoeroticize” a heterosexual man. We have always searched for that status of MANHOOD, while referring to our friends as “BOY“. We have always searched for that status of EQUALITY, while referring to our friends as “NIGGA“. We have always searched for that status of RESPECT, while demeaning the homosexual community and saying “PAUSE” to an, otherwise, heterosexual moment.
We must redefine masculinity and patriarchy in our community. How can we abolish these epidemics that, more times than not, leads to the demise of the men in our community? The same ones that are failing out of school, disrespecting our women of color, living at home with aspirations of being a rapper (at the age of 40), and the ones that father 4 or 5 kids with no intent on paying child support.
Divide and conquer. This phenomenon described above is another form of separatism. The gap between Black males and Black females have widened over time. This is referring to economic, educational, and employment. We are in the same struggle. The absence of patriarchy teaches our men it isn’t important. A single mother can’t teach a boy how to be a man. With this absence, who are teaching our boys to be men? Turn on the TV. Open a magazine. Listen to Watch the Throne.
What does it mean to be a Black man today?