Black History Month: Black Men

Since I talked about the plight of black women last time, it’s only fitting that I focus on black men today. I don’t want to be accused of misandry, which is so mind-boggling to me that black women are accused of hating black men because I’ve read that black women actually do everything to protect their men, even at the expense of themselves. We’re accused of being emasculating, but the last thing we want to do is make our men feel anything less. I blame the Moynihan Report which pretty much says that the pathology of black women is the problem of the black home. Enforcing self-hate much? Anyway, that’s a discussion for another day.

I want to talk about black men, more specifically, black boys. The killing of young black men is an epidemic in this country. People may call it playing the race card, but I think that is just willful ignorance, because I don’t understand how people can’t see that teenage black boys are an endangered species in America. It has become evident in these last couple of years that you can kill a young black man simply because he inconvenienced you and get off or get the lesser charge. Being a six foot tall black man with dreadlocks wearing a hoodie automatically makes you a suspect, and if you question why you’re being approached you’re deemed dangerous or armed or both. Am I wrong to say that cops are trigger happy around black men when I see on the news that a black kid who was running towards the cops for help after getting into a wreck just up the road was shot dead because he “looked suspicious”? I’m I too sensitive for being offended by people tensing up every time a black kid walks into a convenience store? And I always hear the rebuttal that white people are killed by black men all the time, but aren’t they always reprimanded for it? I admit that the media pushes this on us, but at the same time, we used to complain about the media only reporting about a black man when he’s committed a crime, so the fact that they’re finally talking about black victims is a good thing. I don’t get upset every time a white or non-black person kills a black kid. I get upset because the circumstances behind why the murderer felt this child had to die seem questionable, suspect, race related. When I say race related, I don’t mean racist.

The idea that black men are brutes was created by white/European scientists to declare their superiority. These are the same people who called black women promiscuous because of their big breasts, buttocks, and labia. Now here we are in 2014, and non-black, even some blacks, fear what actor, Jesse Williams calls a fantasy. They invented a myth based on someone’s appearance, then made themselves believe it to the point where interaction with this person becomes intimidating because of something they made up!. It doesn’t help when we have violent video games, music, television shows, etc. influencing everyone’s perceptions of the world.

The below spoken word poem touches on some of the points I’ve made. I have to give credit to people at Sanskrit Literary-Arts Magazine for posting this poem onto their Facebook for their Spoken Word Wednesday series. You can like the page here.

What are your thoughts on this poem? Do you think we’re being over dramatic when we say it’s hard for black men living in America, that we worry about raising our sons to fear the police, when law enforcement was supposedly created to protect?

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