Friday, July 19, 2024

We Do Have an Effect on Black Men.

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( There is lot of discussion about toxic masculinity. Many sisters are definitely disappointed, though supportive, at the state of black men. We don’t appreciate not feeling beautiful to them. We don’t appreciate the abuse, and their part in rape culture. Though misogyny may not be inherent to them…we are disappointed they have picked it up throughout the generations of us being in this country. We don’t understand the weakness in our men, and want it rectified. We want to feel protected, and supported by our men personally, and in community. It is even important to note that some of us feel this way regardless of the statistics on the matter. Our personal experiences have shaped, and in some cases even, jaded our depiction of our men. In saying that we feel the same has happened to them. Too many of us don’t know how we can help save our men, nor return them to our homes. Though some may get ready to argue “we tired of saving black men” …it’s important to note we are not saving them…but we can do this for our sons.

Honesty is a virtue often demanded, yet it is equally required. Yes, black men were once black boys that have fathers that need to step up to the plate and raise their sons to be strong black men. The fathers have father’s that should have stepped up to the plate and raised their sons to be strong black men and had that happened the men we have now would be stronger. This is a viable argument; the only problem is it leaves out the mother. Black women have a direct effect on black men because they give birth to them. Black men need to evaluate their role in fatherhood to better assist their sons, and as mothers we must do the same. First, and foremost, some of us must be honest with ourselves and do what is in the best interest of our son. Meaning, some fathers are good men and want to be good fathers but because, for whatever reason, our relationship with that man has ended we cut the relationship between the father and son. This is the easiest area to address hence why its first. As mothers our primary concern has to be the well-being of our child. If the dad is trying to raise his son properly…let him so that your son does not become the black men you speak of.

Raising a black boy in America is hard whether both parents are in the home or not. It is thoroughly acknowledged that there are many fathers raising children as single parents…more than we realize. Though, as mothers, we love our children equally raising a son and daughter is a bit different. We want our boys to be strong, yet we have there urge to shield them from everything…even the things they need to face. There will be days we feel fathers are too hard on their son. However, sometimes what the father is trying to teach him is how to be a man. Ladies this is something we simply can not do. We can teach our boys compassion, and nurture them but we don’t create the man in them…we are tasked with validating said manhood. To the best of our ability we must pour into them the things that will cause them not to be everything are upset about. We must allow them to understand the importance of choices and protect them, but not to the point that we break them. We must demand they be gentleman and defend them ferociously when girls threaten that teaching. One way to stave toxic masculinity is by showing him his body and personal space is just as valuable as a girl. He isn’t a punching bag, and he is not to suck it up. Reacting for him in the same manner we do when our daughters are violated will help nurture his humanity.

As mothers we must show them grace, class, culture, beauty and the sheer power and beauty of a black woman. The first encounter they will have with these things is us, and though society will push another image of beauty to them mother is still god in the eyes of a child…and mother is the ultimate goddess in the eyes of a little boy. We must work to be the best version of ourselves for us, and our children. If our sons grow up hearing us talk down to them, not care how we represent ourselves nor them, and feed them negativity can we blame them when they bring someone else home. They are basically running from us in running from black women in general not realizing we are not a monolith. Of course, dad has a part to play in this, and we can’t forget over 80% of married black men are married to black women, but both parents must do their best for the children. We must have the strength to evaluate ourselves in what is happening to our children, and why the expectations of our sons are not being met.

I am the mother of a black boy. He is precious, affectionate, smart, and very strong. I see my strength and that of his father in him. When I pick him up from school he lights up when he sees me, and I don’t ask him to turn down. I expect him to be respectful, I demand he respect others male and female, he is being taught to be a gentleman, and that all life is precious. Recently, a woman asked him who is pretty, and his response was “my mommy is pretty”. Though my heart was glad I realized I need to be the best representation of a woman, and a black woman for my son. He needs to understand the greatness of black women not only from his father, grandfathers, and uncles…but from his mother, grandmothers, and aunts. I charge his father with making a man of him, and even on days that it is hard to watch, because that’s my little one, I will stand in solidarity with right teaching because I know manhood is not something I can give, but when he looks in my eyes he will know I expect and see greatness in him.

We have an effect on black men because we give birth to the boys that will one day be men, husbands and fathers. As mothers we can instill plenty in them and expect greatness of them as we better ourselves every day. We should expect no less from our sons as we do our daughters. We can truly help save our men by how we raise and interact with our sons.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

May connect with this sister over at Facebook and also Twitter

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