Dear Black Men (Black Lives Matter)

Growing up I didn’t have many male figures to look up too. I thank God that I was blessed with two older brothers and a few male cousins. My mother took my father’s place because he was absent. I had uncles, but one was killed before I was born, and the other in and out of jail. I didn’t know the role of a Black male, I just knew that the women in my family loved  black men. There had always been a longing for me to connect to a strong Black present male. Growing up in Richmond California Black men/boys were all around me. Most struggling to survive, some fighting to make it out the hood, and some became a product of what they lived in, what they were exposed to (drugs, gang, violence, crime, sex). The odds were meant to be against them since they were born, the system was set up in a way where the Black male were destined to fail. Drug dealing, pimping, hustling were not what our black kings were meant to be. It was a way of survival, to eat, to make sure grandma and nem was straight.  I witnessed Black men in the community always becoming a victim of police brutality and they were constantly harassed. I always saw a Black males getting arrested and shoved inside a cop car on the daily, most times for no reason other than standing on the corner, simply walking, or driving.  I always observed police becoming hostile and alert when they interacted with a Black man.  I always wondered, why is it always the Black man? Aren’t they getting the short end of the stick already? Have they not been oppressed since they brought us from the motherland and across the seas? 

What was it about black men that cause the white man in power or the oppressor so uncomfortable? Their smooth melaninated skin? their knowledge? The fact that they are hip to the racist agenda?  their big broad shoulders? Their swag? Their demeanor? The size of their…….? Seriously, I could go on and on and on about my Black kings. It seems, they despise our Black men so much that they are willing to to kill, earn power, and recognition for it.  What makes it okay for a person who is obligated to protect us from harm, kill our father’s, sons, grandfather’s, cousins, and uncles? Where are the consequences? Where is the justice? enough is enough!

Image:
Tony L. Clark holds a photo of George Floyd outside the Cup Food convenience store on May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis.

How do i, a Black woman, protect my Black kings?  How do I advocate for Black men’s lives? According to US statistics, Black men and boys face the highest risk of being killed by police at a rate of 96 out of 100,000 deaths. By comparison, white men and boys face a lower rate of 39 per 100,000 deaths, despite being a bigger portion of the U.S. population. The risk is greatest between ages 20 and 35 for men and women overall, and men are far more likely than women to be killed by police”.  These statistics are frightening! this is excluding the count for the black women that have also been murdered. 

ahmaud-arbery-1588598208With recent slaying of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Sean Reed, Steven Taylor and countless others. The pot has boiled over. It has gone to the point of no return. People are outraged, just as they should be. I am outraged, broken, and furious that this continues to happen over, and over again, with no justice, no dire consequences. This could easily be my brothers, my uncle, or cousins. Condemnation and outrage aren’t enough. We, as a nation, black or white must come together to push for systemic change. I urge law enforcement and governments to join efforts and name the system of white supremacy that accepts acts of violence against Black people and other communities of color. This transformation must include thorough investigations into police assaults and killings, acts of brutality, reforms in state laws on the use of force by police, and nationwide changes in law enforcement hiring practices to expose implicit bias and meaningfully diversify staff with more women and people of color.  I believe that within the police academy it should be mandatory for recruits to take courses on racial sensitivity. I believe that there should be psychological assessments to determine if the recruits have have prejudices against other races. Officers who have more than two disciplinarian incidents involving police brutality need to be terminated and punished to the fullest extent.  We have been enslaved, we have been lynched, raped, and held down for too damn long. NOW is the time for HUMANS, regardless of cultural and racial difference to unite and fight for change. Change Is Now!

DEAR BLACK MEN,

I am deeply sorry that you’ve had to encounter so much hurt, pain, discrimination, obstacles, and backstabbing from those who look like you and don’t look like you. I’m sorry and acknowledge that you don’t receive affirmation, or value as a black man. Your not always edified by woman who look like your sisters. You are hated by most, not acknowledged as being great because of your choices and circumstance. You are portrayed as “evil” to the world based upon societal trickery and false images shown by the media (killers, aggressive, rapist, cheaters animals, liars, lazy, broke etc). 

If you have never been affirmed, i am proud and always ready to affirm you respectfully. You are valued, you are not your past mistakes. You are loved, appreciated, the head and not the tail. You bring have a valuable life to bring to the table. You are uniquely made under the image of god, your strength speaks volumes. You are supported through prayer, and protected by the almighty god. You are wonderful fathers, brothers, sons, grandfathers, uncles, god fathers, friends, business owners, creators, inventors, teachers, and helping professionals with something valuable to add. You are the epitome of god’s first creation, the rib that can never be shun behind closed doors of those “history books”.I personally would like to thank you for adding value to brown women like myself, and it is my due diligence to salute you, because you deserve it.

 

 

                                                                                                               Sincerely,

                                                                                                               A Black Woman

 

 

 

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Aye Yo! Play that Solange “A Seat At The Table” Album Right Quick”!!!!

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References:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Seat_at_the_Table

https://www.google.com/amp/s/abcnews.go.com/amp/US/family-man-killed-police-walmart-angered-lack-notification/story%3fid=70284327

Santhanam, L. (2019, August 09). After Ferguson, black men still face the highest risk of being killed by police. Retrieved May 31, 2020, from https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/after-ferguson-black-men-and-boys-still-face-the-highest-risk-of-being-killed-by-police

Feature photo:https://www.positive.news/society/i-am-not-a-stereotype-the-photo-campaign-that-celebrates-black-men/

Pic Credit: https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/

https://abcnews.go.com/US/cellphone-video-shows-georgia-jogger-allegedly-ambushed-gunmen/story?id=70509641

Breonna Taylor Photo: Google

Sean Reed Photo: Google

5 Things Every Black Woman Needs To Hear From Their Significant Other

As a black woman in today’s society it’s hard for some to  acknowledge struggles that black women face in society and have faced for years. We are wives, mothers, daughters,  and entrepreneurs, but yet i feel that we are not acknowledge enough by our people and by our men. We work, go to school, bear children, cook, pay the bills, do the shopping. We are expected to do all this and perform to the highest standard in the bedroom. There are rewards and incentives that should be implemented in order for us to continue to feel like we matter, that we are needed and wanted. Everyone needs a little Positive descriptive acknowledgement(PDA). I learned of this through my early childhood education training’s. The term (PDA) or positive descriptive acknowledgment is basically praise we give children when they act on a positive interaction or behavior, it is used to build a child’s confidence and to encourage more of the positive behavior. I believe adults need this also. Who wouldn’t want to hear praise in great detail? I know i would feel warm inside if someone acknowledged my good actions and qualities. To use PDA on a woman is Not just saying “man babe that fried chicken was good” but describing the positive action or behavior “babe dinner was delicious i appreciate you taking the time to make this meal for the family”. Not only do you try this with your significant other, but try it on your friendly cashier at a local grocery store, your bubbly waitress at your favorite restaurant, even a helpful retail employee, i promise it does wonders. Take notes! Black women need to feel appreciated! Which brings me to number 1:

1. I appreciate you

From picking our kids up from school, to grocery shopping, doing laundry, cooking, making kids their lunch, making the husband his lunch, it is in us to nurture and take care of our family. When we do meet needs of our family and go far and beyond we just need a little something to show that the people we take care appreciates our acts of care and pure well being. So when a man comes home to a clean house, dinner, and some nasty adult behavior It helps to let your lady know “thank you babe” be specific on what your thankful for “thank you for cooking my favorite meal, thank you for cleaning the house, thank you for putting the kids to bed, i really appreciate everything you do for us”. Women need to hear this daily!!!!!!

2. You Are Loved

Women need to know and hear that we are sexy no matter if we have wide hips, big behind, or non existing breasts.  We as women tend to pick our bodies apart and compare our bodies to other women’s bodies, i know i do, but when you have a man that loves your weight, stretchmarks, saggy breast, flabby arms, wide thighs and much more you realize that what society considers beautiful doesn’t matter because you have a man that thinks you are the most beautiful in his world, the Beyonce to his Jay- z , the Jada to his Will. When i have one of my days where i’m not feeling what i’m wearing and insecure, sometimes we need our men to make a deposit to our confidence bank. We would like to hear ” you are right for me, every part of you is beautiful,you are enough, you are my queen”. When i hear these words something inside me rises, my confidence goes from 0 to 100 and i feel confident in my own skin, not only do i know i’m sexy, but my significant other knows it too.

3. You Are Respected

Would you ever disrespect your mother by calling her a bitch or a Hoe? would you want a man or woman to call your daughter out of her name and abuse her? So why do we do it to our women? I have been called a bitch, and i have heard women being called bitches and hoes. The same women that you are calling a bitch is someone who contributes to this world. As women we need respect, we want respect, we demand respect. Respect is what we have earned, people respect all women/men no matter what decisions or experiences that women have gone through. When there is no respect shown, that can’t  be reciprocated. We have to set an example for the younger generation. We have to teach society that women carry a lot of power, a power that men alone cannot hold. Women, we also need to set boundaries for ourselves when it comes to us respecting ourselves and other women. When a man/person acknowledges that you have boundaries and expectations it leaves no room for disrespect. My favorite author and life coach Iyanla Vanzant stated ““We have such a rich culture and in that culture, there are roles and purposes and powers, we live in a society now where women are commodities, where women are demeaned, diminished, demoralized in ways that we accommodate, And if we really understood who we are as feminine representations of the creator of the universe, some of the things that we experience in life — like crying when the unemployed boo boo leaves us , if we really understood who we are, we wouldn’t be so apt to let other people define us and confine us. We are out of order!”. Ladies we must respect ourselves, we must carry standards and believe in our morals in order to gain the respect that is deserved and necessary.

4. Its Okay

As women we are expected to be superhuman. Work, raise the children, prepare the meals, clean, fold laundry, picking up and dropping off kids at school,  hold down the house And while the husband is away, still keeping our personal dreams alive, but at times it can become overwhelming mentally and physically. Some of us might be depressed, drained, and loose sight of our own happiness and what we want. When we hit a stump in the road and we feel like we are not in control, when it’s too much pressure, too much demanded tell her it’s okay, tell her she Doesn’t have to take it on by herself. Every great man needs a greater woman to stand next too. Becoming a team and keeping open communication supports the union and love between lovers.

5. I can’t do this without you

So many responsibilities are put on “The man of the castle”. Whether it’s his job,  bills, household repairs, men can’t do it all without a strong woman behind him supporting him. Just because men are strong, does nor necessarily  mean that they can’t feel or become overwhelmed. At times i believe that men can be just as sensitive as women. Men go through challenges, hardships, loss, and self doubt often. Men need a woman that’s going to listen, a woman who is loyal and honest, a woman that is going to give him the gut wrenching low down dirty truth. Men need to feel like they can trust their woman with everything. When a man feels secure and know that you are down for him with the utmost  loyalty, they will want you there through all life challenges. When he is down on his luck he will look to god and to his woman to pick him up, when he gets laid off his woman should do whatever is necessary to make sure the family is taken care of while her man looks for work. He shouldn’t have to carry the load in his own, he needs support from his woman. When challenges and obstacles arise, women should hear “i can’t do this without you babe, i need you”.

 

Ecclesiastes 4:9: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?”

 

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 Photo Credit: If Beale street could Talk film (2018)