Black Boy

 

tumblr_oir22lphAy1voya57o1_540
Credit: captain america civil war(2016)

Dear Black boy,

I can see your broken, i can feel that you had no one to guide you. Were you missing the man, the king known to be your father? did you hear his voice? did he put his masculine arms around you? did he tell you to stop crying when you fell? did he play ball with you? did he teach you about Malcolm X? Dr. King? Huey p. Newton? I have a feeling he didn’t, i can see you, a little black boy lost in a world full of racism, judgement, and discrimination. When i look at you i don’t see a grown man with facial hair. I don’t see height, or your broad shoulders, or your masculinty and a smile that can open the gates of heaven,  i see a boy, a scared boy, a boy who was forgotten, abused, unloved, and used.

I can tell he wasn’t there to talk to you about a queen, and as in queen i mean your mother, sister, aunt, cousin grandmother great grandmother,  the future mother of your children. He never told you what you needed, what you deserved, how, when, and where to love a woman. Did he talk to you about intimacy between a man and woman? did he teach you to protect yourself? did he teach you to be patient? follow her lead? did he teach you to never ever call a woman  a bitch or a whore? Naw, he didn’t. Now your a boy who has fathered children with women who hold no self-worth. You can barely teach your sons and daughters how to survive, how to  rightfully demand respect from society and the opposite sex, let alone how to have respect for themselves.

Did he teach you to ride a bike? count change? open a bank account? Did he encourage you to study hard? find a job and help your mother with household responsibilities? did he teach you how to tie your shoe or fight for your life when you were getting bullied? did he encourage you to read the bible? hold the door open for women? attend sunday service? Did he sign you up for sports? did he attend your games? was he cheering you on? did he help you study? did he teach you the words of langston hughes, Gil scott Heron, and james baldwin? did he teach you about your people? your ancestors who were brought here on ships, sold into slavery? Did he tell you what they died for? what they fought for?  did he teach you how to drive? Did he teach you to say “yes ma’m and and sir? did he teach you how to tie a tie? Did he hug you? Did he pick you up after a heartbreak? did he listen to your hopes and dreams? but most importantly, did he teach you to comply with the law? No, he didn’t because your jobless, uneducated, lack motivation, scared of you you are and what you might become can become. No, black boy, you’re robbing and stealing,and grinding, for a ticket to sit on that pedestal so you can shout from the top beating on your chest “SEE ME! I’M RIGHT HERE!  No black boy, your laying up making children, not married, cussin women, degrading women, the same woman you came from, THE BLACK WOMAN!

Oh, black boy i’m sorry that your father left you stranded to figure it all out on your own,  i’m sorry black boy that he left you for his own selfish reasons, and now you’re another statistic, a disgrace, another “black man of the system”. I feel for you black boy, but i can also heal with you, carry you, support your goals, listen to your worries, your fears, share your responsibilities, i will help you build our empire.

Black boy ,a wise man once said “Father” only means that you’re taking care of your children that’s what it is to be a father. “Father” doesn’t mean that you’re havin’ some babies. Anybody can have a baby. Havin’ a baby does not make you father. Anybody can go out and get a woman. But not anybody can take care of that woman. There’s another word for it: It’s called ‘responsibility.”    -Malcolm X

What you need to hear black boy is never kneel, look up and Stand, you are a king”.

 

Fatherless: How I identified Love

 

tumblr_my88rhP15j1s6mz0eo1_500
Credit: tumblr

By the time I graduated high school  I expected to attend college, and leave my first high school love behind. I moved to another city and I was not prepared for what my high school love had planned for the both of us, so i reevaluated and made the decision to leave.  I went through a tough in transition, I really wanted to step outside of my shell and experience what life could be like without him, my gut told me that it was time to start anew. I applied to a university in the city in which I lived, that didn’t go as planned so I tried Jr college.  I didn’t know what I wanted, or how I was going to get there. Not only was I having trouble figuring out who I was, I was figuring out the male psyche. When I look back I was quite naive, gullible, and just dumb.  I never wanted anything serious since my high school breakup. I wanted to experiment, see what the universe had to offer. I wanted to find out what type of guys I was into, I wanted to find out if the guys I took interest in took interest in me. I met a few suitors but they just weren’t too my liking, there were phone conversations, meet ups, and make out sessions but nothing serious. I was just how do the old folks say? “Hot in the drawers” what 18-year-old girl isn’t? From 18-21 I was looking for something in every guy I encountered but I just couldn’t identify it. You know how they say every fatherless girl looks for their father in the men she chooses? Well I had no idea who my father was , I just knew he was a coward for l leaving me and my older siblings, so I accepted any attention that was brought my way. I identified love as intimacy, sex, a physical connection. I had no idea that love didn’t omit sex. I thought sex was the love. That’s what I thought the first time I had sex, he must love me enough to sleep with me right? He picked me, little old innocent me when he could be pursuing another other young naive girl, he must love me.  I didn’t know what love was, I equated love with sex and lust. I figured if I gave my body, a piece of me away that love would come eventually.

But the love never revealed itself, instead insecurity set in, lack of self-esteem stepped in, Shame and hate filled me, not love. I wasn’t given the tools by my father or any male figure on how to identify love. How could I have known? How was I to know what to look for? Not having my father around set in around my middle 20’s. So I reached out and my father and I started to build a foundation but it still wasn’t enough for me, it lacked substance and meaning. Reconnecting felt rushed. I blamed my father for every heartbreak. I thought “if only my dad was around to comfort me and pick me up after a boy broke my heart I wouldn’t be this broken this gullible”. “Would he defend my honor? Would he dry my tears? Would he say “baby girl daddy’s here I got you”.

black-father-giving-piggy-back-ride
credit: mybrownbaby.com

 

I needed to hear him say it, I wanted to hear him say it, it was necessary. My mother could only convey what she felt about men from a woman’s perspective. She put up her best effort to guide me but the fact of the matter was I needed a real man, I needed a father. After a life altering transition my eyes became open to what men had offered, pain, heartache, and lies. My eyes grew wider with each passing moment, and as they grew wider my heart became cold and dark. My life no longer upheld light and serenity. My life became a place for depression to dwell. Through my depression came clarity, through clarity came self-love, through self love came, forgiveness, and after forgiveness came healing.

There were books that I read that helped me transition. Iyalnla vanzant’s “in the meantime”  and Elizabeth Gilbert’s ” eat pray, and love”.  A quote from Iyanla’s book really stood out she stated “When you need to be loved, you take love wherever you can find it. When you are desperate to be loved, feel love, know love, you seek out what you think love should look like. When you find love, or what you think love is, you will lie, kill, and steal to keep it. But learning about real love comes from within. It cannot be given. It cannot be taken away. It grows from your ability to re-create within yourself, the essence of loving experiences you have had in your life.”  I learned that loving thyself was the first step in healing. I had discard anger and resentment, I had to recreate myself in order to experience love. Our perception of love was distorted and unrealistic. I’m sure many black women who grew up without a father experienced so much worse than I did. I know many black women who have faced the same issues I have faced because we were fatherless. It’s a cycle that needs to stop. Little girls need their daddies in order to love themselves and to reciprocate love to a man. I know that my life experiences would’ve been a different  if I had my father in my life.