To my Black men: we are like an endangered species. I believe we’re decreasing in number, and it’s been happening for a long time. Some people notice it, and they either want to change the situation, pretend it’s not happening, or let it happen. I’m not an expert on this, but I’m concerned, and I believe we can rise above being “endangered.”
One of the things I think is being stolen from us is the father figure in the family. Not only the government has promoted it, but our own folks. The responsibility of the father has decreased, and it has negatively affected our nation. If we look at the actions of the children, we will see that some of them are responding from an absent father figure. There are men who are proud to take on the father role, and we ought to encourage that, and there are males who want to avoid the father role every way they can. I want to encourage an increase of fatherhood because the children will look up to the father with aspiration. I’m not a father or an expert on this, but coming from a single-parent household there are lessons young males need that fathers can teach, and a lot of us are missing those lessons.
Another thing I believe is being stolen from us is our identity. I believe we don’t know who we are, and our identities have been tampered with for ages. We have allowed people, some not being a good representation of a confidant, tell us who we are, and it wasn’t fulfilling. The people closest to us, like family, friends, and mentors, help us shape our identity, as opposed to folks who rarely see us. I’m Christian, and I have learned that my identity is found in Christ, and I recognize that others aren’t with me when it comes to that. What I found is that if we find our identity mostly in our job, our possessions, our relationships, our social settings, or others things,and it’s taken away from us, we could feel like we have died. Material possessions and our jobs don’t make us who we are.
We have been seen as people to avoid for different reasons. Some of us were seen as dangerous without any evidence that says so. Our problems have been gated around us as if it doesn’t affect everyone else, but it does. We have been seen as unequal, though if education and opportunities were equally distributed, people may less likely see us for the color of our skin and more for our character. We were sometimes looked at as though we can’t make a contribution, when we have been so innovative to where I’m surprised at what comes from us. We, as Black men, come from different cultures and upbringing, but that doesn’t make all of us the same type of person. We’re different and unique.
I think the negativity laid upon us has plagued us for years. It’s like we were cursed, and I don’t know what we did to receive it. I believe we can’t rise above this “curse” partly because we don’t want to take action, and I’m guilty of that. Some of us have seen the struggles strong leaders went through and avoided taking up leadership, but we must take up leadership in order to rise above the negativity. It won’t be easy. It doesn’t require taking siege of a capital. Some of it requires taking responsibility. Some of it requires standing up for what is right. Some of it requires hope. Some of it requires not harboring bitterness. Also, the color of our skin is no reason we should receive negativity from other ethnicities as well as our own. I believe when we become positive of who we are, we can overcome the negativity.
I haven’t scratched the surface of what I wanted to say, but I encourage you all to be wise, educated, responsible, always learning, always loving, never bitter, always persevering, strong, and courageous. I pray that we all will no longer be endangered, and one day be seen as just people.