Thursday, April 14, 2011

Black men ... still struggling, apparently

I recently had a very deep conversation, on twitter, with an old friend. Now, this guy is familiar to me ... meaning, he should know how I talk and my ability to present a counterargument that is both knowledgeable and a little sarcastic, but apparently I went a little too far. You'll see what I am talking about in a second.

Just a little background, both @ALogan100 and I are from Detroit, the eastside, I am older, we went to college literally 10 miles (or less) from each other, his alma mater is Eastern Michigan University and as some of you may know I went to the Univ. of Michigan, just down the road in Ann Arbor. But the schools couldn't be more different. Eastern is about 80% black, while Michigan boasts a wavering 5%. However, coming from Detroit Public Schools, I like to think that both of use had enough sense to make good of any situation.

Now, the conversation between myself and @ALogan100 stemmed from his comments on the struggles he's facing as a black man. His tweets caught my eye because (1) I had just had a great conversation with another follower about Detroit's renewal, and I was already riled up, and (2) when people start talking about black men, I like to be all in.

So, @ALogan100 was making comments on how the black man really hadn't been given his due, there was no justice being given to equalizing the plight of black men against, say, the rest of the men in this country. My argument was "it's getting better" which I backed up by adding that the amount of hardship and struggle has e
xponentially decreased in the years of American history. I think that my buddy didn't yet seem to understand my point, I wasn't knocking the struggle, just shedding light on the fact that its been worse.

Last year, everyone and they mother (ie. momma, for my black readers) was chiming in on the plight of black women, how we can't find a man, how we are always angry, and with the rise and fame of Basketball Wives and the Real Housewives of Atlanta, apparently we were all golddiggers, fighters and tattoo covered. From Steve H
arvey to GMA host Steven Stephanopolous, every man had something to say... keeping up with the trend Tyler Perry put out like 27 movies about black women. But no one was talking about black men ... apparently, they were having a hard time too.
I did a little research, found some good points from Trumaine McCaskill of the A&T Register who wrote in his article "For Colored Guys",

"Our education does not make us an exception to anything. The cops still harass us, we still struggle to find a good black woman, and we still try to show the generation who follows what is right and what is wrong. However, if the stories of educated black men are continuously ignored, then maybe we will continue to fade away."

I understand where he's coming from. In the news this week Kobe
Bryant was fined $100k for calling someone a homophobic slue, Barry Bonds allegedly took steroids and has been in court for the past few months, the NFL is not paying
its players and they are taking out high interest loans and having bunch of kids outta wedlock ... then there are the gangsters, the rappers ... and on the other side of the spectrum, there's President Obama, Hill Harper, Denzel, preachers, male teachers and the such. None of which in the news, but what young black boy (the at risk of being lost in a system, not everyone else) watches the news? I'm looking at the big picture. The news can say one thing, you can have a bad interview, the white lady may still grab her purse tight, but what does it matter if the next generation doesn't prevalently live to both gain a momentum and decrease the stereotype.

There are opposite sides of every spectrum, black men have been pushed around... mistreated and misunderstood, however in order to get into a better place, please recognize the progress. There are currently less black men in college on athletic scholarships then on academic scholarships. There is a rise in responsible single parent households ran by black men ... I know of three myself, in Detroit no less. Black men are realizing their potential and entering the world fashion, the blogosphere, photography and education. The prevalence of positive r
ap amongst new rappers is gaining popularity, whereas they talk more about the "lifestyle" rather than bitches and hoes ... and emphasis is being placed on the "grind" rather than sitting back and smoking weed, playing video games and other tomfoolery. Would these instances be the straw that breaks the mantra that "its not cool to be smart" amongst black boys? Would it decrease the belief that being lazy is the same as being smooth?

What's next for the black man? A little more than 135 years ago blacks were still slaves, in 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson gave the race a little elasticity as they fought for equality, but still faced segregation. Less than 20 years after that the NAACP was formed which began a trailblazing fight for positive treatment in America, then "Birth of a Nation" came out ... which I thought shoulda been called the "History of Racism" and "Roots" should've been titled "Birth of a Nation", just saying ... both cinematic productions were groundbreaking in the history of the struggle of black people. But, in the words of Jay-Z (a black man and the epitome of the bootstrap method), on to the next. What now...what happened, has progress halted?

I think were we went wrong was seperating the struggles of black men and women. The crack epidemic killed a ton of fathers, broke up a lot of homes, leaving women and mothers to make strides on their own. Did they want to us to wait for them to get clean, and to get outta jail, or to wake up from their "woe is me" mindset? Apparently, yes.

Black women have been groomed by this country to be leaders and matriarchs, while black men have found a place in their struggle, which to me, is nothing but taking the bait (I mean, whoever took cocaine and bought it to the hood would've given it to anybody to sale, it just so happens, that most of the dealers where men). I am by no means saying that black women have it made, in my entire conversation, via twitter, @ALogan100 kept thinking I was "angry", he diminished my arguments by saying I wouldn't understand, and that he didn't want to "fight" ... and even when I assured him that we were simply conversing, that no anger was in my words, I felt he wouldn't be moved. He had placed me in "angry black woman" category ... was he looking for a way out or just a little sympathy? Did he want me to concede and instead, give him a hug, rub his back and sooth him with an old negro spiritual?

Um... not gone happen babe. I understood completely what he was going through, all black women should, simply because we've been standing next to them, visiting them in prison, taking care of their kids while they "hustle", watching front row center at how they've dealt with the extremities of mistreatment and a struggle to lead our entire race into a bright and shiny future in this country.

But when it comes down to it...

We are the masters of our own fate. If you want better, ofcourse you have to do better ... or sit back and wait for better legislation to come out to even the playing field, or get another sandbox, and play there.

TTYL ...oh, to view the convo between me and @ALogan100 ...copy this URL in ur browser http://keep.la/dXbGny

No comments:

Post a Comment