We can’t wait for them to do it, nor can we allow them to make us feel ashamed to speak aloud and spare not. No matter how many drug dealers, thugs, murderers and single mothers on welfare they broadcast; we cannot decide to bow our heads and let them take our manhood. American history teaches us that the reason why African Americans are generalized is because of the institution of slavery. Our African bloodline was associated with slavery in this country and over four hundred years later this mindset is still prominent in general society. But the worst of us does not represent all of us. They too have free-will and have decided to chooseanother path that is self-destructive and self-serving to the negative narrative of today’s black man.
Should we be concerned? Absolutely! Should we be held accountable as men and fathers? Absolutely! But by no means should we relinquish our manhood because we have fallen short of what is expected of us. We are still men, maybe not the men we should be, but we can be. If we have the bloodline of gods and kings flowing through our veins then we can return to the majesty of our ancestors. This is why black history must go beyond the slave trade and the oppression that came with it. Egyptian history is black history, biblical history is black history, Moorish history is black history, Islamic history is black history, Malian history is black history, Mayan, and Aztec history is black history. In other words, world history is black history.
A history black men should not be ashamed of. Slavery and our current fallen state is but one ripple in time of our many contributions to this planet. Never let anybody make you feel like you’re hopeless, never let anybody make you feel like you are beyond redemption and never let anybody take your manhood. If they are determined to take your life, determined to take your freedom, determined to take your history; make them fight for it. Regardless of your background, mistakes, sexual preferences or religious beliefs…never forget that your manhood is a non-negotiable asset that should never be traded in to make others feel comfortable with who you are.
“Don’t let anybody take your manhood. Be proud of our heritage. We don’t have anything to be ashamed of.” These words by the late Martin Luther King Jr. told to a congregation not long before his death are timeless. Words dropped in the lake of time, thatripple effect still resonatesforty-eight years later.
Many believed Martin to be a passivist, but from these words, one can ascertain that he was far from a passivist. Martin understood what and who our people faced and there could be no victory against a hatred that has simmered for centuries through armed combat. But he was not an advocate of docile black men. Martin believed that men were to stand strong, even in the face of death and not waver.
Fast forward forty-eight years and the black man is still faced with the dangers of his glorious history and the melanin content of his skin. Although the black man is just a shadow of the African gods and kings of old, we should not be ashamed of our heritage. We have endured more than any culture on this planet and the war is still raging. Yes, we have lost our way, yes we have lost our vision, and yes we have lost our position with the black woman.
But these things are not a reason to lay down our
manhood and allow a hateful society to take it freely. Being ashamed of our actions is not the same as being ashamed of our heritage.
God’s greatest gift to mankind was free-will. Many equate freewillwith the ability to make your own decision and live with the consequences of those decisions. But that isn’t the greatest attribute of free-will. The most powerful attribute of free will is the ability to change, to be better or worse than you were. You could be born poor and die wealthy, be an unfaithful husband one day and devoted to perfection the next. A deadbeat father today and transform into the world’s greatest dad tomorrow. The possibilities are endless and it is through free-will the black man must find his salvation.
We have the opportunity to be better, no matter how hard this world judges or tries to punish us for being imperfect. We can be better. We can’t let anyone take away our free-will aka manhood by making us feel ashamed and unworthy of redemption. This society will show the worst of us and label the black man a lost cause. Yet everyday we see black men putting their shattered lives back together. We see our brothers, who started off on the wrong track finally board the right train. Yes, we would love for society to bring light to these stories of success, but as of today; they will not.
Magazine / March, 2017