WHY I LOVE BLACK MEN
A few months ago I submitted a story proposal to a leading female glossy magazine, suggesting a good news story on black men in South Africa. My focus was to be on men who look after vulnerable and orphaned children. My motivation for doing the piece was to contribute toward the positive affirmation of black men, in mitigation, for their many crimes. Men are feared and loathed for many reasons, most of them statistically true and valid, some are not so valid. But be that as it may the high crime rates in country, rape cases, corrective rape cases, women and child abuse ,don’t do them any favours. In fact I think you can list anything wrong in this country and find a link to a black man. Women from all races and nationalities complain about black men, with some black women always lamenting that the “good” ones are taken by white women or are batting for the other side .(but that’s a whole other story).
So in terms of image black men are suffering, even I feel a lot of empathy for a few good guys I know. Because I genuinely love them I thought instead of adding fuel to the fire by writing about the bad news we already know, let me write about what we don’t know about black men in South Africa. Men who are genuinely caring, loving, and treat women as their equals that they truly are, who love, care and provide for their children. You know what they say “Seeing is believing” so I hoped this article could help contribute towards managing the negative perceptions that women have about black men in general and inspire other men to rise up and contribute towards positive change. A piece that says guys, it’s not all black men who are like this. But clearly enough of them are, like this, from the street corners to the office of the President to warrant an emphatic no from the editor, who turned down my idea. Of course it’s neither the first nor the last time I will get a no for an answer, still I was disappointed. I honestly wanted an opportunity to give a positive spin to the black man story.
Maybe I didn’t succeed in selling the story because I myself was not fully convinced of the good news story I was trying to sell. Why? Apart from a handful of men, I don’t have bucket loads of good things to say about black men or men in general from all races & nationalities. I really want to say good positive things but I’m tongue tied. I find myself in the uncomfortable position of trying to sell men as positive contributors in a divided society of us against them, men against women against men. It’s an either or atmosphere, and I am always inclined to choose the middle ground. Being dark Swiss Chocolate is not as easy as it sounds, but it’s certainly delicious.
So how do I, as an individual woman make a positive contribution? I will tell you why I love men and black men in particular and to that end will paraphrase a quote to illustrate my point: someone once said you can never really know someone until you’ve seen their dark side and you can never really know what it means to love until you have forgiven. In the case of black men I know both. It is because of this that I can say without a shadow of doubt that I love and appreciate black men for so many, many lessons. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
- They taught me the value of speaking my truth
- They taught me never to expect anything from anyone under any circumstances
- They taught me to stand up for myself, literally
- They taught me how to be truly independent and self-sufficient
- They taught me never to depend on anyone one and only trust with a pinch of salt.
- They taught me to put myself and my needs first, always and without fail.
- They taught me how to use my emotions wisely. To be strategically charming
- They’ve taught me to laugh, hard at myself
- They’ve given taught me what it means, what it actually takes to forgive
- They’ve taught me how to be mentally and physically strong
- They’ve taught me how to be resilient.
- They’ve taught me to never give up
- They taught me to never take things seriously, especially sex.
- They’ve taught me to assert myself with confidence.
- They’ve taught me the value of time
- They’ve taught me what it means to be kind and generous.
- They taught me how to be brave.
- They’ve taught me the meaning of the word: courageous.
- They’ve taught to me how to be clear, precise and unflinching in articulating my needs. What I want. And to go after it.
- They’ve taught me to never take no for an answer
- They taught me the value of moving on swiftly
- They’ve taught to me to never ever look back
- They’ve taught me to stand by my convictions
- They taught me what it means to have principles and stick by them
- They’ve taught me that people can change, and do all the time, without notice.
- They’ve taught me discipline
- They’ve taught me the true value of friendship
- They’ve taught me to always be sure. Of who I am
- They’ve taught me the value of having a plan, b, c , d, e etc.
- They’ve taught me how to be creative, infinitely
- They ‘ve taught me how to make do with less, to nothing
- They’ve taught me how to play, seriously.
- They’ve taught me to face my fears, head on.
- They’ve taught me about balance
- They’ve taught me that success is not about working hard, but working smart
- they’ve taught be so be solution focused
- They’ve taught be that love truly is a doing word – how to act and do
- They’ve taught me how to love and love unconditionally, because rarely are conditions good enough for them to love unconditionally.
They’ve taught me how to be a woman, actually, and to embrace every curve and every edge. They taught me how to love all her perfect imperfections, to adorn myself with pearls from all my tears and diamonds for having come out shining bright from the blazing hot coals of the inferno they call love. I love black men and men in general because today I can stand, tall, poised, with confidence, in Power, without guilt, sorrow or shame. I can stand proud because I know who I am: A woman, solid as a rock. Black men are the only ones I have ever “allowed” to push me so hard and so low that I was left with no choice but to stand up and fight with all my that I am. To rise and reclaim my crown and be the queen I have always been. I owe you the greatest gratitude. You are by far the best teachers of Self-love and respect in the world. Through you I have learnt and know for sure that what does not kill you definitely makes you stronger.
I honestly, cannot ask for more.
- Love Song to Black Men (daratmathis.wordpress.com)
- 5 Ways Society Prevents The Development of Black Boys Into Men (atlantablackstar.com)
- Sociologist Says Fear of Being Racially Profiled Keeps Black Men from Jogging (clutchmagonline.com)
- Hot Discussion: Are Black Men Afraid of Successful Women? (hautespott13.wordpress.com)
- An Open Letter of Apology To Black Men (thoughtprovokingperspectives.wordpress.com)
- Black Power Is For Black Men (hansl8.wordpress.com)