Lead By Example – Black Men Represent, Represent!

Hello World!!!

I love me some black men! I will say it again: I love me some black men! Now before you think this is a post about dating, let me stop you right now! No, it isn’t. However, the subject of love and relationships may enter this post. But as much as I love the brothers, I feel like SOME of the brothers could do better in a few areas. Read on before you get mad. 🙂

I, like many other black Americans, am still grappling with the fact that the president-elect of the United States of America is a black man. (Yes, I know that he is officially biracial as many would like to note, but y’all know the deal…) And so, there must be a legion of lessons to glean from this most incredible moment in history.

What comes to mind at this moment is how President-Elect Barack Obama’s background mirrors the stories of many in the black community and he has still managed to make it to the highest office in the land. First of all, he is the product of a single parent household. I cannot vouch for other areas of the U.S., but in the A, many, if not most, of the black men I come across are the product of single parent households. Though my father is Jamaican, he is also the product of a single parent household. And by single parent, I’m talking about a single mother. At various forums and in personal conversations, I have heard and believe that growing up without your father, particularly for men, can really impede a person’s progress in a variety of areas. But with Barack’s example, I hope that black men who suffer from this deficit realize that they, too, can rise above their personal history and “jump at de sun.”

With Barack as an example, I hope that black men start to realize that marriage isn’t the kiss of death. According to a very vocal and dear friend of mine, she thinks there is some sort of disconnect when it comes to black men and marriage. She constantly tells me that in working in her profession, she has noticed that marriage for white men is like a rite of passage starting anywhere from age 25 or so and up. It’s just understood that an average white man will get married, and marriage is probably a rung on the ladder of success for him. For black men, she noted, marriage is like a hit or miss endeavor in which an average black woman has to engage in a game of “catch me if you can.”  Well black men, take a look at Barack, having Michelle at his side has definitely been an asset – don’t you agree?

And while we’re on the subject of our First Lady-Elect, Michelle Obama, I want to point out a gripe I’ve heard from black men. I was told very recently by a black man that part of the reason that black men sometimes don’t want to get married in the same way that white men get married is that black women tend to be unwilling to submit in a marriage whereas white women are more compliant. Umm, I don’t know for sure obviously, but I don’t think that Mrs. Obama is waiting for husband to get home so that she can say “whatever you like” like that woman in the movie, “Coming to America.” She may even be “running things” while making her huzzband feel like he’s really the one in charge. (Aside: If I were Michelle, I would go on up to my nearby flea market and order me a red baby doll T with words ‘Mrs. Commander-In-Chief’ printed on the front, but I digress, I digress.) Here’s the deal, due to slavery and other remnant societal conditions, black women have had to be more assertive and black men have been made to feel less than, but we can still do this. Yes, we can!

And let’s put this baby mama and baby daddy stuff behind us, if you big and bad enough to make a baby with somebody, be big and bad enough to stay with that somebody and create a family. (I know this is impossible and even unfavorable in some cases, but do your best.)  Being a part of an intact family is truly a beautiful though imperfect thing. Even at this age, it’s comforting to know that I can stop by our family home and that both my Mom and my Dad will be there to support and encourage me. Families are the fabric of this society, I am starting to learn. And don’t we have the most precious first family! (At least as of Jan. 20!) Sasha and Malia are sooo adorable! Every child deserves to have the covering of a mother and father!

I could say a tad more, but I’m sleepy!

Any thoughts?

P.S. This poem by one of my favorite poets, Nikki Giovanni, is a bit outdated, but I love its message. I love black men. Take a listen. Ms. Giovanni once sent me a card in which she complimented a poem I wrote about being stood up. I was in early ’20s. It really happened:)

 

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~ by jackieholness on November 10, 2008.

8 Responses to “Lead By Example – Black Men Represent, Represent!”

  1. Excellent entry! I truly believe our people will return to the pride we had in the sixties. It was something to experience, and with President Obama setting such an awesome example, his influence can’t help but have an effect on our men.

  2. Barack Obama’s next book should be titled, “Marriage – a rung on the Ladder of My Success”.

  3. @dkwatts

    U crazy!:)

  4. I agree with you on some fronts regarding the concept of marriage and the necessity for it. What I don’t understand was your need to be “Mrs. Commander-in-Chief”. Your male friend who is frustrated with the competitive attitude by some black women was substantiated with your declaration that if you were Mrs. Obama you will be the Co-Head of State. This further supports the notion that you don’t know how to play your position by needing to perform his job with him, which is what you are saying when you are the Mrs. C-i-C. In the case of our new first family, when our new President takes office and asks his wife for her advice/opinion, it will not mean she is his Co-Commander-in-Chief. She will be his wife and that is what a wife does without feeling the need to be an interloper on his job. I fully believe that Mrs. Obama will be a “wife” in all that that entails. After a wife provides her counsel, she should simply step-off and let him do what he can do on his own: be his own man, capable of making the final decisions.

  5. Additionally, can we stop this crap that white women are these docile creatures that take anything thrown at them. When I hear that, I know immediately its being said by someone that doesn’t really know white women. In today’s world women of all races speak their mind as well as there are women of all races who don’t. And make no mistake before First Lady-Elect Michelle accepted the job offered by Valerie Jarrett, Pres.-Elect Obama’s Transition team Co-Chair, to work at a law firm, Michelle said I’d like for you to meet my fiance. In other words, they are a real team. They rely on one another without smothering, trust one another, because deep down they know that can only achieve great heights with each other. The right amount of push and pull without foolish jealousy. Now that’s really what’s up.

  6. Well said, Inan.

  7. Great post! First I would like to say I have been a single father for over 16yr and black men have been stepping up to the plate as fathers. So maybe if we spend more time saluting those brothers instead of the dead beats we will create a positive chain reaction.

    And the lacking of marriage in the African American culture is not only the black men fault. It’s very easy to place the blame on the black men.Just like everything else in the African American community…. Both black men and women have a fault in this.

  8. @ Mark, thanks for your comment! Welcome to my blog! I hope you come back often!

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