For years now there has been a constant back and forth between black women and black men. Whether it's a discussion about sex work, colorism, or misogynoir, the black woman's standpoint is always on the defense. And why is that? The same patriarchal oppressions black women have dealt with forever. Having to sacrifice their lives, dreams, and hopes for the black man all just to get an inch, they're tired.
     
As black men, we still have yet to acknowledge the constant pain we have caused the black woman. Even when all they want is basic human rights we deny them that. The same rights us as black people have been fighting for, forever. So how can you cry racism and oppression when you won't even acknowledge the pain you've put your own woman through. And even through their own oppression still, go out and campaign for the same men that don't value their worth.

Then there are some black men that reply with "not every black man is the same" so to that, I say "Are you sure?". Because not one man can end years of oppression, but you have the power to tell your homies to stop dogging the black women. You can convey the message that a dark skinned woman isn't an unattractive woman. When will you stop cheating on the black woman? When will you stop telling black girls to sit, and look pretty, and just smile?

The black woman is no man's property, she is his equal. When will you stop leaving the black woman that has given her all to you? When will you treat another black woman the same way you treat your mother? Are you going to break the cycle the men before us created, or are you going to be like the man that left you at age 10? Do you want to be a "real man" or do you want to be a good man?

So you can "never chase a b***h" but you can't say "I apologize"? You identify with what your favorite rapper said until he tells you "A man who don't take of his family can't be rich"? When it comes to accountability, you're nowhere to be found. Us as black men have taken black women for granted too long, then we cry when they leave us for "lame ni***s". I can text you "wyd?" but not an "I love you".

Now I'm 50 and sorry that I didn't do the inner work before I met you and that's how I ruined you. I took you for granted for ten years, now "I have my shit together"? I'm sorry that now you left, but what about when I forgot your birthday? Or when I blew off our anniversary to hang with my guys? You made me better, but you're not here for me at my best. All of your hard work goes to someone else?

I almost made you disappear, I broke you. I took your heart and your spirt, but it made me better? I lived on your back while you did the real heavy lifting. I played the game, I destroyed our family. I'm the reason our kids don't know me. I gave you those scars. I took your freedom, then told you to move on. I became your slave master all because a man is supposed to be a man, or is it that I didn't want you to know your worth? To know I really was trash like you thought when you first met me. I told you, you should be lucky to have a man. I said single mothers didn't deserve baby showers, even though I'm the reason you had to be one. This is my apology, I told you I'm sorry, so why don't you come back?

Or is it that it's my time to move on? Maybe I didn't deserve you then and don't deserve you now. So what do I do? You were my guiding light and I used you until you couldn't shine again. How do I end this cycle, I did the acknowledging, now what?

LOVE.

You made all those sacrifices, so maybe it's my turn. I need to start again. I need to teach my son to respect you. I need to teach my son that not everything is his. I need to tell my son that he needs to work on himself before he can judge you. If I'm a "real man" I'm going to tell my son that no means no. My son needs to know that he is not entitled to you, you are not is property. Just like you are not mine. You are a black woman, and I love you.