I love black men.
This ain't to say that I have anything against any other man. But this one here? It's not about you.
Because I love black men.
I can't take all the credit for this. This love came from intentionality. My parents taught me the importance of loving a black man. Nah, they didn't teach me to hate anybody else, but they taught me that loving a black man was so very different. We share the same experiences, we walk through this world with the same judgmental eyes on us, they carry an invisible weight on their shoulders too.
They have to walk through this world with a certain duality that deems them both "unassuming and non-threatening" to appease the delicacies of society, while also remaining strong and unstoppable and the leaders of their household. They have to be able to code switch on a dime and can not be viewed as weak. So much so, that asking, "#YouGoodMan?", has become more than a casual greeting, but a platform to allow our men to feel safe in actually wavering.
Black men are apart of who I am. And there is nothing on this planet like them.
Leaving a year that was particularly rough on our men, one that we have almost all mutually decided to put in rice, where many of us felt literally stricken with fear to have one walk out the door, unsure that they would return to us alive — it is vital to say this out loud. Sure, it may seem that in our own intimate circles that we shout this love out often. And we do.
I say, we gotta say it to the world. To the people that look at these black men as thugs, a nuisance, a general menace to society, I find that it is our job to state that we love them all. They are sons, brothers, husbands and fathers. Each and every one of them is human.
I am a black woman. There has been much word on the street (them Twitter streets, in particular) that black men are not down for us. They don't ride for us. They don't stand up for us. They don't marry us. I could hit you with all the facts that are totally contrary to this notion. (Like the fact that 88 percent of black men are actually married to black women). But how much would that move you?
Crawl out of that bubble, guys and gals.
Maybe vocalizing it isn't a strength. However, many, many of these men step up to defend us just the same. Outside of the little niches of the Internet world. They understand our glory as well, our resilience as well, our strength as well, our loyalty , our versatility, our MINDS, and...our passion.
They stand in awe of us. As well.
Seek them out. If that is what you need to feel ok supporting them. Cause black men and black boys are also a powerful force in this world.
It is ok to show them that we love their "magic" too.