I initially chose Counseling as my line of work because I know we’re at war and I wanted to be on the front lines. It’s a mental war that’s kept Black Men spiritually and psychologically disrespected and disconnected from our true worth and identity. Repeatedly traumatized by the moral callousness of an unjust system, many Black Men have found themselves suffering from emotional impotence and a crisis of identity.
The recent atrocities of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, John Crawford, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and more are painful reminders of an uncomfortable narrative that plays in the mind’s of every black man the moment we decide to leave the semi-safe sanctuaries of our homes.
Lately, there have been several messages American society seems to be sensationalizing leaving some black men to internalize a complicated inner dialogue about identity. As men, we innately take pride in our ability to provide, problem-solve and protect our women and families. But with the influx of racial disparities in America’s criminal justice system, there’s a questionable truth quietly whispering in the back of most black men’s minds:
“How can I protect my family when I live in society where I can’t even protect MYSELF?”
This unspoken truth impacted me when I listened to the Ferguson prosecutor Bob MuCallach sound more like a defense attorney as he issued his statement that there would be “no indictment” issued for the officer responsible for shooting the unarmed teenager Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO. Furiously disappointed about a truth that everyday I wish wasn’t real but it is; the game is rigged and everyone knows it. For black folks, it’s like the perpetually unnerving inside joke of being in a theatre, watching a scary movie and secretly rooting for the token black character to finally make it to the end of the movie; but it never happens. Our only sense of progress is the consolation prize of feeling a little satisfaction because at least they possibly made it to the 2nd act!
We’re tired, frustrated, confused, hurt, disappointed, betrayed, angry, scared, emotionally numb and confused about how we fit into a culture that seems to have little regard for our lives. Simply put, several American systems don’t support and aren’t designed to work in our favor. Police departments, the justice system, mainstream media, Hollywood, corporate jobs and so on… We’re unfairly profiled, prosecuted, portrayed and paid!
There’s a psychological sickening secretly spreading the emasculation of Black Men.
Our identity is constantly being compromised and challenged by the psychological undertones of a society selling a story that we’re less than. What’s lost most is the identity of who we really are vs. who we’ve accepted that we are. We come from a culture of Kings and Queens and haven’t had the opportunity to see ourselves in the light we deserve because of the constant conditioning of mass deception. Our history is rich with [facts not fiction] Proven by the scribes, statues, relics and artifacts left by our ancestors. Check the scrolls man!
So to my brothers I say this… I pray and speak life into every black man suffering in silence because of a system who says you don’t matter. You are MORE than who they say you are. You are MORE than who they think you are. You are MORE than who YOU think you are!
- Don’t isolate yourself
- Don’t cut off your emotions
- Don’t shut down
- Don’t stop voicing your opinion
- Don’t stop voting
- Don’t stop pushing the status quo
- Don’t stop believing in yourself
- Don’t give in or give up!
Your job is to provide, problem-solve, pray for and protect your woman and family. Be proud and relentless in your pursuit to persevere at ALL costs. We need more leaders like you. Our women need you, our daughters need you and most importantly, we need more Older Men to show these younger men how to BECOME Older Men. Forget about the distractions of who the media, marketing, magazines and music make you out to be… Step up and take a stand by believing and living out who God made you to be. A strong Black Man! Salute and condolences to the families of Mike Brown & Eric Garner.
Black Lives Matter!