In my last post, I talked about making space for my father. (You can read it here.)
Today, I want to take it a step further, and talk about making space for Black Men.
Let’s be real—we are QUICK to villainize them. “We” meaning society, yes. There is no doubt
That society has empowered masculinity—toxic masculinity—that has crushed so many things
and people. But we do it as Black Women, too. #ownit
Think about this for a minute:
We know Ike beat Tina’s a#$, but do we throw away the records? We know that Beyonce’s father
cheated on her mother, but do we discount that he raised two girls who are killing the game? We
know that Venus and Serena Williams’ dad was point blank crazy, but look at what he produced!
Now, don’t confuse what I’m saying here. I am in no way excusing domestic violence, or
adultery, or anything else.
I’m saying that we have amazing women who had their fathers in their lives, and they have done
something exquisite. And we don’t ever credit the dads for any of it. We remember the s%#t they
don’t do right. The media circulates all the bad things, and we focus on that.
We never count the fathers who stayed. We never count the fathers who have full custody of
their kids, or the ones who work three jobs to send their kid to school, but because they were so
frickin’ TIRED, they couldn’t be “good” dads.
You know what I’m saying here? We don’t talk about that. We don’t talk about how it was a
Black Man—Garrett Morgan—who invented the gas mask. We don’t celebrate that. All we see is
Black Men getting shot or going to jail. We don’t see the ones who hold it down on a daily basis,
who take the hit for us.
We don’t see them, but that doesn’t mean they’re not there.
It doesn’t mean that there are some Black Men in our lives who have been rolling hard for and with us, and that we just didn’t see it, because what we remember is the alcohol or the beatings or the abandonment.
We remember the hurt.
And I’m not saying that hurt isn’t real. It is there. And it should be there, because it made you
who you are.
But do we discredit the entire human being for being flawed? Do we?
This is a real question for me.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please comment below, so we can bear witness.