Wednesday, October 04, 2006

From the Cradle To The Grave

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Congratulations, you have a healthy baby boy!

The Y chomosome. The determining factor as to whether or not you are bringing a female (XX) or a male (XY) species into the world.

In Nathan McCall's book, Makes Me Wanna Holler, he talks about the very moment his girlfriend gave birth to a son. Where there should have been joy, he felt grief. He felt burdened, and he felt the burdens of his son.

As he should. As professional and educated as men of color are, they are still subjected to violence.

Generally speaking, the element and stench of concern that is passed down is usually generated towards the female population, no doubt in warning of a sexual attack. Often times, you don't see women walking down the street at night, or driving with their doors unlocked, or anything that would provoke random acts of violence.

But our boys do.

My criminal justice professor told me, actually, that ALL men are subjected more to a violent crime than women. Criminals don't look for gender; they look for opportunities. More often than not, crimes are NOT random. However, the journalistic sensation that causes all of us to look a little harder at the ATM, double bolt our locks at the hiss of the wind, and decide to finally take that self defense course is aimed at the rational - and irrational fears, that violent crimes - sensationalized, depicted, and lusted after by the media - portrays.

In two years time, I have known or heard of at least five black men, killed over an argument gone awry, too much liquor, a hit and run, or anything in between.

  • My hairdressers brother was at a party and was murdered while someone was shooting as someone else.
  • My friend's nephew was murdered over cross words to someone else.
  • A guy I went to high school with and his girlfriend were killed by her ex boyfriend.

And so on and so on.

I say all this to say, that violence pervades our culture. And for those that say education is the key, I beg to differ. Sure, life is a choice. And there are those that grew up less fortunate that have paved a way for theirselves, as well as those that grew up silver spooned and turned out to be hot messes. However, we are a more educated culture then we ever have been, yet the things that invade our homes via the evening news and/or cnn.com that cause all of us shock and dismay have accelerated over the past few decades. That sounds like a moral fabric issue more than an educated issue, but that's another subject.

My intent is not to switch reels, so I won't. My concern, however, are what is happening to our men, our co leaders in this world, in a place where changing a tire can cost them their life. We add layers to it when there are socio economic factors involved. Where a choice that one makes is predicated on finances and emotional conditions. Trust me when I tell you that I am one for personal responsbility, but I often know that the role of a parent is one of encouragement, and if you can't get over that first hurdle, sometimes, the tangled web that you weave, cannot be unraveled.

I heart for our black men. I heart for all of our boys. I want them to succeed. I want them to lead. I want them to love, and I want them to live.

What do You See In The Future of Our Young Black Men?

This is dedicated to all of our menfolk: The strong, the powerful, the invincible, the loving, the babymakers, the comforters, the keepers, the spirtual guiders, the ones that make us laugh (and cry), the ones that throw down, the ones that say 'baby' and make us melt, AND to the ones that we have loved and lost - to the streets, and to the grave.

10 comments:

Miss Ahmad said...

first!
and happy belated birfday lovely legs:-)


well i believe that the perils the black man faces on a day to day have been challenging since the induction of slavery if not before. here stands the man who has watched his wife be raped, children torn from her bossom to be sold, worked for 400 years with one day off a week to worship and yet has survived in the face of adversity time and time again.

A genetically superior man, who cannot be stopped.

I look forward to the leaders this generation offers, to the insight of the youth into our future. The black man may always have challenges to over come, but historically he's always over come them, one way or another!

P said...

Glam. . .

Thank you for the (On time) birfday wish on My Space, and the belated on on here. . .

And I am in full agreement with what you are saying.

I am just saddened by the ones that we loved and lost.

1969 said...

Happy Belated to you Patty Patty.

You know, I am raising two black men. I strive to teach them so many lessons.

To put God and family ahead of everything else.

To be proud of themselves, their family, their history.

To know that they can achieve anything.

To have focus, drive, determination.

To not look for handouts.

To be leaders, not followers.

To make smart choices.

To respect women, elders and those less fortunate.

To say thank you, please and I love you.

I could go on all day.

They will face perils beyond belief in the upcoming years. I just want them to know above all else that their father and I believe in them, support them and are proud of them no matter what but we expect excellence.

Great post!

P said...

at the 69:

With two loving parents. Those boys will be A-OK.

Hey, NOT that all kids have two parents turn out like hellions.

I did okay. (Even though someone else probably thinks I AM a hellion).

Sangindiva said...

Happy Belated B-day Ms. P!!

This is a great topic.

As the mother of a young black man,
I can see the perils of being a black man
in this society... and the picture can be quite grim.
But I wish for ALL Black Men- my son included-
WISDOM, LOVE, Prosperity and Happiness and HOPE.

Our men will survive... our PEOPLE always do.

chele said...

I agree with the Diva when she says that our men will survive, but I want my son to do more than just spend his life surviving. I want him to LIVE. I want him to flourish. He is determined to do certain things in the future and I want him to exceed his greatest expectations. I want him to believe that NO obstacle is too great. I don't want him to get bogged down in the "white man keepin me down" BS. What I want for my son is the same thing I want for all young Black men ... I want them to believe in themselves and not to give up.

Happy belated B-day!

African girl, American world said...

Happy Belated Birthday Ma!

I'm back in the blogworld - Yay!
This post was so on point. You know this is a topic that worries me tremendously because like 1969 I'm raising 2 boys.

And you know they try to say that it is the ones from 1 parent homes and low incomes that turn out bad BUT we know that even the Carlton Banks of the world are not immune to the despair faced by black men.

Personally, I just believe that I gotta do my part and turn them into thoughtful, peace loving men and hope for the best!

African girl, American world said...

Happy Belated Birthday Ma!

I'm back in the blogworld - Yay!
This post was so on point. You know this is a topic that worries me tremendously because like 1969 I'm raising 2 boys.

And you know they try to say that it is the ones from 1 parent homes and low incomes that turn out bad BUT we know that even the Carlton Banks of the world are not immune to the despair faced by black men.

Personally, I just believe that I gotta do my part and turn them into thoughtful, peace loving men and hope for the best!

Damon Zuman said...

Happy Belated Birthday! This is my first visit to your blog and your post really stroke a cord with me.

The prevalence of violence in our community is a serious problem. There are certainly many causes but I wonder if one of them isn't the fact black lives do not seem to hold as much value as others (in our eyes and those of others as well).

Nothing substantial has been done for the Rwanda or Darfur Crisis yet the Lebanese-Israel Conflict kept the entire world on edge and started with the capture of just one soldier.

J. G. said...

WELL THAT IS A TOUGH QUESTION BUT ITS NOT ONLY THE YOUNG BLACK MEN I FEEL FOR THE YOUNG HISPANIC MEN TO THEY BOTH HAVE IT HARD.

SINCE I HAVE TWO BOYS I'M TRYING MY HARDEST TO SHOW THEM WHAT LIFE IS REALLY ABOUT:

*FIRST I TELL THEM THAT GOD SHOULD COME FIRST I HAVE TAUGHT THEM THAT THE MIN. THERE EYES OPEN IN THE MORNING AND CLOSE AT NIGHT THEY MUST GIVE THANKS TO OUR LORD FOR LETTING ENJOY ANOTHER DAY OF LIFE.

*I HAVE TAUGHT THEM THAT THEY MUST RESPECT EVERYONE NOT ONLY WOMEN OR OLDER PEOPLE BUT EVERYONE. THEY TREAT PEOPLE THE WAY THEY WANT TO BE TREATED.

*I'M A VERY OPEN MOM SO I TALK ABOUT EVERYTHING TO MY OLDER SON WHO IS 12, I TALK TO HIM ABOUT SEX. I DO LET HIM KNOW ABOUT THE DIFFERENT INFECTIONS THAT ARE OUT THERE. AND SINCE MY HUSBAND WAS 17 WHEN OUR SON WAS BORN HE KNOWS ABOUT SAVE SEX. BUT THANK THE LORD HE IS A LATE BLOOMER!!!

I'M SCARED OF A LOT OF THINGS THAT THEY MAY END OF UP WALKING THE WRONG PATH. BECOME DRUG ADDICTS, STRAY AWAY FROM HOME, BECOME GANG MEMBERS. EVERYTHING RUNS THROUGH MY HEAD, BUT I KNOW BY US AS THEIR PARENTS LEADING ON THE RIGHT PATH AND KEEPING THE LINES OF COMMUNICATE WIDE OPEN.