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as a black woman i know what i see, and what i hear from my black male friends as to what some of the day to day struggles black men face are.

i'd like to invite my brothers here on aa.org to partake in a discussion revolving around YOU.

1. Vent, share, teach, or explain the things that you deal with in your life, on your job, in your relationships that make it hard being a black man? what are the myths? what are the truths?


2. What is great about being a black man in society? what do you see as your advantages, your strengths, your achievements?
what are the myths, what are the truths?

and finally...

3. what do "you" think could make your existence easier, less hassled, more understood? what could black women (your sisters) do to make your lives easier?

let's try to keep this positive...

your sis,
nyk Wink

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<small style="color: green; font-family: lucida sans unicode">"The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed." steve biko</small>
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I don't know about the other brothas but you'd make me a very happy man if you let me kiss those big juicy lips. We can both be in bed somewhere naked and.....wait....oops....my bad.....my mind just got carried away with me for a moment. I'm back now. What was the question again??? Big Grin

Seriously, it would take a novel to truly answer all your questions. To sum it all up though I'd say she would have to have a strong love for self (not vanity, love) and a belief in God.

There are some black women I vibe with, we have that IMPLIED understanding, one person can start a sentence and the other could finish it. That kind of deep, spiritual love that is hard to describe to some people. Those are the kind who will have your back no matter what, will have no problem in letting you lead and be the man because she believes in you. Of course, the man has to live up to his responsibilities and carry his weight.

But no matter what life throws at you, she knows how you'd react to things even before you do. Those kind of sisthas can be scary at times because they can see things coming sometimes before you do. But you KNOW they are going to react in a way that is beneficial to the BOTH of you.

Personally, I love being a black man in this society, especially today. There are some advantages to being a black man that I wouldn't change for anything in the world.

One that I love is if you are a black man who can think on his feet. You catch quite a few people off guard with that one because they don't expect you to come at that angle.
thank you for taking the time to start on the novel darkbuck. Smile i appreciate it!!

i'd like to see if i can get a little more out of you...aside from your daydreaming about my lips Wink. lol, you had me daydreaming with you...but why is it always about the lips...? Confused

back on topic:
you listed an advantage, but in your mind are there disadvantages to being a black man today?

are there any myths out there that a large portion of society believes about black men that are just unfounded? and are there things we believe that are absolutely true?

what kinds of things make it hard to be a black man today??

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Myths, truths...there are probably more myths than truths...a few are we are sports minded, don't know (or understand) technology, after women...regardless of ethnicity, always jovial, and aren't good with numbers. We also tend to get pushed to HR jobs, non-operationa positions, which hinder promotions, and EEO/AA, diversity work. The truth is that each one of us is different, just like them. Truths are that once we have gained confidence from our bosses, they shovel more work, just to sure we can produce.

I love being a Black Man...because we do exude so much "power". Our presence in a room can be amazing. I noticed that many times. My father once told me that one Black man can control 10 white men...and now I understand. There is a fear, particularly of the "violent" Black man. As an example, when the woman in one of Carolinas said a Black attacked and killed her kids, everyone assumed it was true. Or instance in Boston, when the white man did the same thing...we are easy targets for that.

I also believe because we are breaking so many barriers, there is a greater realization that we can be good...with our minds as well as our physical being. One of ironies is the white people will "fall over" backward to prove themselves non-discriminatory, which is a form of discrimination.

I believe one of the issues with Black women and men is the constant negativity that goes between the genders. The name calling and generalization doesn't do any good. The white man has pitted the BM vs. BF in the work world. He can have a BF in his office because she is still a female and is not a physical presence, i.e., the rooster in the hen house mentality. We should recognize that, and not compete against each other.
thank you Tigers37 for dropping so much knowledge in The Den!! Smile

the points you've made are on target from what i've seen and discussed with my circle of male friends.

i think the work place issue is a good one. in a different thread i briefly touched on the fact that we as BF might be doing a dis-service to our brothers by occupying corporate positions that could have/should have gone to him. im not sure how to correct this--jobs are scarce everywhere. i think to at least be aware of the fact that because we are women and a "non-threat" like you mentioned--we may be getting positions and actually taking them from black males. we also need to be mindful, understanding and supportive when our men find it hard to land positions--he has more working against him than we do a lot of the time. being a minority and a female--companies get 2 benefit points for having us on payroll.

thank you for sharing!!

there is nothing like the "POWER" of the Black Man! Smile

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The power of an African American male is exponential. I have found the first reaction to waryness followed, sometimes, effusive goodwill. When the room finds out your standing in the hierarchy, they change as your status becomes higher.

They then start falling into categories, those not against you, those waiting for you to fail, those amused watching "the dance", and those who accept you. Underlying all of the categories is the assumption, with all of its ramifications, you are there because of Affirmative Action.

If you are "the boss", you can paralyze a room, but you can represent the greatest of all fears, "a change in organizational culture." At least, for that location.

When an African American male is in the room, all European American males readjust. The perception will range from "threat" to "whazzup." It's a real study in American societal behavior.

The most "leveling" response I have encountered is when I am asked, "What do we call you?" I reply, "If I must be called something, Mr. Chester works best." some are to blinded by practice to "get it," and will say something like, "YOu know what I mean. Do you want to be call "black" or what." I get to say my magic words, I'm African American-American." The "word", whatever that is seems to get around fast. No one in the room ever broaches the subject again.

The congeniality level rises noticeably.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
Mr. Chester,

thanks for your feedback. i think you are getting to part of what this thread is about...the way society moves, bends and shifts around black males.
quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:
When an African American male is in the room, all European American males readjust. The perception will range from "threat" to "whazzup." It's a real study in American societal behavior.


you speak to this happening in either a postive way --trying to assimilate with comments like "whazzup", or negative way --looking forward to your failure or by feeling threatened.

outside of the work arena, what have your experiences been (positive and negtive) as a black man? i know the old (but true) example of women clutching purses, or locking car doors come to mind. any other shifts in society that you feel or observe?

what do you think your advantages are in being a black man today?

thanks!!

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There is much documented evidence of the AA community not only surviving but thriving during some of the worst periods in this country.

Black Wall Street was a thriving business community in Tulsa, Ok., back in 1921. There was 35 blocks of black owned and operated banks, grocery stores, resturants, etc. Whites destroyed it during a race riot where they even used airplanes to bomb the area. Over 300 AA was killed.

The numbers racket started in the black community in this country. I've just finished reading a book about how the numbers men invested heavily in the black community, banks, stores, etc. They took care of the needy in the community and started the Goodfellows organization that is still around almost 100 years later.

The two examples above is just a few examples of how AA, when left alone, CAN be self sufficient. When you KNOW your history and what you can do and is capable of, NO ONE can destroy that confidence.

Marcus Garvey wrote a book about the accomplishments of black men AROUND THE WORLD. Men like Shaka Zulu, Toussaint L'Overture who plotted a coup and overtook Haiti at the age of 50, Cinque who overthough a slave ship( AMISTAD )that had captured him and was transporting him to slavery. I could go on and on with examples but you get my point.

You can take that same drive and determination and apply it to something and KNOW that you will eventually become successful. However, you have to know yourself, unfortunately a lot of AA men don't know this.
Advantages...well, when I ride the bus to work, I can count on being able to have a seat to myself... Smile

There is a mystery or uncertainty with Black men, not knowing fully what to expect. Alot will be dependent on how we are dressed or how we converse. When I'm dressed professionally, I am treated in one manner, but in casual attire, totally different. The most obvious is how you are addressed...sir, may I help you vs. can I help you find something? subtle...Making the assumption that my dress determines my financial status or ability to know what I am looking for.
quote:
Originally posted by Tigers37:
Alot will be dependent on how we are dressed or how we converse. When I'm dressed professionally, I am treated in one manner, but in casual attire, totally different.


tigers, do you think this difference in treatment happens with non-black races of men? have you observed it, or in your opinion is it a racially motivated treatment?

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How about our abundant sexuality that we're supposed to have in society.

Cities were burned down to the ground like Tulsa, OK in 1921, and in Rosewood, FL in 1922, both due to a black man alledgedly raped a white woman, which I might add that yet to be proven to this day.

At best, the sexual stereotypes of black males makes us alluring. At worst, they could get us convicted as rapists (Tulsa, Rosewood, Mike Tyson, Kirby Puckett, Kobe Bryant, etc.)

I can say that when I was going to a predominant white elementary school, the white students (who I were friends with) started to become wary of me when we reached double-digit ages (10 and up).

Some asked me questions about sex like I had the sexual experience of Caligula. I'm like "Hey, I'm 11." Now some kids probably kissing or having sex at 11 or 12 in this day and age, but not in 1982. I was just as clueless as they were.

Nykkii, do you think those kids asking me those questions back then because of some sexual stereotype of black males they learned from their parents, or were they just naturally curious...or was it something else?
quote Huey: "Nykkii, do you think those kids asking me those questions back then because of some sexual stereotype of black males they learned from their parents, or were they just naturally curious...or was it something else?"

good question huey.

i'd venture to say it was a combination of overhearing things from their parents and just natural curiosity. i'd also bet that every small group of boys that were friends back then discussed sex and kissing...it wasn't just something that happened in your particular group of friends. its possible that subconsciously you may have even felt more put on the spot by the questions because of stereotypes you had heard about 'black male sexuality'. Confused

at that pre-pubescent age, i think all boys and girls are curious and eager to hear, and now a days experiment with sexual situations.

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here's what you've said so far:

myths:
  • we are sports minded
  • don't know (or understand) technology
  • after women...regardless of ethnicity
  • always jovial
  • aren't good with numbers
  • abundant sexuality


advantages:
  • if you are a black man who can think on his feet, you catch people off guard because they don't expect you to be able to contribute.
  • we exude so much "power.
  • easier for me to get into med school--affirmative action working in his favor.
  • being a black man has been a great help in attracting black women! Smile
  • CAN be self sufficient
  • the innate amount of "drive and determination" are the basis for his success when he knows himself.
  • society not knowing fully what to expect from a black man -- not sure, but i think this could also be listed under the "fear" disadvantage


disadvantages:
  • a fear, particularly of the "violent" Black man. (examples given the woman in one of Carolinas said a Black attacked and killed her kids, and the instance in Boston, when the white man did the same thing.)
  • If you are "the boss", you can represent the greatest of all fears, "a change in organizational culture." not sure on this one either-is this good or bad?


truths:
  • once we have gained confidence from our bosses, they shovel more work, just to sure we can produce.


accomplishments:
need some personal accomplishments here!! i know our men of aa.org have done some great things in their lives. vox...where are you?

black female support:
  • IMPLIED understanding. That kind of deep, spiritual love that is hard to describe to some people. Those are the kind who will have your back no matter what, will have no problem in letting you lead and be the man because she believes in you.


black female hinderences:
  • the constant negativity that goes between the genders. The name calling and generalization doesn't do any good.


what your sisters can do to push you forward: ?????? need some imput here as well--we would really like to know!

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quote:
Originally posted by Nykkii:
here's what you've said so far:

myths:

  • we are sports minded
  • don't know (or understand) technology
  • after women...regardless of ethnicity
  • always jovial
  • aren't good with numbers
  • abundant sexuality




for the board:

of the myths listed above...are there any that are actually true for the majority of black men?

and are there any listed (or not listed) that are TRUELY myths--completely false and inapplicable to black men?

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quote:

1. Vent, share, teach, or explain the things that you deal with in your life, on your job, in your relationships that make it hard being a black man? what are the myths? what are the truths?


2. What is great about being a black man in society? what do you see as your advantages, your strengths, your achievements?
what are the myths, what are the truths?

and finally...

3. what do "you" think could make your existence easier, less hassled, more understood? what could black women (your sisters) do to make your lives easier?


Sorry, I tried to post the other day but for some reason people keep trying to kill me...I don't get it.. Cool

Contrary to popular belief all of us cannot play basketball, like fried chicken or can dance. I get tired of being asked to be on a team when noone has even bothered to ask if I play. The sexual myth is also a burden. I'm supposed to have "X" amout of manhood, be a juggernaut in bed and so on. I've been approached by women of different races and that is usually the main topic, 'experimentation" for them, to see what it's like.

On the job it seems like people expect my focus to be on the latest rap video, getting my groove on, the next 40oz, or just hitting the club. Accomplishments by black males seem to get little attention and it comes as a shock when one of us has a "good idea".

As far as what black women could do to help, stop putting a label on us. It's bad enough that society expects us to be one way, but when the sisters add that to the mix it doesn't get better.

Gotta run, before the "neighbors" see I'm standing still

By the way, Nykkii, can I use your picture as a pin up........LOL angel
From Nykkii:

tigers, do you think this difference in treatment happens with non-black races of men? have you observed it, or in your opinion is it a racially motivated treatment?

The simple answer is yes, and I observed this instances. For example, my Hispanic brothers are thought to have English as a second language, which also Asians as well. I have been in a situation when I had a white younger subordinate with me...and people would go to him before coming to me, assuming he was the boss. With Asians, the assumption was they were techies, and couldn't do anything...quite got pigion-holed into those jobs without considering they may be interested in something. I have also seen situations when a white person will ask a Asian person to read Chinese characters, without thinking that the person may not be Chinese...such as a Phillipino. Hispanic and Native American men, no respect for intelligence, assuming they are only interested in manual work, because they weren't going to stay long. Yes, I think it's racial because none of these individuals were looked as individuals but as people of an ethnic group, basing assumptions on stereotypes.



what your sisters can do to push you forward: ?????? need some imput here as well--we would really like to know!

I don't if I would use the word the push, probably support. To answer, this is a two-part response for me. What happens in the work world vs. home world.

Starting with the work world, I have been very fortunate because the Black women in my work world have been very supportive. When I started as a supervisor, fresh out of college, the Black women were the ones who "raised" me, taught me how to be a supervisor, more importantly, how to carry myself and the ins/outs of corporate culture. The few Black men that were there were so busy making sure they had a job, they didn't have the time to school as much. As I have gotten older, I understand their predicament, they were the trailblazers.

Based on some comments I have heard, there are probably some situations in which a Black men and Black women have been competitive and undercut each other, but in my experience, it hasn't happened. I don't mind competing against anyone, but if it's sister, I want to "win", but I don't, I would rather it go to her than anyone else. Then I will do anything I can make sure she is successful and hope to get the same in return.

The home world is probably the most difficult for a variety of reasons/issues. Starting with premise that man is suppose to be the head of the household, based on Biblical writings and society's norms, the world of work creates conflict. (and as examples of where and how I grew up) As a professional woman, you are responsible for many projects, programs, staff, creative ideas, etc. In addition, our culture has more single-parent homes without the man in the house, so the woman is "boss" at work and "boss" at home. Then, you are "expected" to drop that "leadership" mentality when you get with your man. That's a conflict.

So what does this mean...I am trying to say that men need support, support that may be contrary to the culture or environment of professional women. Women often complain that we don't listen, which I can't deny (smile). The question I have asked of women is that "do you pick the best time for the man to listen to you?" Is it the first minute when he get home or comes over? Do you allow him time to decompress from his day? Do you listen to him complain about his day or do you "compete" and tell him, you had a killer day too and start describing your day before his finishes?

I will be the first to admit that men aren't the greatest communicators...but we can talk. It takes work to listen to us, because we are more guarded with our feelings...For me, I have to develop a lot of trust before I tell you my frustrations. I was taught to be strong, work hard, no matter how you feel. There times I am going to be weak, takes trust for me to expose that side.

Another thread, I think it was negrospiritual said that women want their men to be like their fathers. In some way, men want their woman to "mother" them, i.e., take care of them, listen, etc. Most men don't really ask for what they need, we aren't taught to do that. Women have to learn how to get that info out, and with each man it's different. Our role is to provide the foundation, the strength of the family, that's what I was taught.

To me, the male/female relation is like a circle, with a line dissecting the circle in half. In reality, the line is wavy, representing the strengths and weaknesses of both people. Where I am weak, you are strong, to compensate...and vice versa.

So what does this all mean...support is the key to help the Black man. He (I, we) have enough dragons to slay at work, don't want to "slay" any at home.

Nykkii, I hope this answers your questions.
Dammitt Nykkii....you are one fine female. No matter what picture you put up, you look good.

I was raised by my mother. I was surrounded by black women when I was growing up. I wanted to know about the black man because I heard quite a bit of negative things about us growing up. I first learned about the Tuskegee Airman in high school and my interest took off after that.

The ultimate stop was the Smithsonian Institute in Wash. DC. There are even common things you use everyday that were invented by blacks, the traffic light, the elevator, the ironing board, ink pen, etc. I was there a whole week and still didn't see everything that blacks contributed to this society.

That was a hugh boost to my confidence. Even learning that all mathematics is based on what the Egyptians did 1,000's of years ago. I went into the engineering field with the attitude that blacks were doing math long before whites were.

I've been successful in the technology field because I knew a lot of the myths that were said about blacks weren't true. Most of it is BS actually.
thank you for the compliment darkbuck (there's more here than a pretty face though Wink )

your last post pertaining to what you learned (on your own it sounds like) about the accomplishments of black men and how that effected your confidence as a black man is what makes me proud of black men. all of the men who have posted in this thread have shared things that go to show that once a black man knows his ability, knows his history and has a vision for his future--nothing can stop him. do we really think the black men of our history-those inventor's had it easier than we do now??did they have MORE doors open to them, MORE opportunities, MORE connections and education???

if only more black men would understand that what they are fed on a daily basis is a ploy to keep him from reaching his maximum. i believe fear is the motivator by society and those in power--because they know what you could do as a gender if you believed in yourselves and there was unity amongst us. if more black men put their minds to things, broke the cycle of believing what he's told and just pushed past the barriers, he'd be in more control, which means we as a people would be in more control. (this speaks directly to what's being discussed in two other rooms--why aren't we producing and selling the products we use the most?)

if only more black women took the time to understand that what is being said about our men is to make us believe he is not worth anything, that he lacks the ability to compete on any level, and that he can not succeed. society is winning on dividing us as a people, because sista's aren't here to support brotha's and brotha's are looking elsewhere.

we are the foundation of the future.

if only...

thanks to everyone who's shared so far on this thread...this has been a really positive discussion.

Wink

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I'm sorry I'm late on this thread, I haven't been on the site much lately.

This is an important topic, and I co-sign with what everyone basically has said. However, I have a pretty unique and different life history. There are many aspects of who I am that differ from the standard "black mold" that so many people, including black people, seem to promote and accept. Those aspects of my being that differ from the mold have defined my struggles in life far more than those aspects that I have in common with most black men. Being this distinct, in terms of my interests, outlook, and early life circumstances, is often a nightmare when you're black, and that nightmare, more than anything else, has driven the issues I've had to deal with. Other than to complain that black men are unfairly pigeon-holed, I don't know if I have a whole lot to add to this very engaging discussion.
What I like most about being a Black Man, our achievements and advantages in this society... hmm...

I would have to say in a word: Our CREATIVITY!

My struggles all revolve around what VOX mentioned, my "distinctness". At work or even at play, I, too, cannot say that I "fit the mold". I'm not one of the brothers who hang with his boyz and really find it hard to connect in meaningful ways with people in the workforce or socially... Mostly, I'm not feeling them...

I'm a loner (I prefer to say I don't follow anybody's lead...) though people that know me say I can pick up a conversation with a complete stranger. I guess it's the pretense that because I work with or associate socially with someone that I must share their basic ideas and philosophies is for me a barrier because I am defiant/rebellious against that pretense.

That's my reality as a Black man.

Why?? Well, again, distinctness... and, to borrow even further from VOX, the nightmare.

The NightMare to me is this tired but not weiry soul that is still searchin'... I don't know about VOX or anyone else but that NightMare is a product of so much I have come to know and how I have come to see things. Religiously/spiritually I'm not settled. (i.e. not aware of one that fulfills me...) Socially/politically, I'm not settled. And that is unsettling part that is interwoven into who I am as a Black Man in America, in a world that doesn't reflect me. "Is there anybody who thinks like me?" "Am I the only one who feels like this?"

Yet, I am secure in my identity.

Nevertheless, the more I know, the more I find out that this world is not me. And I wouldn't wish that knowledge, that blessed knowledge however cursed knowledge, on anyone. That's my nightmare. And, again, it's all about who I am as a Black man.

Like the popularly titled book, "I DREAM A WORLD", with portriats of Black Women that Changed of America, I as a Black man DREAM A WORLD... a world which is much different - better - than what I see in this. If this is good then good needs to get better. (And that goes for me first.)

The positive thing is... with this community, with you brilliant/beautiful brothers and sisters... a whole lot of positive, refreshing, eye-opening reflections abound and I am reassured that there is an abundance from all that we source.

(sorry for the length)
this reply is to Vox and Nmaginate--who i will first thank for contributing.

both of your posts talk about being a unique/distinct type of black man who doesn't fit the "black man mold".

can either/both of you expound on what you think that "black man mold" is?

i'd bet the majority of black men don't think they fit a pre-determined mold society has out there for black men. the myths that have been given in this topic are the beginnings of proof of that. you are all not athletes, or rappers, or non-technical, or drug dealers, or convicts, or illiterate or super-charged sex addicts. that is a societal black man mold that is out there that someone has determined most black men fit--when in reality--most dont.

if either or both of you will describe your view of this "distinctness" i think it help me understand if it is truly distinct/different from the unique backgrounds we all come from, or if it's another slice of individuality that makes up the nation of black men out there.

i will go along with your assertion that both of you are black men who don't fit this 'mold'--but, as black men, do you not find society making assumptions about who you are, what you know, how you should or shouldn't act before you've even opened your mouth?

im not sure that any black man can escape what society thinks or how society treats him. unfortunately and as a blessing your blackness is seen first.

not all black men struggle with the same demons on a daily basis, but i think overall the struggle is a very similar struggle for all of you. this topic was intended to discuss the good part about being a black man (the advantages,the strength, the creativity), and the what makes it difficult. hopefully it can be shown through discussion that there is A LOT of good out there and the struggle isn't as individual as we might think, and that there are black women out here who understand and support you through the good and the bad.

nyk

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quote:
hopefully it can be shown through discussion that there is A LOT of good out there and the struggle isn't as individual as we might think, and that there are black women out here who understand and support you through the good and the bad.

Nykii...

That - the "good" and not so individual struggle - was why I closed by highlighting this community here as an example of positive interaction & sharing.

It's kinda hard to go into what you're wondering about in terms of how I might feel "distinct". I spoke of not being "settled" in areas where, at least in my opinion, many people Black or White seem to be. For example, as far as religion is concerned, there is no established, widely practiced faith that I am aware of that speaks to me or, as I said above, fulfills me. That's particularly troubling because that was a significant part of my life when I was younger... I feel that I'm "distinct" because most of the people in my life don't seem to struggle with that, as far as I know. Either they enjoy a particular faith or they are at peace, seemingly, without. I am not, though I have no regrets.
(I say that because "the things I have come to know" have lead me away from what I used to do and enjoy. So my struggle is with the loss of that simple joy.)
Nmaginate,

I don't want to take away from or diminish your feelings of disticntess, but I think what I'm trying to get at is that everyone can go through periods of their live when they feel very different. This is not a phenonmenon held only for one class, race, or gender of people. WE ALL deal with feelings of isolation in our thinking, our experience, and our ideals. We all go through times (some longer than others) when we are unsettled. I think you are in a definate growth passage of your life.

Religion is a good example of something that is foundational in the black family/community. Your struggle with finding your way with your beliefs is understood--but again my question is--is it an example of a societal struggle black men deal with on a whole? is being different an advantage, disadvantage, myth or truth about black men?

I will speak for my brother (a black man) who was raised (with me and our sisters) in an all white environment. He struggled a bit with who he was as a black man in his early years of learning himself. That upbringing was different than the majority of black men he is now friends with, different from the majority of black men who are his fraternity brothers, different from the majority of young black men he know works with in LA Juvenille Criminal Justice, but his "different/distinct" upbringing still makes him a black man who has to deal with the same societal pressures as all the black men he knows in his life today.

does this make sense??

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Pardon the delay... I'll clarify my points for the lovely Nykkii...

Basically, in almost every way I can think of, I differ drastically from most people, including most black men. I'm not saying that it's always a good thing, or a healthy thing, or that I'm all that happy about it, but it is so. For a few examples...

  • Most black men are supposedly so highly in demand by women. Not me. For this reason, I find that I can't participate in most conversations about the state of black male-female relationships, because they always seem to revolve around this "shortage," which, if it exists, I must be contributing to. I can't offer women any insights on how tall, intelligent, handsome professional black men with law degrees deal with women and dating, because my experiences, for some reason, totally lack any of the supposed advantages that these descriptions confer to other guys. And I can't participate in conversations with other guys about women, because my experiences are so different from theirs.

  • I like sports, but I don't have the time to follow them enough to engage in intelligent conversations about them. Some of the stuff I hear at work, or at the gym, are on a level that match the stuff Nmaginate and I have posted in the Issues forum. This creates one more social barrier, which in turn creates an experience barrier that keeps me apart.

  • The philosophical niche I exist in is unique enough to cause a further difference. Most black men who are as accepting as I am about interracial dating... don't like black women. Most who love black women like I do... are players who have no respect for them or their feelings. Of course, like I said above, I couldn't be a player if I wanted to be, but the difference between me and them in terms of respect for women creates a schism. Most guys who, like me, have historically had a horrible time attracting women, are either terribly bitter, have no interests or any forward progress in their lives worth noting, or are borderline socio-pathic, so I don't have anything in common with them. So once I end up in a relationship, there's even less to talk about with guys like that. Then, there's the political differences. And the musical taste differences. And it goes on and on.

    The bottom line is, aside from a couple of scattered race-related negative experiences that I've had over the years, there is extremely little in my life experience that can be useful in a discussion about the black man in society. However, in my travels, I've witnessed enough to be able to co-sign with what most of the brothers here have said.
  • quote:
    Originally posted by Vox:
    ...there is extremely little in my life experience that can be useful in a discussion about the black man in society.


    my dear sweet Vox,

    I beg to differ with this last statement. I think in your examples you have just shared a tremendous amount that is in common with other black men in society.

    i think you are explaining exactly what this topic was meant to do--expose the fact that "society" has view of the black man that may or may not (and probably does not) fit the majority of black men.

    all of the myths listed by our brothers here on aa.org fit in with what you are saying--black men are womanizers, black men are sports fanatics or athletes, black men know all the latest music, etc. when black men are individual men, with individual life experiences that one the whole make a full race of men who are strong, smart, creative, and accomplished men who have built this country to be what it is today. buying into what society is feeding has led us to where we are. Frown

    black men are definately not all players, i don't believe in the "shortage" myth, and the more intellectual the better!!

    thank you.

    red
    BLACK
    green
    Vox,
    I hear you...but I think you offer some unique perspectives. I understand what you are saying because you don't want to be put into a box, and say this is what a Black man is or is not. You're beyond definition, which means you don't limit yourself. I understand because I refuse to be limited as well. There are many activities I enjoy in which Black people are not involved. If I limited myself to what only Blacks do, there is a whole world out there I would miss. I refuse to do that.

    Yes, it can be frustrating to find that Black woman you desire...I am glad you have not given up on Black women...they are a special and unique being.
    Nykkii and Tigers (not that I want to see Nykkii's name next to anyone else's except for mine, mind you)...

    I appreciate what you both have said. There are societal pressures that seek to interfere with the individual personhood of black men. This is something that our community probably could stand to address more. Great topic.
    That's where the problem lies, at the stereotypes. When one of us or more goes against the grain, when we do something that's non-stereotypical no matter how heinous it is(reading, not trying to be "hard", impregnating women, etc.), we're the ones who get penalized and labeled as a sellout--for doing the RIGHT thing.

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