http://www.theroot.com/article...ing_a_black_man.html

 

Why I Hate Being a Black Man

Ever-present criminal suspicion and fear have driven this writer to a prison of self-hatred.

BY: ORVILLE LLOYD DOUGLAS
Posted: Nov. 13 2013 6:26 AM
 
73818117MT005_The_Faithful_
A man bows his head in prayer during Easter service in Harlem.

MARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES

 

Editor's note: This article originally appeared in the Guardian newspaper. It appears with the writer's permission.

 

Every time I sit on a crowded street car, bus or subway train in Toronto, I know I will have an empty seat next to me. It's like a broken record. Sometimes I don't mind having the extra space, but other times I feel awkward, uncomfortable and annoyed.

 

I know I have good hygiene, I dress appropriately and I mind my own business. However, recently, I finally became cognizant of why people might fear being around me or in close proximity to me: I am a black male. Although Canadian society presents the facade of multiculturalism, the truth is Canada has a serious problem with the issue of race.

I didn't realize it until my sister said to me:

Orville, people are afraid of you. You are a 6-foot-tall black man with broad shoulders.

 

My sister is right, people don't sit next to me on the street car, the subway or on the bus because they are afraid.

 

The issue of black self-hatred is something I am supposed to pretend does not exist. However, the great French psychiatrist Frantz Fanon wrote about this issue in his groundbreaking bookBlack Skin, White Masks in a chapter called "The Lived Experience of the Black Man." According to Fanon, the black man is viewed in the third person, and he isn't seen as a three-dimensional human being. The black man internalizes the perspectives of white society and its negative thoughts about blackness affect his psyche. In the chapter, Fanon discusses a white child calling him the n-word and how he becomes cognizant of how he is different and viewed as someone people should fear.

 

There is also a fear by some black people that discussing the issue of self-hatred is a sign of weakness. There is a discourse that black people engender: that black is beautiful. But the truth is, the image of blackness is ugly—at least it's perceived that way. There is nothing special or wonderful about being a black male—it is a life of misery and shame.

The issue of black self-hatred is usually depicted from a female point of view. There are documentaries such as Dark Girlswhich aired on Oprah's OWN network earlier this year, in which black women discuss their feelings of self-hatred for having dark skin. There are numerous books, articles, documentaries and essays published by black female writers describing black self-hated. Black women are not afraid to speak out about their self-loathing, yet for some reason, black men are silent about our own contempt for what we are.

 

A lot of black men don't want to acknowledge the feelings of disgust we have for ourselves. It is considered emasculating to even admit the existence of such thoughts. I think my own self-hated manifests from the exterior, from the outside world. It is born out of the despair and the unhappiness I see within a lot of young black men.

 

I can honestly say I hate being a black male. Although black people like to wax poetic about loving their label, I hate "being black." I just don't fit into a neat category of the stereotypical views people have of black men. In popular culture black men are recognized in three areas: sports, crime and entertainment. I hate rap music, I hate most sports and I like listening to rock music such as PJ Harvey, Morrissey and Tracy Chapman. I have nothing in common with the archetypes about the black male.

There is so much negativity and criminal suspicion associated with being a black male in Toronto. Yet, I don't have a criminal record, and I certainly don't associate with criminals. In fact, I abhor violence, and I resent being compared to young black males (or young people of any race) who are lazy, not disciplined or delinquent. Usually, when black male youth are discussed in Toronto, it is about something going wrong.

Honestly, who would want to be black? Who would want people to be terrified of you and not want to sit next to you on public transportation?

Who would want to have this dark skin, broad nose, large thick lips and wake up in the morning being despised by the rest of the world?

A lot of the time I feel like my skin color is like my personal prison, something that I have no control over, for I am judged just because of the way I look.

 

Not discussing the issue doesn't mean it is going to go away. In fact, by ignoring the issue, it simply lurks underneath the surface. I believe a dialogue about self hatred should be brought to the fore in the public sphere, so that some sort of healing and the development of true nonlabel-based pride can occur.

 

Of course, I do not want to have these feelings, to have these dark thoughts about being a black man. However, I cannot deny that this is the way I feel. I don't want to be ashamed of being a black man; I just want to be treated as an individual based on the content of my character, and not just based on the color of my skin.

 

 

Orville Douglas is a Canadian writer. This column originally appeared in the Guardian newspaper.

Original Post

  This is an old issue.  And black men really need to address it because it will open why they feel in order for them to feel like men, some of them have to have a "white" woman [or any woman other than a black woman i.e. dark skin female] to validate worth and obtain white society's approval of humanness. This issue could be why they feel despised by the very ones they seem to wanna "impress."  

 

If some black men would look inside themselves and love their culture with the black women in it, maybe this will give them some form of resolve and inner self-power [they need] as they enter the "white" world.  But!  What happens ALL THE TIME, a black man will get a little money [whether from entertainment, academic, sports or in the high executive work force] and the first thing he will do?  Find the whitest or lightest woman to justify now he is worthy and most times will diss the black women in his community-and most times these women have been supportive in achieving his goals and yet they are IGNORED socially and economically.

 

This is NOT rocket science yall.  Black men NEED to fess up.  Stop whinning and be the MEN we NEED you to be.  Be the FATHERS we need you to BE.  And maybe once this is accomplished, you will CARE LESS how you are VIEWED from those who enslaved your culture for more than a thousand years.  Maybe then you will realized that maybe just maybe it's a good thing these monsters won't sit next to you or stare at you-cuz the only that's making a black man feel uncomfortable in an enviornment of whites?  Is the black man.  Ignore them and fight for the advancement of your community cuz it is collapsing.  If you managed to do that?  The bull that is going on the outside will not affect you in the least.  But!

I think the problem starts with self esteem.  Blacks need to know their strength and develop dignity.  Who cares what white people think and feel about you?  when I usec public transit, I use to put my book bag on the seat next to me and see how long the "others" would stand on the ride.  It was funny to see how many people wouldn't want to sit next me

  I agree with both of you.  And I might add...folks need to grow up and STOP worrying about WHITE folks!!!  If they won't sit next to you....GOOD!   There is soooooooooooooo much other stuff to put your energy into...like being a mentor to yourself and those around you.  I'd start there first.  But! 

  Wow Brotha DK!!!  This is a possibility of truth cuz J Edgar didn't show his birth certificate until he was in his forties.  And aside from being gay as a reason for not marrying, he probably didn't wanna touch a woman in fear he might bringforth a black baby.  Try explainin that to the mafia he was fighting and those presidents he was blackmailin' including President Kennedy.  So I'm not surprised.  And if you look at his young photos, you can SEE the blackness.  Cuz black folks know black folks no matter how HARD they try to pass.  Now everything about him is making more and more sense,  And this is testimony to how STUPID whiteboy is....cuz for YEARS Edgar and his lover dressed alike EVERYDAY and no one call him on it ONE TIME.  That's a lot of power.  Reminds me of Mae West.  She [or he] said that folks will be shocked after she died.  But since she[or he] had public love affairs with leading men at the time like Clark Gable and such....when West died it was absolutely silent.  No one said a mumbling word.   Wonder why?  But!

  See?  This is what happens when you are ACCEPTED by massa[who is one of the legendary founders of homosexuality].  You think you now become the spokesperson of "loving yourself" since you came out as a grown ass MAN-not a teen mind you.  So all of a sudden, you are an expert on self-hate.  But behind closed doors, I know that it is not that easy having a "strong" face in public.  And I think it's a social game Lemmon is playing cuz he got whitefolks to accept his homosexuality....OTHERWISE?  He wouldn't have come out.  But since more than half his staff is probably gay ANYWAY?  That was his cushion.  But there is gonna come a time when homeboy is gonna have to CHOOSE....being BLACK or gay. I think he's already made his choice.  As why he is such an arrogant prick currently.  Me?  Myself?  As a parent...and especially a mother?  I can see in his eyes he is hiding more than his pain.  His hiding a history he still don't wanna talk about and so....to hide behind it.  He tells others not to play the race card.  Pitiful. As you can probably tell by now....I don't like this brotha.  Not one bit. To me?  He's a GAY sellout.[i.e. he sold his blackness to be homosexual....TRADER!!!]   But!

Originally Posted by Kocolicious:

  See?  This is what happens when you are ACCEPTED by massa[who is one of the legendary founders of homosexuality].  You think you now become the spokesperson of "loving yourself" since you came out as a grown ass MAN-not a teen mind you.  So all of a sudden, you are an expert on self-hate.  But behind closed doors, I know that it is not that easy having a "strong" face in public.  And I think it's a social game Lemmon is playing cuz he got whitefolks to accept his homosexuality....OTHERWISE?  He wouldn't have come out.  But since more than half his staff is probably gay ANYWAY?  That was his cushion.  But there is gonna come a time when homeboy is gonna have to CHOOSE....being BLACK or gay. I think he's already made his choice.  As why he is such an arrogant prick currently.  Me?  Myself?  As a parent...and especially a mother?  I can see in his eyes he is hiding more than his pain.  His hiding a history he still don't wanna talk about and so....to hide behind it.  He tells others not to play the race card.  Pitiful. As you can probably tell by now....I don't like this brotha.  Not one bit. To me?  He's a GAY sellout.[i.e. he sold his blackness to be homosexual....TRADER!!!]   But!

+I am waiting for him to go as hard on gays as he's been to Black people.  I bet if he did, his career would end immediately

Add Reply

Likes (0)
Post
×
×
×
×