With MLK Day among us and the second term of our President beginning on the same day, it gives us a lot to reflect on. Not only are these two great men despite their color, but they are great men because of it as well. The black community has fallen short in several categories and I think this failure can be attributed to our failure to be men, fathers and husbands in our community. The tree is only as strong as its roots and unfortunately ours have been severed by opression not only from others but from ourselves.
There are so many single parent homes in the black community that the two parent home has somewhat become peculiar. With that said, there are many young boys who are raised in a single parent home where mom is the head of the household. While there are plenty of strong black women who are more than capable of raising their own children and yours too at the same time, it is hard for them to truly emplore what it is to be a man. Well, let me retract. What I mean is they know exactly what it takes to be a man or what a man should be, however they struggle with the way in which to mold an adolecent boy into that man. And hence we have a problem.
Sadly to say it is a vicious cycle. When you have a father, in or outside the home, who had never had a man in his life to learn things about manhood, how hard do you think its going to be for him to successfully raise a young man? The nature of this cycle is simplistic but complicated at the same time. In its simplest form, a man never learns how to be a man so he has no idea how to teach his son how to be one either. The complicated side of it is that once the cycle is recognized – what can you do about it?
The first thing we have to do is get our community back. If a man is lacking the experience to raise his son, then others in the community need to assist in an effort to make that young boy into the man that he needs to be in order to keep our community thriving into his generation. The second thing we need to do as men is realize that it is not a sign of weakness to ask for that assistance. The more we beat ourselves down with denial that we don’t need help from anyone, the more our community, culture and race will suffer.
The woman is the seed that flowers our existence, but the weight is indeed on the man’s shoulders to keep that flower growing and free from weeds and pesticides that threaten their existence. Did you catch that? What I mean is it is on our shoulders to keep our community together and get it going in the right direction. So of course the lack of experience and the the fear of asking for assistance can be a very restrictive shackle and chain, but it should never be an excuse to stop trying to break the captivity and pull our community up from the abyss that we are being swallowed alive by.
As we honor Martin Luther King Jr. and our President Barack Obama, please remember that although they are men of great strength, they too have had moments of weakness, but they never gave up despite the chains and shackles that threatened to keep them captive. Don’t let our chains keep us locked in a community that produces men who have no idea what it is to be a man….break the cycle. Catch ya’ on the FLIPSIDE.