2.14.2005

A WORD FOR THE BROTHAS

Brotha’s Gonna Work It Out
Mercury Rising

One of the most recent issues of Ebony (Even though I’ve always felt that our people were better off with a publication like Ebony than without, I have to admit that I didn’t really feel like I had much in common with the perspectives shown in those pages. But then I started reading For Brothers Only; the one page editorial usually written by Kevin Chappell that deals with young Black Men on our own terms. I began to appreciate and expect that monthly Ebony magazine arriving in my mailbox. ) finds For Brothers Only shedding some light on a new phenomenon…
responsible, compassionate and motivated young Black men.


We all know that brothas have been working it out any way we could for a long time.
But for years the media (even our own), women (even our own) and society as a whole seemed to focus plainly on those of us who got caught up in the streets. Yes, we know that some of us move weight. Yes, we know that some of us are Crips, and some of us are Bloods. Yes, we know that we have packed ourselves in prisons almost as regularly as we have packed ourselves in universities. Guns, baby momma drama, bad credit, over-active libidos and an endless stack of excuses for our shortcomings – I know.

In some instances we’ve found our entire worth reduced to what we own in the eyes of our better halves and societal norms.
If a struggling brotha doesn’t have much, everyone calls him a scrub.
If a ballin’-type brotha stays iced up, he gets props for having ends regardless of the means.
But young black men have more on our minds than money, crime and fast living.
Kevin Chappell’s article mirrored conversations I’ve had with my peeps, who are mostly young black men, about …young black men. Everything he says in that article is true. More of us are interested in home ownership more now than ever before.
More of us are interested in entrepreneurship and careers more now than ever before. And of course, more of us are interested in committed monogamous relationships with strong and intelligent women more now than ever before (more on that another time). After reading this particular For Brothers Only, I got in the car to go somewhere and John Legend’s “Ordinary People” was on and that song just drove the point even further.
I know ya’ll know the song, and I know ya’ll love the song – but really, really listen to dude. Doesn’t he sound like someone you know? Haven’t you heard more and more young black men expressing their feelings and emotions lately?
Haven’t you seen a little more wisdom, compassion and sensitivity lately?
And NO, I don’t mean “on the down low” type of sensitivity.
See, when talk shows started putting that on blast – it didn’t even matter whether or not it was really happening because everyone was talking about it.
At the end of the day when Black women would claim that finding a good black man is already hard enough, I’m sure it didn’t help when the world tried to convince them that more and more of us are supposedly going gay. Yo, I’m just saying…
Let it be known that even if we caught a few bumps and bruises on our way out the streets, we are right here. Let it be known that not all of us even come from the streets but sure enough we are right here.
Very heterosexual, very family-oriented and ready, willing and able to take our place in this world – that’s who we know we are, and that’s who we want to be known as.

But as much good as Kevin and his For Brothers Only write up does for our cause, the opposition remains determined to keep things twisted.
I’m sure you’ve seen those headlines “10 Ways To Tell If Your Man Is Cheating”, “Top 10 Reasons He Might Be Cheating” or some mess. You know exactly what I’m talking about, I’m sure. Now, I’m not gonna gas ya’ll up like every black man you see walking around town is reformed from his bad habits – but when it comes to for the 22-32 age group, I know more men who are faithful than I do men who are cheaters. If I grouped all of my boys from high school until now into groups of 10, I would say that probably 2 out of every 10 was the type to cheat or bounce around from girl to girl.
But that means that at least 8 or so were about commitment.
The media has things so crazy, some researchers are actually developing theories explaining why it actually may be impossible for men not to cheat. Theories or at the very least some type of physiological proof that men are simply prone to cheat
If you ask me, that undermines everything that we stand for.
With the next Million Man March right around the corner, I’m sure it will be evident how many young black men have embraced the honor of being the corner stone of our families. Maybe some of our biological fathers didn’t bother, but being a devoted husband and father is very important to every young black man I know.
Being successful is very important to every young black man I know.
Whether Christian, Muslim, Rasta, Five Percenter, Jehova’s Witness or otherwise; being spiritually centered is very important to every young black man I know.
So whether we get our p’s or not, we will be here doing our thing until the thing gets done.
Hopefully the world will take notice.

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