Well, I never left, but…makes for a good entrance, no? Anyway!
Last week, I wrote “5 Things to Stop Calling Black Women in 2018” so of course I had to write a follow up for my brothas.
While this is a blog centered around feminism, women’s rights and the unfortunate inequalities that we may face – feminism means equality, so I’m equally down for my black men!
Just a reminder: It’s 2018.
With that being said, here’s my list of things to stop labeling our black men as within this year, the next year and all of the years to come…
Number One: Thugs. How we got so far from the real origin of the word and used it to start describing our men when we can’t find much else to say about their appearance or actions is beyond me. If we want to get trivial, let’s talk about how thug is derived from being violent or a criminal and REALLY ACTUALLY was used circa 1830s to unfortunately describe members of religious organizations, robbers and assassins in a country that I won’t name…you’ll have to look that one up for yourself – because even that deserves a reshaping. A black man in a hoodie with his pants low is just a black man with a hoodie and his pants low…not a thug.
Number Two: Aggressive. This is a universal adjective used to describe a behavioral trait or characteristic. Not a blanket to throw over a black man, because A. underrepresented groups have more than enough reason to hold on to aggressions when they are constantly overlooked and mislabeled on a daily and B. because you have nothing else to call them.
Number Three: Nappy-Headed. Yep, I pulled this from the post about my ladies and yep it still applies to the men. Why are we so quick to praise black women for going natural and returning to their roots, but we condemn black men for wanting to do the same? If I have to hear another one of us tell our brothers to “fix their hair” I just….
Freeform dreads are beautiful, untamed fros, high tops, fades and braids are too.
Number Four: N*ggas. I’m guilty of this too, but work with me, I’m a work in progress. Anything I write about I’ve probably had to preach to myself too, so I’m with ya, not against ya. Now, I get it, there are some who say we’ve reclaimed the word…that we’ve taken it back from our oppressor and used it as a way to bond and create unity, but boy boy boy…you can say n*gga all day and all night, but the moment you’re called one? Need I go on?
Number Five: Threats. Oh this one a passive racist’s dreammmm. “I feared for my life” they say… “I felt threatened” they say. Meanwhile we’re at home watching the news saying “cut the shit”. If you’re threatened by the build of a black man, the build that we almost systematically can’t avoid due to well…slavery….then you clearly haven’t walked outside lately. There’s much more to feel threatened by *cough cough, “routine traffic stops”*… but we can talk about that one over tea and crumpets.
Okay, I’m done. Black men: I love you. I respect you. I cherish you.