The Build Up
Throughout history, black men have faced oppression and abuse, from the horrors of slavery to mistreatment at work, in the media, and even from law enforcement. This unrelenting trauma can leave them physically and mentally exhausted. Yet, black women have consistently been a pillar of stability and support for our men. As mothers, wives, grandmothers, aunts, and sisters, we bring forth life and it is our innate nature to instill hope and promise in the lives of our men. If we do not stand up for and uplift our black men, who will?
The mainstream media often portrays black men in a negative light, perpetuating harmful stereotypes that suggest they are troublemakers who do not prioritize their families. While there may be some who fit this description, there are countless others who work hard and are devoted to their loved ones. These men deserve recognition and appreciation. As black women, it is our duty to remind our men of their immense power and worth. We understand the daily struggles they face due to the color of their skin, as many of us have grown up with, raised, or currently live with a black man. For those of us who are mothers of sons, we constantly pray for them and impart wisdom to help them navigate different situations and stay safe.
Every black man has a story of how his grandmother, mother, or wife has supported and encouraged him to become great. The saying, "behind every successful man is a woman," rings true. When we uplift our black men, we are uplifting our community. We are demonstrating our love and need for them and letting them know that they matter and their lives matter.
Here are some suggestions on how we can uplift our black men:
Prioritize self-care: It's important to take care of yourself first so that you can be emotionally and mentally present for the black men in your life.
Encourage and support: Instead of criticizing or belittling black men, encourage and support them. Lift them up with positive words and remind them of their value and potential.
Celebrate their successes: Take the time to acknowledge and celebrate the successes of black men. Whether it's a big accomplishment or a small one, let them know that you're proud of them.
Educate yourself and others: Learn about the challenges that black men face and share your knowledge with others. Speak out against harmful stereotypes and promote positive representation of black men.
Create safe spaces: Create safe spaces where black men can share their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or criticism. Listen actively and offer emotional support.
Show love and appreciation: Show love and appreciation for black men in your life through small acts of kindness and thoughtfulness. Let them know that they are valued and loved.
Advocate for change: Use your voice and resources to advocate for change in systems that perpetuate inequality and discrimination against black men. Support policies and organizations that work towards a more just and equitable society.
Respect is crucial: black men face disrespect from the world on a regular basis, so it's important to show them respect in our interactions. Mind your tone, choose your words carefully, and avoid embarrassing them in public.
Honesty is essential: Supporting our men also involves being honest with them, even if it's difficult. Sharing the truth with love can help them improve in the long run.
Accountability matters: Supporting our black men means holding them accountable for their actions. We can't let them get away with everything and must maintain certain standards.
Let's do our part in building up our black men and not tearing them down!