Let me just say this. In the midst of the foolishness with Bill Cosby, Kanye, Nas, R Kelly and the apparent ray Charles syndrome that white folks seem to have when it comes to the treatment of black men by our law enforcement, I love my black men. I know so many men who are out here putting in work, making their goals happen, supporting themselves and/or their families, doing what they need to do to better themselves. They are musicians, teachers, artists, creatives, mentors, carpenters, fathers, boyfriends, and so much more. I feel like I need to remind black men, I see you for all the black excellence you possess.
I’m not sure if you’re into watching the Oscars, but I was really taken aback by these photos of Daniel Kaluuya, Lupita & Danai on the Oscars Red Carpet back in February. There is such power in these photos because here Daniel Kaluuya is nominated for his 1st Oscar for his amazing role in Get Out on the heels of the release of the highest grossing movie; Black Panther and he has 2 of his amazing co-stars by his side. I can only imagine the words of encouragement they are speaking over him in that moment. The many times I’ve looked at this photo, I’ve wondered just how many times they may have had this moment to pray over him and with him throughout this journey of Get Out, Black Panther & the award season.
When I first saw this photo, I was sitting on the train on the way to Brooklyn, just thinking about the many men in my life & when was the last time I told one or all of them that I was proud of them. For no particular reason or purpose, but just to say hey I’m proud of you. When’s the last time I said to one of them, I see you for who you are & I appreciate you? When was the last time I checked in on one of them to say “how are you”? When was the last time I gave one of them space to be vulnerable on their own terms?
When was the last time I was Danai & Lupita speaking words of encouragement over my Daniels to say “you got this”?
I’m not saying many of us don’t encourage our black men already. And yes there a quite a few fuckboys out there that may give us pause, rightfully so, however the our men still need our encouragement. Too many black men are making things happen, working, building their lives, starting businesses, being fathers, teachers & mentors for us to not stop & remind them that we appreciate them. Too many black are in environments where often times they are the only black face in a crowd or they are forced to decide whether or not to wear the hoodie they like for us to not remind them of their excellence. A lot times black men know we as black women have the power to speak life into them
Too many black men have the potential to be great in so many capacities and have their dreams & passions beat out of them for us not to step in, lay hands on them & whisper all the things that make them great. So many of our black men are going through life without the support they are yearning for and clearly need because they are working hard to be extra strong. So many are suffering in silence because they haven’t gotten the proper help they need to get them through life situations. So many black men haven’t learned how to grieve, haven’t learned how to cope, haven’t learned how to be emotional and it’s not always through any fault of their own.
Everything doesn’t have to be over the top with fire crackers and road flares saying “hey encouragement coming” a simple text, phone call, having coffee, supporting their business, showing up to their events or praying for them when they don’t even know it, can do wonders. Show up for them. Show up for them when they’re 7 years old. Show up for them when they’re 15 years old. Show up for them when they’re 28 or 35 or 70. Show up for them when they’re struggling through school. Show up for them when they’ve made mistakes. Show up for them when their struggling to provide. Show up for them when they lose a parent. Or when they tell you they’re in therapy.
Show up for them.
Black men, I hear you, I see, I feel, and I support you.