This summer, I overdosed on Tanya Fields' live videos. Not only is she a popping food justice advocate, she's a single and empowered mother. She's a fellow Bronxite. She's a business owner. She's a force to be reckoned with. In a number of her videos she always said " I am hard on Black men because I love black men" and up until very recently I didn't understand how powerful that statement was.
It resonates with me on many levels. From my commentary around a number of issues, some might be inclined to deem me as a man hater. That is far from the truth. I critique black men so harshly because I love black men way too much.
I could turn my back on black men and just let them be - but that is a reality I am not interested in.
I am hard on black men because I love black men. Period.
I am hard on black men because I know you're better than this. I am hard on black men because I know the history. I know that you were kings before slavery disrupted that. We can literally trace the systemic ways in which this world has tried to destroy your greatness. And you're letting it happen. You're accepting the self hate and the misogyny. You're accepting the wrong definition of what manhood is supposed to be. You've accepted toxic hyper-masculinity as the norm. You've sold your magic for white faces. And I refuse to not fight against that. This is not how you're supposed to be. This way of being was imposed on you to destroy you. Don't let it destroy you.
I am hard on black men because many of our black men are strong yet broken. I have seen what happens when broken boys grow into heads of households. When heads of households break - not because they're weak- but because sometimes people just break. But when these heads of households, these black men who want to be heads of households, when they break and aggression and anger is all they've been taught- everyone else feels that. I have felt that. And black man, you are so much better than that. You can be better than that.
I am hard on black men because you're all I want. I've gotten over trying to make mixed babies. I love black men and I want to be with a black man. But I can't. I can't create beautiful black babies if your toxic ways will be their fate. I'm trying to fight against it, not procreate it.
I am hard on black men because I know we can fight against the systems and the plights that haunt the black community- together. I know that we can make it despite the struggles we come from. I know its possible to transcend higher than the options presented to us. I know that we can liberate our minds and stop living the same life that has come before us. I know that we can unite and we should unite and that the fight isn't only a fight that women should fight. We can do it together.
I love black men, despite being hurt by black men.
I love black men, so I have to call yah out on your shit.
I love black men, because they have the power to be great.
Be great black man. Be great, the right way.