Sometimes I Cry: The Toxic Hypermasculinity Of Black Men

Sometimes I Cry: The Toxic Hypermasculinity Of Black Men

We are beautiful human beings who refuse to be seen as racist objectifications conceptualized by a white racial framing.
3531
views
Sometimes when I'm alone
I cry because I'm on my own
The tears I cry are bitter and warm
They flow with life but take no form
I cry because my heart is torn
and I find it difficult to carry on
If I had an ear to confide in
I would cry among my treasured friends
But who do you know that stops that long
To help another carry on
The world moves fast and it would rather pass you by
than to stop and see what makes you cry
It's painful and sad and sometimes I cry
and no one cares about why. –2Pac Shakur
















Black men are hurting. As black men trying to survive in America, we demand that we are respected as human beings. The toxicity that we know as hypermasculinity has affected my melanated kindred and me for eons. Since slavery, we have been repudiated of our freedoms and civil rights, stripped of our identities and have been demonized as sub-humans who are incapable of having emotions. Black male hypermasculinity has been utilized as a culturally hegemonic tool, which reinforces negative stereotypes of black men across the Internet, the news, magazines, and the radio.


I will profess one of my experiences of black hypermasculinity, a few of its corrosive aftereffects, and lastly, emotions. Emotions are integral to what makes you and me human. Emotions are a facet of black humanitarianism. Growing up, I was both a hyperactive and reticent child. Though I had days where I kept most of my feelings to myself, I was a very sensitive person. At the end of the day, I was always smiling:


Throughout my academic life: elementary, middle and high school, I hardly interacted with my classmates. I rarely talked to my parents. From when I left for school to when I got off the school bus, my mom would ask me how my day was.

I was often irritated and upset with myself. Reluctant to say anything, but aching to explain how my day was, I gave brief responses to her like “fine” or “don’t worry about it.” My mom would look into the languor in my eyes. She in a worriedly frantic tone of voice, would ask me what was wrong.

"Please, tell me what's wrong. You know I love you. You can talk to me anytime," She'd say.

Before I would get the chance to speak, she'd impulsively urge me to give her a hug. I would irritably refuse to hug her. Sometimes, I wouldn’t even look back at her to respond. I’d willingly glare straight. I was afraid of saying anything to her. I was afraid she wouldn’t understand.



I was afraid that if I uttered words concerning my feelings, I’d get so panic stricken that I’d start whimpering. It would worry her even more. I had made myself believe that even if I told my mother what was bothering me, there would be nothing she could do about it.


I hated crying. I hated feelings. I hated them both so much that I’d internalize my own feelings and condemn myself for crying or for the simple fact that I had feelings. I held the preconceived belief that having emotions depicted me as a weakling.


Today, I can still recall hearing rude, dismissive remarks such as “get over it,” “be a man,” “grow a pair,” “stop complaining” and “don’t let it get to you.” I can proudly say I am more open about my feelings than I was five-plus years ago. If I always repressed my emotions and pretended this racist, judgmental society has never affected me socially, economically, institutionally, racially and psychologically, I’d be perpetuating the myth of black hypermasculinity. Today, as black men, we are still stigmatized by both our black community and our white counterparts.


But why?

Gangsta rap, being one of the most prominent subgenres of rap music, is predicated on an essentialized, and limited construction of a hyperbolized black male subjectivity. But what is black hypermasculinity? Black hypermasculinity is a social construct represented by a white male patriarchal perspective.

This construct exaggerates black men as over-domineering, super-powered, callous, deranged, insensitive and animalistic brutes. Black hypermasculinity is the racist, deprecating term used to dehumanize the validity of black humanitarianism.

Some black men might exhibit more “masculine” traits than white men, however, that does not make a black man more or less viable than his white counterpart. In the mid-'90s era of hip hop, the music industry has reinforced the idea of black hypermasculinity, and still to this day, it manifests itself through aggressive verbal battles, and physical disputes.

In gangsta rap etiquette, several rappers in their fluid and eloquent, but rugged, braggadocios and brash lyrics, have engaged in hyperbolic masculinity. Moreover, it dictates a volitional desire for violence. Rhyming about their virility, strength and exaggerated invincibility, imagined or real deaths of a competitor that induces no remorse or sorrow. These characteristics alone negatively reinforce the personification of black men in gangsta rap music in American society.

In spite of white businessmen perverting the aesthetic of hip-hop culture, delineating the art form as “criminal” and “nihilistically self-fulfilling”, essentially, with emotively charged lyricism expressed by 2Pac, Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Raury and Capital STEEZ, and the like, have successfully dismantled the myth of black male hypermasculinity. And like these iconic figures in hip-hop, it’s our obligation to do the same.

In this society, we as black men are condemned for showing our feelings, let alone admitting that our feelings exist. Our white counterparts demonize and denounce our humanity. Some whites are surprised by the fact that we are no more human than them. By our own black community, we been mocked, teased and dismissed for exhibiting our humanness. This must end.


In order to dismantle this ongoing stigma, we must show our emotions. We must show our vigor. We must show our happiness. We must show our anger. We must show our loneliness. We must show our melancholy. We must show our guilt. We must show our bitterness. We must show our tears.

Crying is a natural response to our pains and our joys. Our cries should be resonant ones, cries of cathartic release, cries of our brethren who are weaponized wherever we go, cries of our brethren ruthlessly being murdered near their homes, in the streets, with no logical, justifiable premises as to why. We must show feelings because feelings are an integral facet of manifesting humanness.

We are human beings, and we demand that we are respected as human beings. With that said, I urge you, black men of America...to cry.



Cover Image Credit: http://www.ew.com/sites/default/files/i/2015/04/06/the-game.jpg

Popular Right Now

43 SpongeBob Quotes To Use In Everyday Conversation

No context needed. We all remember these SpongeBob quotes.
236820
views

SpongeBob quotes are so universal that they never get old. That's because "SpongeBob SquarePants" is the one TV show that we are all guilty of watching and have absolutely no regrets every time we turn it on.

Most of us are no longer children, which is why our parents sometimes get that confused look on their faces when they see us watching "SpongeBob SquarePants." But you know what? "SpongeBob" is by far one of the funniest shows of our generation and the characters are some of the greatest. The best part about "SpongeBob," without a doubt, is the iconic quotes that we all still use in our daily language. With too many to count, here are some favorite "SpongeBob" quotes, from ones that all fans should know, to ones we use every day.

1. “Firmly grasp it in your hand.”

2. “Ha ha ha ha, it’s a giraffe.”

3. “CHOCOLATE!!!!”


4. “Well, it’s no secret that the best thing about a secret is secretly telling someone your secret, thereby, secretly adding another secret to their secret collection of secret, secretly.”

5. “Do you smell it? That smell, the kind of smelly smell. A smelly smell that smells... smelly.”

6. “Patrick, I don’t think Wumbo is a real word.”

"Come on. You know, I wumbo, you wumbo, he/she/me wumbo. Wombology, the study of wumbo! It’s first grade Spongebob!”

7. "I don't get it. I made my house a mess, which was making it clean, which made Squidward clean my yard, but that really means he's messing it up. But the opposite of clean is filth, which means filth is clean, that means Squidward is really making my yard a wreck, but I normally wreck my own yard which means, Squidward is being the opposite of Squidward which means he's Spongebob!"


8. “Is Mayonnaise an instrument?”

9. “F is for fire that burns down the whole town, U is for Uranium…bombs! N is for no survivors!”

10. “You don’t need a license to drive a sandwich.”

11. “The best time to wear a striped sweater…is all the time.”

12. “Once there was an ugly barnacle. He was so ugly that everyone died… the end.”

13. “My leg!”

14. “It took three days to make that potato salad…three days!!!”


15. “Can I be excused for the rest of my life?”

16. "Can I get some extra salt?"

“We're all out.”

Could you check?”

“…No.”

17. "Patrick, you're a genius!"

"Yeah, I get called that a lot."

"What? A genius?"

"No, Patrick."

18. "Oh, these aren't homemade. They were made in a factory... a bomb factory. They're bombs."


19. “You just CAN'T WAIT for me to die, can you?”

20. “Do instruments of torture count?”

21. “Hello, we’re with the pet hospital down the street, and I understand you have a dying animal on the premises."

22. “Hey Patrick, I thought of something funnier than 24… 25!”

23. “We should take Bikini Bottom and push it somewhere else!”

24. "Is this the Krusty Krab?"

"No! This is Patrick!"

25. “The Krusty Krab pizza is the pizza for you and me.”

26. “This is a load of barnacles…”


27. “Now he’s gonna kick my butt!”

28. "This is not your average, everyday darkness. This is... ADVANCED darkness."

29. “Too bad Spongebob isn't here to enjoy Spongebob not being here.”

30. “Remember, licking doorknobs is illegal on other planets."

31. “I’m not just ready, I’m ready Freddy!”

“It’s Larry…”


32. “I’ll have you know that I stubbed by toe last week and only cried for 20 minutes.”

33. “Hey Patrick what am I now?”

"Uh...stupid?"

“No! I’m Texas!"

"What's the difference?"

34. "Patrick, don’t you have to be stupid somewhere else?"

“Not until 4.”

35. “Are you Squidward now? ... That’s okay take your time.”


36. “Who are you people?!”

37. “Squidward that’s not the peace treaty, that’s a copy of the peace treaty.”

38. "What's your name son?"

"Name? Uhh, beef wellington."

"No your name."

"Uhh, fork on the left?"

39. "Ravioli Ravioli, give me the formuoli."

40. “Are you open?"

"Read the sign..."

“...l’ll have a Krabby Patty Deluxe and some double chili kelp fries.”

41. “HAHAHAHA THAT GUY GOT HIT IN THE HEAD WITH A COCONUT HAHAHA.”

42. “My sandwich tastes like a fried boot."

“My sandwich is a fried boot!”

43. “Too bad that didn’t kill me.”








Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

All Five Endings To "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch"

A description of every ending to the newest interactive film (warning: spoiler alert).

11
views

The new film "Bandersnatch" from the creators of "Black Mirror" is a revolution in at home entertainment due to its ability to bridge the gap between movies and games. As an interactive film, "Bandersnatch" allows the viewer to make decisions on behalf of the main character as the movie progresses. These decisions begin with simply choosing a breakfast cereal, but the quickly escalate and become much, much darker. Once you start "playing the movie," it is insanely difficult to stop without finishing it. There are over a trillion permutations of the decisions made by the main character in the film, but ultimately the viewer will find themselves at one of five endings.

Warning: There are some serious spoilers in this article. If you haven't seen "Bandersnatch," it's an amazing movie and I highly recommend watching it before reading this.

1. Stefan, his father, and Dr. Haynes get into an epic fight

https://giphy.com/gifs/netflix-6wp2KDY8XJFlFHazJj

In this ending, based on the decisions that the viewer made Stefan has become aware that he is being controlled by a 21st century Netflix user. Dr. Haynes points out that nearly all movies are more dramatic that Stefan's life, and when Stefan chooses to fight Dr. Haynes in response to this, and epic MMA fight breaks out between the two of them, and it is quickly interrupted by Stefan's father who joins the frenzy.

2. Dr. Haynes' office is revealed as the set of a movie

https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2019/01/black-mirror-bandersnatch-netflix-grief-essay.html

Following nearly the same path as the last ending, if you tell Stefan to climb out the window instead of fight Dr. Haynes, the camera pans out to reveal that Dr. Haynes office is actually the set of a movie and every actor in the film is actually playing the role of an actor playing their character. This ending is pretty trippy.

3. Stefan ends up in prison

https://giphy.com/gifs/netflix-colin-black-mirror-bandersnatch-9x8FX5bb2XuebzWrVN

Whether the user decides to kill Colin or Stefan's father, the following decisions will most likely end with Stefan being caught and arrested before "Bandersnatch" is ever released to the public. Tuckersoft ends up going bankrupt, and the movie ends with Stefan scratching the white bear symbol onto the wall of his prison cell.

4. Stefan dies on the train with his mother

https://giphy.com/gifs/netflix-xULOaMSzTk5NUoULUE

If Stefan enters the code "TOY" when he finds his father's safe, the rabbit from his childhood can be found inside. The movie then cuts to Stefan's childhood, only this time he finds his rabbit and agrees to leave with his mother before she heads out for her train ride. Both of them die in the train crash.

5. The legacy of Pearl Ritman

http://whatculture.com/film/black-mirror-bandersnatch-every-ending-explained-ranked?page=8

This is by far my favorite ending and what I believe should be the "true" ending to "Bandersnatch." Following Stefan's decision to chop up his father's body, he is able to focus on finishing the code for his game (which ultimately earns a perfect rating from the game critic). The movie fasts forwards to present day in which a game designer by the name of Pearl Ritman has recreated the game "Bandersnatch." As Pearl is working at her desk, she begins to notice a daunting overlap between the game she is writing and the life of Stefan. After the white bear symbol appears on her screen, a decision is given to either destroy her computer or spill tea on it, both of which end the movie.

Related Content

Facebook Comments