As an adult male raised in the 70’s & 80’s I can revert back to uncles, cousins and grandfathers being men, not just male but men. They exemplified traits that dealt with honor, trust and survival. They molded the young men of the family to be responsible leaders in the community and dependable friends in great times and in dire circumstances. My family members as well as neighborhood dudes corrected me when I was wrong, instructed me and coached me for success and ushered me into better circumstances than their own. I remember watching my cousin Georgie wash his car by spraying a water hose directly on his running Monte Carlo SS engine while the neighborhood kids looked on with golf ball eyes waiting for the car to blow up. I remember seeing “Ham” and “Link” steal a car from the parking lot, I remember laying on the ground with my cousin Dwayne when he was changing his alternator on his Camaro or when the guys on the corner would sing…really sing the latest R&B songs. They would teach us lil homies how to open clams with a knife or more importantly how to talk to women. Yeah…I’m old. As a teenager I hung around good and bad examples of men. It was a rite of passage, we had to learn who we were as individuals…away from the debilitating coddles of a mother. We had to figure out what path we were going to go…good or bad. Back then the lyrics to songs were different, women were different, our families and communities were different…they weren’t different, they were better.
I could expound on any niche of black culture and deconstruct reasons but what would it matter? In this surreal COVID existence I’ve learned to appreciate time and attempt with all energy to make things better or at the very least, use my precious time to improve or better our race.
As an adult male I’ve witnessed the generations of young men become inherently more feminine. I’m disheartened by seeing our young men become more mercurial in their emotions, unbalanced in their temperament and dare I say weak. Don’t misunderstand me, having emotions is not a bad thing, expressing your emotions is not a bad thing or only a “feminine” thing.
I don’t like seeing any young black man as a weakened individual.
When I say, “weak” I speak of the traits that don’t align with being a young man. Some kids don’t know how to shake another mans hand, don’t know how to look me in the eye when speaking, lack dependability, don’t respect elders, can’t hold your hands in a fight and have a poor work ethic…I could go on for a few more days but I won’t.
My concern is that there’s an imbalance in our families. No one takes a back seat, everyone wants to be the boss. Our families are fractured now and I feel it was intentional. I don’t have the energy to address the gay agenda, gender ambiguity or even the masculinity of women.
More than weak, our young men have become effeminate and I want to challenge the trend…my challenge is to give 10 tips on helping our young men become leaders in the households, lead their own families and raise balanced men and women of their own.
This blog series is not about blame. Its my attempt to improve our race. I want to put this out because maybe you find my tips useful. I’m a stranger..but I’m a man.
What I will do is provide 10 tips on raising a man.
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” (Frederick Douglass, 1817-1895)