A lot of black women have no clue what black boys and men deal with all the time on the inside (emotionally and mentally). As black boys and men we've been told to cover up pain and to be a "man" about it instead of allowing us to not be a man but to simply be ourselves. Often when a black boy or man expresses himself in tears, or complaints you hear someone tell them to stop being a "bitch" and to "man up." But what do those words really imply?
Does that mean to not be emotional and to always be hard all the time? Does it mean to not even be a human being? Because after all we’re all human and have these traits but that aside, what these phrases may mean, what exactly is the effect? People have no clue how these social constructs play a big role in the way black men appear to be today.
Society teaches these young boys to be one way then expect them to act the complete opposite as they age while plunging these negative concepts into their heads. We are really teaching our young black boys that being emotional and expressing themselves is negative thing and something they shouldn't be in touch with. This is one of the leading factors why so many black men are emotionally unavailable in their relationships and have so many problems expressing themselves the proper way.
It's both the emotional and mental disconnection within themselves that most black boys and men cannot even understand or even realize that it exists. This is something that I myself still struggle with even though I'm well aware of things now and understand a lot, the trauma and the process of unlearning things is so much and takes a while. This just goes to show how deep and troubling this truly is. What's even more hard about this is the fact that most black men won't even open about it because we're so used to not opening up about things and just “sucking it up”. This may even lead to communication problems and disconnections not only within themselves but in their relationships with their partners.
It's like a losing game on both ends because black men and boys won't open up about these things so black women may continue to think nothing is wrong and that maybe we truly are messed up people even though that's not the case. This is why I'm so determined to bring to the light something so relevant and important and to hopefully bridge the gap between black men and black women and bring us closer so we can understand each other and grow.
In order for us to grow we have to stop telling black boys and men to "be a man" and start telling them to be themselves. The way black women feel about black men is not a false feeling but it's due to lack of information and understanding which falls back on us because we fail to communicate how we feel because as kids those feelings were always bashed. It's a losing game on both ends but it's neither one of our faults but the sad reality is we have to take responsibility for it.
Written by: Devante Tate