By: Chelsea Davis-Bibb, Ed.D.
Being Black in America is one thing, but being a Black man in America is something different. Our Black men go through different things and have to face many challenges on a day-to-day basis just because they were born Black in America. Some of these obstacles include racism, stereotypes, mental illness, the prison system, police officers, Black on Black crimes, unemployment, absentee fathers, a lack of an education, and stigmas that were derived from the Black communities, just to name a few. If you talk to a Black man, they have most likely experienced one of the things listed if not more.
Many people, not all, only see our Black men as a statistic, thug, or even a monster and nothing more. They look down on them and make assumptions and judge them due to preconceived notions. So much of negativity against our Black men are also due to stereotypes and judgements that have been passed down from generations to generations. So many of our Black men are so much more than what they have been labeled and should be treated as such. They deserve more.
If I was a Black man in America, I would do everything in my power to not become the stereotypes that have been placed against me. If I was a Black man in America, I would use my silence as my power when people try to undermine my capabilities and who I am as a person.
If I was a Black man in America, I would educate myself as much as possible so that when someone questions my intellect, I can respond with great knowledge. If I was a Black man in America, I wouldn’t let my pride get in the way of asking for help I may need. If I was a Black man in America, I would not let the stigmas from my own race serve as an obstacles from achieving success.
If I was a Black man in America, I would take in and mentor our young men so they too can rise above what was meant to hold them down. If I was a Black man in America, I would love myself and know that no matter what America may view me as, how I view myself is what will always matter the most.