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This appears to be quite a random blog, but reader think not. I have been meaning to write this blog for a while now. Now, before I move on any further let me just add that I am not putting down or not appreciating the overall creation of other males. However, I can only really speak from experience.

It’s fair to say that to often we as an audience are presented with images of Black men who are under achieving academically within educational settings or under-performing in their everyday lives. This is most apparent within media. You can sometimes become blinded by the negativity presented to you on your TV screens or within your newspapers which continually show you images of black on black crime and young black males getting no where fast.

Of course, you have to wonder why so many black men fail, even now in 2008. I mean, has there ever been a better time for the black male to succeed. They are influential in so many fields now, more than ever before. I remember talking to Father once about this very same thing. When he was growing up in the UK who did he have as a black male to look up to. For him there were many influential black men. But look at the amount that is around now. Black men excel in Business, Media, Sport, Music, Writing, Creative Arts, the list is endless.

Let me not forget to mention that the impossible happened this very year. A black man was made President of the United States, a feat that was only dreamed about and deemed only as the unattainable dream. The same dream that great Black Iconic figures like Martin Luther King JNR had to die before it was realised. Let me just say that of course, many blacks are not convinced by this, after all biologically Barack Obama is of mixed raced heritage. I’m sure you will agree that this is another item, for a whole new blog. 🙂

It is the continual negative images of black males which sometimes leads you to thinking that good men are a dying breed. But, from my own experience I am blessed to be surrounded by multitudes of beautiful and inspirational men of colour who work extremely hard. It is these black males that make me so proud and honoured to be in their lives. I have male friends who are becoming fathers at young ages, but are stepping up to the plate. They themselves were often without fathers themselves growing up. They did not have a male figure in their lives to help teach, shape and mold them into men. But with a solid upbringing by their mother’s they became strong black men, men who take care of their children and teach them how to be decent and contributing members of society.

I know black males who are successful Actors, Photographers, Singers, Business men, fathers and entrepreneurs. I know young black males who are holding down two or three jobs, many who are slowly but surely climbing up the career ladder and I know many who fight against oppression or the postcode lottery and branch out of their boy areas to building fulfilling and inspirational lives away from the poverty in which they were born in to.

The man in my life is going through his own personal trials, it seems that no matter how hard he tries to better his life and circumstance, he hits one brick wall after another. It is often painful to see how many issues he has to face. However, no matter how difficult things get or no matter how long he feels deflated for, he bounces back. I like to think that it is my love and the support I as his woman gives him, but I also know that it is the strength of his character.

I once had a picture of a black man and a black woman wrapped up together, their skins tightly intertwined. It was a beautiful image and it highlighted to me just how beautiful black men are. The different shades, chocolate, caramel, fudge… 🙂 You get the picture. What about the body, the contours and the different and unique body shapes. The way black men sing and dance- the voices of Boyz to Men ring off in the background. I’m in awe of the amazing, beautiful and captivating black brothers within my world and outside of it who are creating wonderful lives for themselves and many others round them.

Francis, Simon, Joe, Densel, Kosher, Leonard, Aaron, Michael, Alphonso, Dontae, Phil, Jevon and all the other inspirational black men who have crossed my path. This is for you. 🙂

x

The views expressed in this blog are not the views of Flavour Magazine.

5 COMMENTS

  1. i found your blog intresting however the fact that obama is of dual heritage i feel has no bearing on the fact that he was made priesdent. Because the meer fact he has even half black parentage could just have easily been his downfall. I would also like to point out that i am dual parentage and i have had a many positive black men in my life.

  2. I have many things to say and hope I’ll not sound too longwinded. This is a subject I happen to be passionate about. So here goes….

    None of the undermentioned is said to cause personal pain, put down or discourage in any way whatsoever also. It is my hope and intention to uplift, support and encourage our black men. I’m of the view and belief, black people should be joining together to support our one another. Irrespective of whether we know each other in a close/personal way, have reached a moderate to high level of success or not. Again I say, this is solely my perspective. Apologies, If any offence is caused as it would be done unintentionally on my part.

    This is to the reader of my contribution, how do you personally define a black man’s success? Do you think to be a successful black man is to have an abundance of money, power, respect, beautiful woman on your arm? I’m by no means implying there is a correct answer. Perhaps your view is one of none, one, a couple or a combination of all three of the above? Personally, I define a black man’s success as being a combination of the following things:

    *He is happy and at peace with himself.
    *He’s achieved his desired goal the one he originally set out to achieve in his life.
    *Can attribute his success in part or whole to the inspiration of past/present black influential males.
    *Is independant and creative in his own right.
    *Participates, contributes, supports and encourages other black males for this generation and the future.
    *Strives to inspire and remain a good role model for ALL black males, more so up and coming black youth.
    *Is mindful of what message(s) he could be subconsciously highlighting and portraying.
    *Mesmerizes others with a strong, focused, depth of character. Reflects this with his dedication and commitment to elevate other black males within his community.
    *Is naturally talented or has studied a skill of which overtime he has now mastered. Passes that knowledge on to others to aid their shaping in life.

    I often question the motives behind a black male wanting to strive towards personal success. From experience and some of the opinions of my black male friends. It would seem to be an assortment of reasons. Mainly to better themselves and to better the lives of those around them while ignoring all negative compulsive thoughts to resort to crime as a quick fix. Adversity presented itself along the way indeed, in different ways whilst on their journeys.

    However, they say very openly to me they had friends who they believed were fortunate having stable families. Yet, the children of those families got into continuous trouble and some even ended up going nowhere. Even though this was going on around them it never steered them onto such paths. They believe this was due to their parent(s) methods of upbringing. I believe whatever adversity our black nubians experience it has not discouraged our black men of colour. It has enhanced their strength of mind, discipline and determination to be a success for themselves. While in tow also it has presented increased opportunity for us as black women to draw and enhance upon our own confidence, characters, respect, abilities, and strengths. The results being our black women are a positive, encouraging and strong support to our black men.

    Barack Obama is a whole new debate as already mentioned by Sasha & the lady above me, for different reasons. In my opinion, Dual heritage does in part play a factor in the ability to relate with different cultures especially the most commonly highlighted and once forbidden cultures. Obama is supported by majority for many reasons and so in tow is the lovely Michelle Obama – a strong, intellectual, encouraging, empowered, elegant, supportive, black woman to the FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT-ELECT for the USA. Our black ancestral men are men of character who have assisted and inspired AMERICA’S FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT.

    After speaking with my black nubian brothers who are a success in their own right and who’s stories dramatically contrast from each other. I’ve concluded in agreement there are those who derived particularly from impoverished families, experienced tradegy after tradegy – setback after setback (personal or extended to friends and/or other family members), or have come from either a dysfunctional or unbalanced background. Only having one out of two parents as their primary stable parent within the home. Some stortelling touched upon deteriorating Illness of one parent, mental health, death at a young age. The examples were varied.

    Which brings me to the view I currently hold and pass onto to others to aid their learning and recieve a different perspective. I’ve witnessed black male friends who have had a solid upbringing not just from their mother’s, but also solely just from their father’s. In one or two stories they had been brought up without their mother. Their mother wasn’t present for different reasons which respectfully I shall keep close to my chest. For those who fitted into this category they have expressed an utmost love and respect for their fathers and view them as empowering responsible good men who stepped up. Not just for the future of them solely as young boys, but also in cases involving their siblings. It was irrespective of whether all the children were in fact biologically theirs or not, female or male.

    Their father’s raised them similar to that of how a black woman would and done just as good a job. Holding similar views, solid morals and values they still hold and refer to as being their foundation to this day. They say having their fathers and/or their mothers who were aware of the history of black people also played an important part within their upbringing. I’m inclined to agree as I can relate to the history being self-taught within the family home. When I was growing up, I was blessed to have parents who read alot of history and made it a key part of our upbringing as children. My parents felt not enough reference was being made to black history specifically caribbeans, (no offence to those from the motherland), within my school. My parents just wished there would of been a more equal balance of black history. They felt the school should of been more supportive and open to creating a better balance amongst the different black cultures represented at that time within the school. They held the view exposing the children solely to history of Africans in Africa was taking away from the other ethnic cultures within the black community. Again, this opens up a further many debates such as: What black history topics do you think should be taught in todays curruculum? Do you think your childrens school is studying enough black history for your children to appreciate their heritage and strive to do better? Do you think there is a connection between black children knowing and studying black history and being a successful black person? Should schools make more of an effort to incorporate more black history topics and introduce a core black history & culture subject to be taught within the schools recognised as a GCSE? Do u agree or disagree with the statement ‘our children knowing their black history like the back of their hand could promote a change with our black youth culture and black and black crime?, Do you think there is a connection between black history, black males/youths of today and knowing their black history? and many more, etc. That come to my mind.

    Refering back as I had deviated a little. Sorry got a little carried away! It gave my friends as children and grown men further understanding and boosted their confidence. They have come away with understanding that although one experiences hardship because of obstacles or in many instances stereotypes a black male can still rise, succeed, and be a good role model. It has made them stronger! They say without the obstacles and adversity it wouldn’t of shaped and molded them into the black men they are today. Women you can relate.

    Recognising and attributing their gratitude and inspiration to their struggles & obstacles experienced. My friend once said he felt blessed to have wonderful, brave, courageous ancesters whose efforts have been an influence to us all. I agree. Especially young young black males. History demonstrates beautiful historical black men who since time began, have been magnificent black males -weve had inventers, mathematicians, scientists, men of political international importance, and more. I have to agree black men have excelled in the areas touched on by Sasha. However, the above is where it all began. Black people had to suppress their intelligience in order to not overshadow our then slave masters. But we had it down from way back when.

    My nubian male friends have not let stereotypes, or what some would call the obvious or interpreted as negative factors against them, become an easy reason for them to give up on their dreams. Those black males have still managed to achieve against all odds & adversity. I too am blessed to have them as apart of my life. I’m honoured, hold high upon a pedestal, appreciate and am proud of what they represent as a black male within today’s society. I love you guys! :0)

    My beautiful black nubians refered to their, spirituality, inner strength of both body and mind, inspiration drawn on from other black successful males, and a firmly cemented family upbringing as the main reasons they view themselves a success. Black males of today do have all the ingredients they need to be a success in their own right, and if an ingredient is missing in one’s life thats deemed personally vital. That ingredient is not unobtainable. It can still be obtained so as to be added to the cooking pot, meshed in amongst the other positive ingredients (attributes). The result: a positive black male of character whose motivated to strive for their personal success as well as others

    The black man to me represents intelligience, beauty, creativity and strength in abundance. Just some of the attributes I have been privy to witness. It’s fascinating and I for one along with many am in awe also with their beautiful, uniquely, captivating, shades, contours, and shapes ………Uh hah! ….. These combined along with their various creative mind levels, skills of art and talent. :0) I am of the belief our black men are strong and inspirational brothers who we must continue to uplift, invest in by our own personal contributions, and support.

    Black males please hear me when I say, those of you who may feel you are non-achievers, oppressed and are de-motivated can succeed to the level you wish and beyond! You have and can look at the journeys of our successful black males past and present for all the inspiration & encouragement you may need. Don’t die on the streets for nothing…if u die let your name be a legacy of remembrance for the right reasons. Bob Marley is a legacy. Martin Luther King is a legacy. Their names live on throughout time and history. We believe in you, I believe in you, keep believing in yourselves, we’re here supporting you, keep praying to the Almighty, keep striving. Lets take our attention off the negative reportings and concentrate on what we do best – being recognised as being unique amongst those respected and looked up to as the best of the best. Let’s exalt our black males. Catapult them towards the Heavens!!

    God Bless u ALL my beautiful black nubian brothers!!!

  3. Angela,

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. I do feel however, that you need to refer to my reference to Barack Obama again. At no time did I state that people of Mixed raced heritage do not have positive, black male figures in their lives. I just refered to the fact that many people are split in their opinion of Barack as some deem him to be black, others deem him to be mixed raced.

    It is also interesting to read that you are of dual heritage. I too have family members who happens to be of mixed raced origin. That person just so happens to be my Grandmother.

    I have a large, predominantly white family settled in Jamaica, Canada and America . I also have family members on the other side who are Asian, my Father’s side.

    I did not imply that you as a mixed raced person, do not have positive, black male’s in your life- I’m glad you do. However, you must recognise that from the the lengthly list of names of black males in my life. I was refering to the men in my circle.

    The sole intention of my blog was to speak openly and positvely about the black males I know.

    Please read the comment by my friend Caroline- maybe that will further convey what i was trying to portray.

  4. Caroline, my nubian queen you speak very openly with great spirit and charactor about the Black man and I hope all Black women of all colours take a note out of your blog to understand they are the power behind a Black man.
    Therefore he will step to do the right thing if he understands the true power remains with the Black queen and even though he is the King of the domain, (kingdom) he relies on your continued and unrelenting truth to guide him.

    Angela, do not take offence to the touchy subject of Barack being of mixed race, Sasha did not question his dual heritage but more gave food for thought on what some none thinking people might bring to the table of arguement about why he has infact been elected as President of The United States.

    I dont mix my words when I say he stands as Black man and talks with great pride as a Black man. Im exceptionally proud of his wife and believe he is very fortunate to have such a spirited back bone whom has supported him all the way.

    We need more Black women like Sasha and Caroline, whom are unfraid to express themselves about how they feel about the Black man and their unconditional Support and Love despite his difficulities to reach his aspirations. Well done!!
    The picture Sasha, describes of a Black man and woman wraped up together and intertwined, I actually have tattoed on my arm and NO I dont know Sasha.

    I would like to finish by saying I have truely loved reading Caroline’s Blog and I hope this is the first of many on Flavour from you!!

    Peace’n’Love
    Mike

  5. Mike,

    Thanks for your positive comments above, they were received in a respected and appreciated light.
    I must clear up one misunderstanding though. The above blog is NOT my blog. It was written by my friend Sasha. I just responded to it as it’s a topic I feel passionate about and wished to comment ALOT on… Apologies once again!

    It is Sasha who should be receiving the praise. Not just for her topic choice, but also the uplifting content & positivity she wrote with for us all to see, think on, express our opinions. appreciate and feel very proud of our race we are apart of. The tools are there for the black male to feel inspired, positive, focused and supported so he can achieve. The black woman also gains in many ways from supporting the black male.

    I’m of the opinion we should ALL try to help elevate our one another. When your blessed pass your blessing on in some way onto others who may need uplifting or supporting. Whose self belief may be diminishing. You don’t even have to know them that well, but we must rise above the negativity out there and let go of any wicked acts or thoughts, envious behaviour, selfishness, and choose consciously the path of positivity, love, and true support..

    OBAMA said ‘YES WE CAN’….SO LETS DO IT – MAKE A CHANGE!

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