Archive for August, 2009|Monthly archive page

Brothers Remove Your Masks

In Uncategorized on August 25, 2009 at 2:03 am

I am at a very interesting point in my adult life, where after some difficult relationships, I find myself becoming a bit embittered.  My bitterness is not directed towards the specific Black men that I have been involved with, or Black men as a collective actually, but more so at the conditions that are sabotaging Black men’s potential to lead healthy, normal, lives.

I mean we all watch them fall apart; the Stephen Marbury’s, the Michael Beasley’s. They appear to us broken, fragmented, and reaching for our hands. Our brothers, our beloved brothers, are dying; both figuratively and literally, physically and emotionally, from mental illnesses that we as a community, out of the fear of stigmatization, will not allow them to diagnose and treat.

Statistically speaking, Black and White men are believed to suffer from depression at a similar rate of 12%.  Of course this represented percentage includes diagnosed cases only, and as we acknowledge our community’s lagging acceptance of mental health issues, we recognize that the percentage is probably much higher.

Actually, I don’t know very many brothers who would not benefit immensely from psychological evaluations and subsequent therapy sessions (or sisters for that matter, but that is another blog for another day) .  I am a proponent of mental health screenings and counseling, and through all of my efforts, I have yet to convince any of the brothers I have tried to assist to admit their needs or seek the appropriate help.  So our men continue to mask, which according to Dubois we are exceptionally gifted at, trading their pain for fake gansterisms and unnecessary hardships or submerging themselves in drugs, alcohol and women to sedate or escape the pain.  Sitting by, idly watching them self destruct in our faces, must be akin to Africans watching their kinsmen being loaded onto slave ships. Somehow we know that we are witnessing tragedy, but in that moment we know not how to stop it.

I say this to you brothers… your pain does not escape my heart. I understand the complexity of trying to compete in a world that proclaims you should not even be allowed in the game.  I sympathize with your frustrations in being looked upon as some type of perfect example of masculinity, yet being emasculated every day of your life by your oppressor, and sometimes the woman that claims to love you.  I acknowledge your humanity and all of the bitter-sweetness that accompanies it.  You do not have to be “the man” for us; you can simply be “a man” for us- with flaws and heartaches and disappointments like everyone else.  And as I free you to be beautifully human, I only ask that you put your machismo aside to also acknowledge my need for tenderness and kindness, and free me in return.  Our captors say that we don’t know how to love ourselves or each other. Let us work to prove them wrong.

And as always I leave you with a beautiful quote from a beautiful Black man who also fought to have his humanity acknowledged…

Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. ~ James Baldwin


Word Wisdom

In Commentary, Contemplations, Words on August 19, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Words without thoughts never to heaven go ~ Shakespeare

I apologize for neglecting you all, as somehow, twitter has become my new blogspot. I attribute my frequent, sometimes ten in a row, tweets to my Muse grabbing hold of me and not relinquishing control until I am able to fully commit her words to the universe. Her words, like those of Djehuty (Toth in Greek), must be pronounced in that moment.

Djehuty is the Kemetic Neter (God) considered to be Ra’s heart and tongue, and the only Neter that can translate His will. The Greek translation of his name is believed by Kemetologist to be where the word thought originates.  Africans, and yes Kemet-Egypt is a part of Africa, have always understood the power in the translation of thoughts through the words we speak, write, and commit into being. In short, our words become our essence and our actions.

Do you not believe me? Take a moment to view Dr. Masura Emoto’s study concerning the crystalization of water. In part of his experiement glasses of water were exposed to negative and positive words. The water in the glasses crystalized differently, with the negative words creating dark sludge-like crystalizations.  If negative and positive words can affect water in such a manner, imagine how they can affect the heart of men.

Part of the reason that I chose writing and literature as a focus of my academic studies, and the reason that I write poetry, live my life on twitter, and bother you all with my blogs, is because I feel a close and personal attachment to word transmission (I include written and spoken words in this definition).  Words affect me deeply and concretely, and my latest life lesson has been to realize that others do not share this same connection.  We are socialized to believe that words can never hurt us, which is one of the greatest fallacies propagated as cruel words leave the deepest scars and are the hardest to heal from. By that same standard, kind words can deliver us, resurrect us, and free us; even if only from ourselves- which is why we prosper from self-affirmation.

Beautiful ones- I said all of that to say, choose you words wisely as they create the person you are.  Also realize the positive and negative words you say form and transform others; it is a very cumbersome but honest realization.

Sade beautifully illustrates my thoughts of today in her song “Every Word”. Enjoy…