Category Archives: BLACK (history, life, culture etc)
Recently as I walked around a local, historically black college I felt good…I mean truly good. After I left I realized that the reason I had been feeling so good was because I had seen so many black men on campus who were educated, charismatic, good-humored and even though I didn’t know them I was proud of them.
I was proud of them not just because they were attending college, but I was proud of them for choosing something other than the streets and for possessing something other than a negative attitude that reflects what many people would like to believe about them.
I sat down today to continue my segment on black men and stereotypes however as I began to jot down my thoughts about how black men are profiled, stereotyped and given the title of “bad” my thoughts swayed to something black men need which is inspiration.
In a day and time when the daily news broadcast stories of black men being handcuffed, hunted down and jailed day in and day out it is good to know that not all black men are buying in to the widespread belief that black men have nothing,w ant nothing and have a future that dead ends at nothing. Black men need to realize that this world is not for them….the odds are not in their favor and the law is not their friend.
As I thought about the black men in my family and reflected back on the many stories I have heard from them of how difficult it often is just being a black man. I thought about their many stories of being pulled over by the police and harassed for no reason at all, how they have been discriminated against because their shade of black is just a little too black and how many times they just didn’t understand why being a black man seemed to come with extra baggage, a storm cloud looming overhead and a stumbling block around every corner.
I realize how hard it is being black being that I have faced my own share of discriminatory acts and outright racist actions from persons of other races, but it never even dawned on me how much harder it must be being a black man. Wow…. I never even imagined how hard it must be for the strongest to be depicted as the weakest or how incredibly disappointing it must be to see yourself labeled as the bad guy over and over again and sadly there seems to be nothing you can do about it.
Today as I parked my car at Walmart and began to exit my vehicle I happened to look over at the car next to me (something I should do more often) and noticed that there was a man sitting on the passenger side of the car. I immediately noticed that the driver of the car was missing and that the passenger was drooling over a Colt 45 (tall can). I looked over at the man, did a quick review of my doors to make sure they were locked then proceeded to exit my vehicle. When I looked back up at the man in the car he seemed to be quite annoyed that I had checked my doors…maybe he thought I had feared he would break into my car….maybe I did! Not only did the guy look at me as if he was insulted, he did what seemed to be a man eye roll. He then turned up the can of beer and guzzled more of it down.
Now being that I am an African-American female myself and the passenger of the car was also an African-American maybe he assumed that I should have no fear of him or maybe I shouldn’t assume that he was dangerous in any way, BUT he was guzzling a Colt 45 (tall can) at 1:45 in the daytime…now that may not be enough to say that he was dangerous, but for me it was damn sure enough to say that he could possibly act a damn fool because I don’t know too many people who drink Colt 45 in the daytime who don’t act like a real fool. Colt 45 is known for having that effect on people!
Could the feelings, thoughts and preconceived notions I had concerning this black man possibly be the same thoughts and preconceived notions others had when they stereotyped and often feared black men? Was it his Colt 45 or was there something deeper behind my double-check of my car doors and double-check of his positioning to reassure my safety and the safety of my vehicle?