It’s truly a shame how a boy is raised so incomplete. So ill-equipped to deal with the true trials of life. He isn’t raised to be a man of valiant character who is wise, understanding, or patient. He’s taught to seek pleasure, dominance and material stature. He’s taught that he must first be given in order to give. Not to forgive but seek vindication. He’s taught that knowledge makes him an outcast but having many women makes him more manly and worth something. He’s not taught to be a father, a trustworthy friend, or even a husband but a hustler, a fashion statement and a trendsetter. He grows into a lost man-child with walls placed around his vulnerability. His capacity to overcome his pride is diminished significantly because it’s been strengthened his whole life. His manhood lost in the deceptions of other broken men who were blinded by broken examples.
We nurture superficial qualities in our boys and expect them to meet standards that they aren’t equipped for. We tell them that crying and emotional expression is for girls and thus reinforce silent resentment and repression. We teach them to be obstinate, to be angry and disobedient to authority, and to surreptitiously betray the women who love them. They spend their lives fixated on proving their fruitless manhood because deep down inside of them is a void they are unconscious of.
The spirit of a man lives within all our boys but it’s starved and left emaciated and powerless. It calls out to them at every waking moment but it’s voice is but a subtle whisper distorted by the loud cries of a child seeking instant gratification. With no one to nurture the man in him he never learns to control his sensuous, carnal desires. He grows into an impulsive, prideful, and incorrigible force of destruction. The man in him still starving, dying and pleading for an opportunity to bring him peace and joy.
A boy only grows into a man once he finds an example of one. Once he witnesses for himself a different choice for his life, once something or someone begins to speak life into the man in him. It feels as though he is reborn, that cry that once was so loud becomes silenced and the voice of the man in him is recognizable. Responsibility, honor, character, and integrity become valuable and exciting to him. He’s no longer the angry child he once was but a man of a confident countenance.
The mission for manhood in our black men is not just a personal mission, it’s also a mission of brotherhood. Those who have achieved the enlightenment of manhood are responsible to enlighten those who are still blinded by the same struggle they overcame. Like the old saying goes “it takes a village to raise a child” it takes a man to show a boy how to be a man. To correct his brother when he is wrong and to be a constant figure of positive influence. Black men must take up the call for manhood and be true to their natural ability to lead. It’s not a mission that will always have a personal reward but a mission that rewards the generations to come.