Okay, guys! We have A LOT to unpack pertaining to episode 6 of the digital series “Black on Both Sides”. Creator, writer, and director Alonge Hawes definitely put a lot of thought and purpose into this episode, and before I delve into its analysis, I encourage every black man and woman to go and watch this episode. It will unnerve you, challenge your thinking, and empathize with you in away that ultimately needs to happen if we want to move forward as a Black community.
Right from the start, it’s obvious that there is a HUGE tension and discomfort in the room between our two podcast guests. We have Dr. Lilith Alexander who is a Harvard Graduate, NY Times Best Seller, and is the author of a book titled “Black Men are the White Men of the Black Community”. In opposition to her, we have Mr. Nigel Hawthorne who is a Yale Graduate, was included on the Fox News ‘Top 10 Intellectuals to Watch for 2019’ list, and is the author of a book titled “Sistahs ain’t Soldiers: Stop Playing their Game and Get Your Money, Black Man”. This tension and discomfort seems to pose as a foreshadowing of whats to come of this podcast episode, as each book title is a harsh critique on Black men and women.
The podcast begins with our host, Henry Gil Scott Heron, asking Dr. Alexander for a brief synopsis of her book, and what she says thereafter attempts to address the pain and resentment that many Black women feel towards Black men. However, we can see that her explanation, though understandable to a degree, is flawed. Though her logic is relatable, it lacks accuracy and consideration of the fact that Black men have been physically and mentally destroyed by their white counterparts in MANY of the same ways as Black women have. Her accusations are sharp, misguided, and directly echo the stereotypes and racially-charged commentary that the White community has pigeon-held Black people to.
In Mr. Hawthorne’s rebuttal, he asks valid questions and makes some substantial points in opposition to Dr. Alexanders’ claims. He refers to how the medias’ portrayal of Black men has done a very big part in misleading people, including some Black women, to believe in an inherent criminality that’s solely tied to the Black male identity. It isn’t until after Dr. Alexanders’ response to his rebuttal that we see where his pain and resentment towards the Black woman shows its ugly head. In retrospect, Mr. Hawthorne, along with many other Black men, feel as though Black women have not only abandoned Black men throughout the process of their physical and mental destruction by White society, but has also had an aiding hand in that very destruction nonetheless.
Now, I’m not going to get into the specifics, as I want you all to see it, but I will say this: This episode DID NOT come to play any games with its audience. In this episode, we see how dangerous it is for both Black men and women to blindly spew racially-charged rhetoric thats sole purpose is to oppress and devalue Black people as a whole. We see that pointing the metaphorical finger at one another not only divides us, but it also clouds our ability to see that we have much more in common than we think we do. When we refuse to address our pain and resentment with one another and we allow for other people to define our feelings of confusion and hurt, it festers and transforms us into the very self-hating bigots that we so proudly claim to despise.
Go see this episode. Your ‘woke’ status is counting on it.