Black boys and men are told how to act before they can establish what is best for them. We teach our young black boys early in life that a man doesn’t show emotion often, if at all. The comfort and softness for little black boys doesn’t exist long. They aren’t allowed to cry or be hurt without being told to “toughen up.” I’ve heard so many phrases that stifle the emotional need that most black boys and men have a natural right to.
The truth is—black boys aren’t allowed to be delicate. I see too many black man suffering from pain and trauma inflicted as a child. Our black men don’t need stronger black women, but a safe space to just be soft. A space to just feel loved without it being used as way to minimize his manhood. We spend our lives telling little black boys to man up. Until, one day he meets a lover that wants to see him be emotional. However, she’s asking for an aspect that he truly doesn’t know how to express or tap into. So you want the truth? No sus, that man can’t love you like you deserve. Why? Because he barely loves himself. He’s been taught to be emotionally distant for years. He’s been forced to be a man before the the title was earned. So you’re asking him for monogamy, when he equates love to multiple women. He’s been programmed to think quantity is better than quality. Its not that he isn’t capable of loving you, its just that he’s never experienced a genuine concept of love.
As a society, we are creating black men that don’t know how to communicate, understand accountability, or how to express themselves effectively. So many men are trying to fill emotional voids with designer clothes, multiple women, risky life choices, and toxic masculinity. I always look at my students and wonder what day did it happen. What day did the world hurt you or force you to detach? Our boys are crying out for help and we can only see the image that has been painted by others. Our boys and a few of our men are walking around looking for approval and love from their parents. They’re searching for a sense of being from an adult, who just can’t be there or refuses to be most times. So versus us calling it “Daddy or Mommy issues”, we say he has to be the man of the house. We place that title on him to cover up the scar of an inner child wound. The reality is that little black boys need both parents just like little black girls do. How can we expect our boys to do better when they have no role models to show them what better is? Society deems black men and boys as a threat. The harsh truth is—they’re hurt broken little boys begging us to see them.
So the anger they harbor is just a reminder of each time someone failed to hear him. The destructive behavior is just a call out for someone to hold them. The silence is just an automated response for all the times that he was told to man up when he truly just wanted to cry. Our black boys need us to see them again. They need us to allow them freedom to be who they desire. They need space to cry over being disappointed, scared, heartbroken, happy, excited, etc. Crying is therapeutic, so why can’t we let BLACK BOYS CRY TOO?