The old adage is that history repeats itself. If that’s true, then the number of African American men in college will continue to go down and the number of them in prison will go up because that’s been the recent trend. I don’t believe in this old adage, however I still believe in the good of African American men.
As a black woman, I’ve had both good and bad experiences with men, black men in particular. I got my heart broken as a freshman and haven’t really been the same since. It was one of those heart breaks where the days start to blend together and you find yourself crying yourself to sleep at night. I’m okay now, but at the time, I really thought that all black men were the same. It’s a story that’s been heard many times before. You get in a relationship, get hurt, and then you swear all men are dogs. That is, until the next guy comes along. My mother went through the same situation with my father who is a black man. I still see the hurt on her face almost 21 years after her and my father split. So why do I still believe in them so passionately?
You would think that all the negative images that you see in the media and all the statistics would dissuade me from feeling as deeply about then as I do. However, if I didn’t believe in black men, then I am denying a part of myself. Black men are my coworker, my friends, and my brothers. Yes, they have their moments where I would like to bop them on the head like the V8 commercial and scream “You can do better!” Yet at the same time, anytime I ever need anything my brothers are there for me and I will continue to be there for them.
The only way for the image of black men to be better is for people to push them and encourage them instead of society tear them down. There need to be more successful black men to reach back and mentor the next generation of the African American community. And as a black woman, there need to be more of us standing beside them and showing our support. I am taking a stand and officially saying that we should stop letting history repeat itself.