Get On The Bus: Black Male Discussions

https://www.philadelphiaprintworks.com/blogs/news/115117893-black-boys-need-two-talks

The above link is an article that showed up on my newsfeed a few weeks ago.  It highlights something that myself and I’m sure many other black women have talk about, felt, heard about, and discussed, which is the lack of awareness of the male privilege that black men enjoy.  The machismo among the black men that I have been around is all-consuming and in most venues, accepted.  It affects every part of the black men I know’s lives from dating to academics to sports- its evident.  The article above notes that though black men undoubtedly face structural barriers, it should not be lost on them that they too possess privilege that they can either ignore or use to help black women who do not enjoy the same advantages. Even at Amherst, it is clear (to me at least) that black women struggle to fit into the dominant culture more than black men.  I tried to pick just one line to quote, but I think the whole article says what I (having an older brother and being in the presence of  black men often)  have wanted to say for a long time.  And perhaps the men on that bus should read it as well.

 

I’d love to hear thoughts on this!

2 comments

  1. I’m so glad you found this article and put it up for us to view! This line, “And I want to hide any of their shortcomings from the white gaze– but I shouldn’t have to hide the parts of me that need protecting, too.” was particularly revealing for me and seemed to isolate so many problems faced by minorities today. I’ve been studying literature that confronts these interracial tensions, particularly between males and females, and thought it might be relevant to include some of the texts. Push by Sapphire was a novel under fire for being to harsh in its depiction of black men (amongst many other critiques), and The Woman Warrior has faced a lot of backlash for its portrayal of Chinese men as well.

  2. I thought that was an incredibly powerful article, thank you so much for sharing it! It so potently illustrated the tangled double bind that black women experience of racism/sexism intertwining and informing each other. A poisonous mixture that comes not just from the world but from black men too, who suffer their own struggles with white supremacist structures, and then re-create the patriarchal violence of those structures in relation to black women. I found that the article very kindly yet forcefully underscored the point: two talks. Two conversations. Oppression alongside and tied to culpability.

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