There's an art to being a black man in this country. We have to master the art of survival. This means surviving our journey anywhere outside of our residence and back again. Surviving the daily struggle of maintaining a job.
... Especially when the company you work for feels that you're only smart enough to be in certain positions because of the color of your skin. Everyday we have to apply the Ninja like art of camouflage. You know... being the only black man in the company, but developing different methods to blend in with your co workers so they feel comfortable, (i.e. not speaking in a perceived threatening manner, drinking hard sparkling water and eating cucumber sandwiches.) even though our hue and intellect makes us stand out. Nah… they don’t like it when we're on the same playing field as them, let alone, being intellectually superior than them when it comes to making that guap. We have to become masters of navigation. Yeah... I said it, navigation. We must learn to maneuver the sometimes-unforgiving streets of Blacktown, USA, our interactions with America's deadliest gang (the police), all while dealing with how we're perceived by Pink People. Wait... there's more.
When we make it back home we have to become Magicians. We have to make all of the bullshit we dealt with outside, disappear, before we cross that threshold. We do this for multiple reasons. 1... If we have a family, we don't want the stress of our daily struggles to affect our loved ones. 2... We have to be seen as a model of strength and dependability to both our wife and children. Keep this in mind... even though we left said bullshit outside our safe haven, the wife and the kids may be on one. Yeah... you know what I'm talkin' bout… One of those days… We have to become illusionist. Masters of the art of making you believe that you're seeing one thing, while actually seeing something totally different. We become both Martin and Malcolm -
Advisor and advocate -
Husband, father, friend and lover -
In essence we become all that is necessary on any given day. And we try to do these things without breaking down in front of those we care for. This is done because as boys, we are taught that crying makes you look weak. And being weak is not manly.
It's not frequent that the average Black man opens up when he's having a moment of unease. When he feels drained and depleted. Ladies... understand that if your black man decides to divulge certain things about how he's feeling, he's not doing it out of weakness. He's doing it because he trusts your counsel. It's rare that he opens up. This moment should not be taken lightly because he was taught not to do this. Understand that it's not easy being a Black man. And sometimes... we need your help.