Guest Blogger: Manushka is 22 in Age, 44 in mind. Afrocentric. Timeless Scholar. Her confidence and vulnerability comes through her pen and pad. Oh and she’s an avid sports fan… Studying English Writing at the University of Pittsburgh while in the Pre-Law path, Here’s what she had to say…
“If we as a people realized the greatness from which we came, we would be less likely to disrespect ourselves.” That’s a quote from the great Marcus Garvey, the father of black consciousness. I apply that, not only to how we treat our minds, bodies, and souls, but also to how we view each other.
Aside from black-on-black crime, nothing worries me more (and makes my skin crawl) about my people than the hostility and antipathy that exists between the black man and the black woman. It never fails. Whether it’s on Twitter and Facebook where a black woman is ranting about how black men “ain’t (expletive),” how they don’t make enough, how they are nothing but ballers and rappers, or simply that they never step up to the plate. Or a black man is tweeting “Y’all black women are losing out here to these white women,” or how black women need to “Shut the (expletive) up and go to the kitchen,” or how black women complain too much. Or the barrage of texts and calls I get, on a consistent basis, from friends about how they’re done with black men and women. The list goes on and on. So it isn’t merely a tragic story about black parents missing in the lives of their children, but black men and women missing from the lives of each other. How can we teach our children how to love if we don’t love each other? How are we going to teach our boys how to treat a lady? How are we going to teach our girls how to support and be proud of her man?
What breaks my heart the most is that the root of our gender wars continues to go unquestioned and unabated. The black man doesn’t want to talk about how history and slavery stripped him of his role as the black family’s designated protector and provider. In African culture, the black man represented strength, a warrior, and, in a sense, a source of life and prosperity for his immediate and sometimes even his extended family. Consequently, they had to be dehumanized and made impotent and incapable. In order to successfully initiate the process of eradicating African identity and pride, they had to start at the heart and soul of the black family, their savior on Earth, the black man.
The black woman doesn’t want to confront the truth that by ridding her of her protector, she was exposed to sexual exploitation and physical abuse of her and her children. She had to assume the role of protector, a role she wasn’t used to, a role she had no time to learn. Therefore, no matter how much she knew the plight of the black man was due to no fault of his own, it became ingrained in her that her man didn’t do his job and she had to do it for herself. Her anger and sorrow was misallocated, but that’s what she became conditioned to believe. The message was clear. In her eyes, he disappointed her and thus was good for nothing. The white man inevitably became her hero.
Decades later, black men subsequently feel the need to make up for what they had lost for over 200 years. And too often does that show up in dangerous ways. The inferiority complex that was infused back then still resonates today through the irresponsible dominance he feels he needs to exercise over black women, his children, and other black men. And now our women often feel no need for the black man because she’s been brainwashed (for over 200 years) to believe that she’s bad all by herself and that “I don’t need no man!” We are thus tragically still exerting roles begat by slavery.
These disquieting behaviors and thought processes must be addressed promptly and appropriately. We must acknowledge the fact that it was not our faults, yet simultaneously taking on the responsibility of remedying the situation. The black woman must realize there are good black men, and the black man must realize that black women ain’t evil. Something’s gotta give.