Are We Our Brother’s Keeper? Why I Love Black Men…

Hello World,

First of all, I must say don’t take this post the wrong way…I love all people because we were ALL created in God’s image…But I would be lying if I didn’t confess that I have a special love for black men…Nikki Giovanni’s poem “Beautiful Black Men,” which I came across when I was an adolescent perfectly captures just how I feel….

While the imagery and pop culture references are somewhat dated, Nikki Giovanni captures what captivates me about black men in her beautiful poem. But black men, particularly black boys, are in danger…We have to look no further than the examples of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, black teenagers who were senselessly slain before they were able reach manhood, to see that we are at an impasse for black boys…

This is one of the reasons why I’m so very proud of President Obama for creating the “My Brother’s Keeper Initiative,” which will support black boys in helping them reach manhood and achieve success.  Below are just a few of the poignant statements President Obama made on Thursday about why he created this critical program…

  • But the plain fact is there are some Americans who, in the aggregate, are consistently doing worse in our society — groups that have had the odds stacked against them in unique ways that require unique solutions; groups who’ve seen fewer opportunities that have spanned generations.  And by almost every measure, the group that is facing some of the most severe challenges in the 21st century in this country are boys and young men of color.
  • As a black student, you are far less likely than a white student to be able to read proficiently by the time you are in 4th grade.  By the time you reach high school, you’re far more likely to have been suspended or expelled.  There’s a higher chance you end up in the criminal justice system, and a far higher chance that you are the victim of a violent crime.  Fewer young black and Latino men participate in the labor force compared to young white men.  And all of this translates into higher unemployment rates and poverty rates as adults.
  • That’s why, in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin verdict, with all the emotions and controversy that it sparked, I spoke about the need to bolster and reinforce our young men, and give them the sense that their country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in them. And I’m grateful that Trayvon’s parents, Sybrina and Tracy, are here with us today, along with Jordan Davis’s parents, Lucy and Ron.
  • Below is a video of President Obama talking about the new initiative. Isn’t the image of President Obama, our nation’s first black president, flanked by boys of color, a powerful one? I love it…

For those that don’t know, the phrase “my brother’s keeper” comes from the Genesis story of Cain and Abel in which God asks Cain about the location of his brother Abel, whom Cain murdered due to jealously. Cain said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” Of course, he knew because he murdered him. And the Lord punished him for his crime. As demonstrated in this story, we are ALL our brother’s keepers…If we see someone struggling, we cannot ignore it, we must help or face God’s judgment…

Any thoughts?

Comments

comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

6 thoughts on “Are We Our Brother’s Keeper? Why I Love Black Men…

  1. Great post. Thanks for sharing the Nikki Giovanni poem. I feel you on the special love for black men…I’m married to one and I gave birth to one :-). I am keenly aware of the battles that they face in this society. I’m excited about the President’s initiative. What I hope to see is effective policy (e.g. addressing disparities in the justice system and education systems that at times seem to be working against black boys) to accompany this effort.

    Another positive anthem that I like is Angie Stone’s song, Brotha. I bet she was inspired by Nikki.

    • I agree Deidre the disparities in the justice and education systems to be addressed as well and hopefully President Obama’s program can help with those efforts…And maybe Angie Stone’s song was inspired by Nikki Giovanni’s poem 🙂