Nomalanga: Are Black Men disabled?

Today, I received a message from a man who described himself as “a disabled black man”. He asked me a very important question in response to some of my posts that talk about what black men want or what black women want. For the purpose of this post, I will call him “G”.

G: what about black men

Me: What about them, G?

G: You wrote about what black women want – well as a black disabled male, I know they do not want disabled males

Because I do not personally know G, I had to assume that he was physically or mentally challenged and that is what he was referring to as “disabled”. This got me thinking; we all have some form of “disability” and “black men” are no different. In addition to that, I believe that black men have a collective “disability” that is unique to them. Through no choice of their own, they have been built into many people’s minds as a threat and every day, they have to overcome that “disability”. The Trayvon Martin case has reminded us that black men and boys can even be brutally killed because of this “disability”.

Here is how I responded to “G”:

I hear you [G]. I think it is important to re-define how people perceive who you call “black disabled males”. Being “black” or “disabled” or “male” are all secondary to being a human being. We all want to love and be loved and all the descriptions come after.

What we all want is for people to see us for who we are; not for what we can be described as. On a personal note, I have spent A LOT of time investing in my personal development and the people who genuinely love and appreciate me do so because of who I am and not what I can be described as.

We are all differently abled and there will always be people who can see past our “disability” and focus on what we are able to do. There is no one on this earth that is still alive that does not have some ability-the fact that we are here is a testament to the fact that we have ability and our own unique ability is our contribution to this life as long as we are alive.

Have a great day, [G]!

Here is the bottom line: The people in this country and the world, at large, are going to have to find a way to see people for who they are (human beings) before they see their “blackness” or any other “ness” that can describe them. We have to start seeing people without using a lense of racism or any other “ism” that we can come up with.

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3 Responses to “Nomalanga: Are Black Men disabled?”

  1. aki says:

    ” redefine yourself” ? how does a person go about doing such a thing, when his reference point is his own perspective. when at 12 he is the man of the house when his mom, on dope, dad in prison, and has been their his whole life, his uncle 33 the oldest man in his entire family. his mom a grand mother at 35, all you can tell G everyone has ability, redefine yourself, where does he start?

  2. Naomi says:

    Dear G:
    Disabled or not; concentrate on YOU. Like the great, late Michael Jackson sings about the man in the mirror. When you have arrived you will know, and a community of people will see the natural beauty and attributes you bring with you. This is my prayer for you!

  3. Kim says:

    You are obviously an idiot. As a black woman with a physical disability, I have to tell you that disability is a real issue and more importantly it is its own issue!!!
    There is no such thing as being kind of disabled, you either are or your not because it has its own unique experiences and problems that comes along with it.
    How would feel if a white person told you that “we are all a little black?”
    Please go to college and get an education so that you can learn the history of Blackness being equated with disability being used against blacks to validate their oppression before you equate black males with disability.

    You are nothing that you think you are. I don’t know what you are successful at doing but you are certainly ignorant.

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