Posts Tagged ‘young black men’

Diary of an insecure Black Man

Friday, May 11th, 2012

By Jamall Calloway

Ok, fine, I admit that I’m intimidated by you. Are you happy now? I would have admitted it sooner, but you never gave me the chance to admit it to myself. You never gave me the opportunity to ponder on my reasons for not approaching you; you just declared in your mind that my hesitance must be directly correlated to your greatness. After all, you got it going on, right? You’re beautiful. You’re ambitious. You’re everything that anyone would want, but in your mind I haven’t approached because I just can’t handle how beautiful and ambitious you truly are, right? Well, my dear, that’s only partially true, and while I have your attention, allow me to tell you my truth. Allow me to tell you why I’m intimidated by you and why approaching you is so hard for me.

In all honesty, it’s not you. It’s the idea of being rejected by you. I, like most humans, am still afraid of rejection. And who isn’t? I have been rejected before and am clandestinely haunted by that feeling. So, I live guarding my self-esteem, doing whatever I can to evade that feeling. Try to understand that the possibility of your rejection has the power to make me feel low simply because of my distant admiration of you. When you admire something, especially from a distance, sometimes you just want to sustain that admiration without tainting it with the possibility of harsh reality. I’d much rather listen to “Just My Imagination” (1971) by the Temptations over and over again and dream about you reciprocating my attraction than to hear you say you don’t. And as you can tell, I’ve already made up in my mind that you’re going to say no, so I’ve decided to say it for you without even speaking to you. There is no need to go through this scene because I’ve played it countless times in my head. I nervously approach you – you ruthlessly reject me. Therefore, I’d rather you be a secret crush than another name added to the list of those who turned me down.

Now, the second reason I’m intimidated is related to the first, but it has more to do with me, by myself, than it does with you in relation to me. Get it? The second reason that I’m intimidated is because underneath my confidence, behind my good looks and next to my promising career, I’m honestly insecure. You’re a gorgeous woman who can date whomever you please. You are brilliant and beautiful. So what makes me think I have a shot? Sure, I’m handsome, but so are most of my friends. I know I’m educated, but these days – a bachelor’s degree is the new high school diploma. And yes, I have promising career, but so do you. And if I’m right about you, none of those things really impress you in the end. They matter, but they’re not all that important. So what do I have to offer you that none of these other gentleman have? Me. And sometimes, I still struggle with wondering if I am enough.

The third reason you intimidate me is because you haven’t fallen ill to the “I’ve found the only good brother left” syndrome. These days, I don’t have to subscribe to normative gender roles and performances that assert my role as the aggressor in romantic encounters because so many women approach me. Due to the shallow numbers of black men in graduate school and/or my career, I’ve grown accustomed to sisters vying for my attention. It’s the new version of tokenism. I’m the only black man here, and if you want a black man, you should compete for me. Someone once told me that (in heterosexual relationships), “No man can have any woman he wants, but he can have every woman that wants him.” So I play the field, date around and enjoy the single life until I am forced to commit to someone or until the one I really like – really, really like – pays attention to me.

And for some reason, you haven’t paid attention to me or you are awaiting my first move. And I haven’t made a move yet because, honestly, I really like you, but I’m afraid of rejection. I’m insecure about myself even though I hide it under pseudo characteristics of confidence. And I’m no longer used to pursuing the woman I want because most pursue me. You personify the mythical perfect black woman who has it all together, but what makes me think you’d pay any attention to me? So yes, in all honesty, my dear, you got it; I’m an intimidated black man.
Source

Nomalanga: 21 Children with 11 Women is a sad issue

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

I just read about the 29 year old man who has 21 children with 11 different women.

In this video, I discuss why I think this is not only a very troubling story but also why I think it is very sad for the children who have this man as a a father.
Originally posted at Your Black World

Nomalanga: Are Black Men disabled?

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

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.

Do the right thing!

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

A student just came rushing to my office and handed me an assignment (part of a final project) which he thought was due today. I gave the assignment and set the deadline as today but I did not take the assignment in. The purpose of doing this is so that the students do their work in increments rather than leave it all until the last minute and hand in sloppy work.

As the student handed me the assignment, I informed him that he was not required to hand it in. I could see the frustration in his face as he asked me why I had told them it was due today. I replied, “So that you would have it done by today.” I then asked him an obvious question; “Did you do it?” “Yes”,  he replied. To which I responded; “Then we have met our objective.”
Even as the student walked away, I could tell he was still disgruntled that he had spent time doing his school work under the impression that it was due to be handed in and then found out that it was not going to be handed in. Just as I thought he had left, he reappeared and asked me to give him feed-back and I told him that I was happy to but not at the present moment. I encouraged him to come to my office during “office hours” and I let him know I would be happy to assist him. He was still clearly disgruntled as he walked away from my office.

The reason why I am sharing this experience is that I have noticed that a lot of students don’t really come to college to learn. They seem to come to college as a means to an end and in my observation, while most of them are here, they do almost everything that they can to avoid learning!

The student that I just described did the assignment as part of his learning process but did not assign any value to the learning. Instead, he was frustrated that he had done the assignment “for nothing”. This is what I take issue with. It seems that college has become a means to an end and learning has become an “inconvenience” along the way. I genuinely believe that this line of thinking is not much different from people who serve others only because they expect something in return or so as to “be seen” serving which will improve their public image.

I’m glad this student came by my office because he made me think about a very important lesson that I leaned a long time ago: Do the right things for the right reasons.

It’s quite possible to do the “right thing” (like philanthropy) and still be wrong because we are doing the right thing for the wrong reason (like boosting public image). It is also possible to do the “wrong thing” (like say “no” to someone you care about) but have good intention (like preserving your time and energy for more important tasks).

The best students that I have come across are the ones who come to college to learn, gather information and improve their skills so that they can reach their career goals and make a positive impact in their communities. These students are the ones who are doing the right thing (getting an education) for the right reasons (improving their lives and those of other people).

The next time you have a task in from of you; ask yourself if you’re doing the right thing and if you’re doing it for the right reason. Failing which, if you’re going to do something that may be perceived as the “wrong” thing; do it for the right reason!

The Unmarried, Single, Pregnant Gospel Singer: What This Says about Black Women and Safe Sex

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Le’Andria Johnson, the winner of BET’s “Sunday Best” Gospel singing competition, recently revealed that she is unmarried and pregnant. Does this invalidate her status as a role model or has it become par for the course among African American women?

In the video below, Dr. Boyce Watkins speaks with YBW contributor Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses about the status of black women, safe sex and appropriate role model.
Source

Kevin Hart’s message to “Strong Black Women”

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Funny man, Kevin Hart, has allegedly  taken to cartoon illustrations to get his message across to black women about their attitudes. In the cartoon, he shows a group of black women rejecting a black man’s friendly greeting and then goes on to show the same black man walking with a white woman. The funny part is that the same black women who rejected him are then angry to see him with the white woman. The following words are written at the top of the cartoon: Being a “strong black woman” does not mean have an attitude.

What is interesting about this cartoon is that even though Kevin hart is being funny, there is an element of truth in his joke. I have often heard the angry ramblings of black women when they see a black man who has chosen to date or marry a non-black woman. He is often accused of hating himself or hating black woman or some variation of a negative opinion of his choice of partner. Of course, not all black women are angry or even care when they see black men with women of other races but it can’t be said that Kevin Hart is entirely wrong for pointing it out.

What Kevin Hart’s cartoon did fail to illustrate, however, is that there are black men who have such a deep seeded loathing for black women that they will date anyone except a black woman! Most of these men do not date non-black women necessarily because they have been rejected by black women, but instead because they have taken the worst stereotype of black women and draped it all over ALL black women.

At the end of the day, we can keep accusing each other of “selling out” or suffering from self loathing but the numbers still speak louder than any of us can. There are too many broken homes in the black community and a lot of our children are not being raised in happy, healthy and functional two parent homes. An open dialogue needs to take place about how we can begin to bring those statistics down and maybe people like Kevin Hart, although doing it through humor, are doing their part in opening the doors to the dialogue that needs to take place.

The Trayvon Martin case: We have work to do

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

By Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses

Ever since I heard about Trayvon Martin, the teenage boy who was brutally murdered by an over- zealous neighborhood watchman, George Zimmerman, I’ve been thinking a lot about why I was so emotionally impacted by the murder. I’ve realized that it means so much to me because a little over three years ago, I gave birth to the most adorable baby boy that I have ever known, my son.

Ever since the birth of my son, who is my second child, I have had to think about something that I never really used to give much consideration. I have had to think about what it means to grow up as a black boy in America. My husband, who was born and raised in America (I was born and raised in Botswana), has shared many stories of how he has experienced being assumed to be “dumb” in school, mainly because he was black and some stories about how he was assumed to be the aggressor in any conflict, again because he was Black. In spite of him having shared his experiences with me, the fact that he is now a grown man who has made tremendous advances in his career and his life goals, made his stories a little less real to me or at least not something that I had a great deal of concern about.

When I heard about Trayvon Martin, I had a moment where I wept uncontrollably and I realize that what has changed about me is that I am now a mother-I am Trayvon’s mother. My Trayvon is still only three years old and he goes by a different name that his father and I gave him but he is a sweet boy who we love very much and he does not deserve to be shot to death.

Read the rest here.


Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses is a wife, mother, professional speaker and an Assistant Professor of Professional Studies. For more information about Nomalanga’s programs, please click here.

Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker: How to Have a Happy Marriage

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Check out this interview that Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker did with essence.com. I love seeing marriage work and I love it even more when the happy couples share their “secret to success”. Enjoy!

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Walter “BlackBond” Cobb: What Men Like in Women

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Do You have the time is an age old pick up line that is hardly used in this manner any longer, but I think I will start using it when getting to know a woman. Today, women are in the work force accomplishing more than they ever have and many often have to juggle running a home and a family on their own. I commend them for this, but so often they are not making time for life. To me, there are very few traits that are as attractive as a woman having a zest for life. But where has that zest gone??? I hear about women who hit the snooze button a few times in the morning and roll out the bed in just enough time to get dressed and head for work. No breakfast being made. Many just grab some junk in the morning as they hit the drive through for their morning coffee. An even worse phenomenon happens in the evening. Women are saying they don’t have enough time to cook dinner for themselves or their kids as they are putting extra hours in at the office and are too tired to cook when they get home. So take out it is, or even worse, fast food drive through.

Okay, we know this and now you are asking what does this have to do with male/female relationships. When a man starts thinking that he wants to get to know a woman seriously, he considers a lot of things. To me, a woman who cannot seem to carve out enough time in her daily routine for herself, will have you competing for time with her. Even if she likes you! Now I am all for earning your attention but if we have to compete with life we will lose every time. Women always say men have short attention spans and this is a sure fire way to lose our attention. It is endearing to me when I hear a woman telling me how she makes time to hit the gym and take care of herself. It makes me think she will also make the time to take care of me. Right or wrong this is how we think. Read the rest here.

Mindful Mornings: What are YOU modeling?

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

People follow your lead. If you respect yourself, they respect you. If you place a high value on your time, they will value it too. It works in reverse as well.

As with anything, there are exceptions but before you complain about how you were treated, always ask yourself one question: What was I modeling?