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Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Self-Fufilling Prophecy of Failure and Black Men- How to Overcome It

I have heard the following statements in the Black community from Black women regarding Black males in front of their sons:

“Black Men are stupid.”

“Black Men are lazy.”

“Black men can’t do nothing right.”

“Black Men ain’t nothing.”

“Niggers ain’t shit.”

“Ain’t nothing a Black man can do for me.”

“All Black Men are dogs”

“Black Men are liars”

“Black Men are triflin’”

“Black men are cheaters”

“You gonna be just like yo’ no good daddy.”

“Black man ain’t nothing but a criminal.”

“He gonna wind up in jail”

“He’s gonna wind up dead.”

And every time I’ve heard a Black woman or someone else say something negative about a Black man in front of their sons those words come to pass fifteen to twenty years later. Usually brothers wind up dead, in prison, on drugs or in jail.

I have to wonder if this is a chicken or the egg situation regarding Black men. Do brothers become go down a tragic path because it’s in their nature, or is this nature ingrained in them subconsciously through the words of their mothers, the media’s representation of them and society’s perceptions of them.

The Bible states that if you speak something and believe it, and see it in their minds, it will come to pass. According to some psychologists, A self-fulfilling prophecy is defined when a prediction directly or indirectly comes true.

A self-fulfilling prophecy usually becomes true because people believe the situation is real and that the only outcome of the turn of events is the one predicted.

I define a self-fulfilling prophecy as believing what is said about oneself taking it for truth, and acting consciously or subconsciously to make the statements come to pass.

And in the case of Black males, they hear these negative statements made about them from the media, the community and more importantly, their mothers from birth. As young boys black males take these false statements about their who society thinks they should be to heart and believe them as truth. As they take these beliefs to heart, they behave in a way that is expected of them.

I often wonder if Black mothers were to say positive things to their sons about Black men like:

“Black men are strong.”

“Black men are smart.”

“Black men are honest.”

“Black men are quick learners.”

“Black men are talented.”

“Black men are courageous.”

“Black men are heroes.”

“No one loves a woman like a Black Man”

“Black men love Black women.”

“Black men care about their community.”

“I believe he can do it.”

“He’s going to do well in school.”

“He’s going to get his diploma.”

“You’re going to make me proud just like your father did.”

“Black men are great businessmen”

“Black men are good workers.”

“Black men take care of their families”

“Black Men are reliable.”

“My son is going to be an executive.”

“My son is going to be a success when he grows up.”

“Black men are hard workers.”

“He’s going to go down in history as someone great.”

“You’re going to go to college.”

“You’re going to have your own business.”

I wonder what impact it would have on Black men. Could this type of positive reinforcement change the way Black males think of themselves? Could implanting these positive statements in the mind of a Black male subconsciously and consciously create another type of self-fulfilling prophecy? One where the expectation of success leads to Black men taking steps to becoming successful?

Personally, I feel the way to break this vicious cycle of self-destruction in the Black community starts with the mind. Just as someone thinks is what they’ll become. I believe if brothers and sisters plant good seeds in their heads they’ll reap a bountiful harvest.


I’ll be kicking off promotion for All About Nikki- The Fabulous First Season after Labor Day. Just in time for the 2011-2012 TV season!

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