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Sunday, January 8, 2012

How Brothers and Sisters in the Black Community Can Help the Invisible Black Men

In a previous blog, I wrote about the Invisible Black men, the good brothers in the Black community who we don’t see every day. Staying on that straight and narrow path is a lonely journey where many of our best and brightest Black men are mocked ridiculed, laughed at, beaten, humiliated and driven out of the communities they want to serve.

In trying to be a part of their communities, The invisible Black men like myself often meet up with a wall of resistance from their own brothers and sisters. This lack of support can make a man feel like he’s swimming upstream. In extreme cases our good men feel like they’re drowning in a pool of apathy and indifference.

The White community protects and supports its best and brightest men. The Latino community protects its best and brightest The Asian community protects and supports their good men.

But the Black community doesn’t look out for its good men.

What can we all do to help the invisible Black men? What can we do to encourage them? For starters brothers and sisters can start acknowledging they exist. The next time we see a good brother doing the right thing, how about smiling at them. Say Hi to them. Introduce yourself. That can go a long way towards making good brothers feel wanted, appreciated and valued.

Next we can start providing with support. Many of our good brothers are neglected and forgotten in the mad quest to save the thugs, ex-cons hoodrats and hustlers on the street. Because these brothers don’t get their mental and emotional needs met by the community they become frustrated and angry and eventually abandon their communities.

Emotional support can also be doing something as simple as smiling at good brothers at myself and saying Hi when you see us on the street, at church or in your building. Or brothers and sisters can go further out of their way by saying thank you for being who they are. Congratulating them for finishing High School. Congratulate them for finishing College. Asking them how school was. Asking them how their day was when they come home from work. Letting these brothers know how much we all care about them. Let them see that we value them as people.

Seriously, it’s those little gestures people make that can have a big impact on encouraging good brothers like myself to keep doing what they’re doing and to not give up.

The invisible Black men like myself want to be there for their communities. We appreciate the time people take to acknowledge us and will make more efforts to be a part of our communities if they allow us an opportunity to connect with them.

Brothers and sisters can also start looking out for the next generation of good brothers in school. Let them know they are doing a great job. Encourage them to stay in school and that all the work they’re doing in the classroom will pay off eventually. That it’s not “White” to get an education.  And most importantly, that it’s okay for them to be themselves. They’re not nerds,

Moreover, we all must make efforts to protect them from the gangstas, and hoodrats on the way to school who bully and harass them. All of us must let these invisible boys know that the community is watching them. and that we won’t stand for our best and brightest boys being terrorized for getting an education. These young men are the future of Black America and will be the captains of industry who will build our infrastructure.

Economically, brothers and sisters can support good men by making an effort to buy products from brothers like myself who have legit businesses or are trying to start legit businesses so they can be encouraged to persevere. Entrepreneurs in business struggle for the first five years to stay afloat. Many a good brother who started a business often was drowned by a lack of support from the brothers and sisters in the Black community who refused to take the time to put money into his business. Worse, after the failure of their business, these men became discouraged and gave up efforts to bring products and services to the community.

Brothers and sisters need to understand it’s the support from the Black community that allows Black men to build wealth in the Black community. That economic power keeps money in the neighborhood which allows business people to hire other African-Americans. Our economy is suffering currently because African-Americans don’t buy Black products or buy products from Black merchants. Moreover we don’t do anything to to protect the businesses in our communities.

Brothers and sisters can also support Black entrepreneurs by providing them with leads to new business clients and telling others about their products and services. This networking in the neighborhood allows good Black men to build their businesses and to create the economic web that keeps our communities strong. These business networks keep things .

Everyone needs to understand that when we don’t make the efforts to look out for our good brothers, we can’t look out for the quality of life in the Black community.  We can’t reach back to support the next generation if the community doesn’t reach out to support us.

1 comment:

  1. Endless kudos to you, Shawn, for this one. This time you've given us the specifics of how to do what you're suggesting: Support the good Blackk male in our comunities. Now we know exactly how to go about it.

    You've given us a blueprint for uplifting our lives and our neighborhoods. Nothing is more important than this. And this isn't to deny the need for help of those who've lost their way, but all attention cannot be focused on them if we want to surive as viable humans in viable cultures.

    Pat your back for this one, even as I pat your back. Seldom as our race been done such a favor in having it pointed out to us what's so easy to do and will bring enormous results.