Toni Morrison inspired me to write this. The words of Black women before me have forced me to write this. Their words echoing loud in my eardrums like the growl of a wolf in a dark cave. I hear their words and they make me strive to be better. To understand their experiences and to ensure the women after them experience a world with love, gentleness, and safety that they are overdue for.
The past year has forced me to see the divide between Black men and women. Sure, we marry each other, we make children with each other, we live together, but that doesn’t mean that we truly understand each other. On our end as Black men, we need to take more time to truly understand the experiences of our women, to feel them, to understand them, and most importantly to listen and properly love them.
So many Black women, past & present, have had their dreams unfulfilled off the backs of wildy mediocre men. Unable to achieve the things they stayed up so many nights praying to our ancestors for, unable to see their own beauty due to anti-blackness created by Caucasians and further perpertuated by us. A graveyard of the hopes and dreams of Black women exist and we help dig the graves.
Mother’s Day is approaching, and I know most of us are scrambling to figure out what we can give to our mothers. But the greatest gift we can give them isn’t a bouquet of flowers or a new car, its action. Action to prevent so many of our sisters from being sexually abused, let’s teach each other consent and what assault looks like so we can break this trauma that most Black women will endure.
Action to prevent so many women from experiencing domestic violence at our hands, to ensure them that if they don’t have safety from the rest of the world, they have safety in their own homes at least. Action to give little Black girls the same space to express themselves and to dream just as much as we do little Black Boys. Action to never stop telling little darkskin Black girls just how beautiful they are so they never have to teach themselves to love the skin they’re in.
As a 22 year old Black man, all i dream of doing is to create a world where the women I love and support the most feel free, safe, warm, and loved. Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde, Angela Davis, and all of the hardworking and beautiful Black women in my family inspires me to be better for them. For my girl, who has had arguably the biggest influence in my life to view the women around me as their own entities outside of the relation they have with me.
As a man with a history of anti-blackness, colorism, and self hate towards our women who is still actively working to unlearn these things, I can say that the number one tool you can use to helping our sisters is to simply listen. Conversations with my girl and listening to my mother have served as incredible tools to just simply understanding the Black girl experience. Learn to be the quietest person in the room with the biggest ears, it works wonders.
Black men, we are amazing. We’re beautiful, intelligent, introspective people who can make a dollar out of fifteen cents. We have so much potential, but we won’t unlock it until we make the women in our lives experience a world that our ancestors could only dream of. They’re depending on us.