All Articles Tagged "black men"
It’s not often that we hear a group of mature, black men sit down and share their positive and dysfunctional experiences with love. And not just love for a partner but love for brothers, love for their children, grandchildren and themselves and love for God.
But The Washington Post and the Maynard Institute teamed up to launch a new, three-part series called “BrotherSpeak: Exploring the lives of black men.” The series includes interviews from a group of diverse black men, from different generations, professions and sexual preferences. The brothers sat down to talk about the people they love most and lessons they’ve learned in love. Check out their very honest, very inspiring thoughts below.
This is good for the soul. Though I’m sure it’s lack of ratchet will ensure that not as many people will watch; but I’m sure those who do will certainly take something away from this series.
What do you think of this series, would you like to see more interviews like this?
If you’ve had the privilege of watching one of the trailers for rapper-turned-actor Common’s new film LUV, you’ve probably already had a peek into the touching storyline, which shows the loving, yet challenging relationship between an ex-con, Vincent, and his nephew as he tries to show him the love that he himself was never afforded. In a recent interview with The Urban Daily, he discussed his latest project, which he produced and starred in, as well as how relatable this film is to the everyday Black men of today. Check out some of the highlights.
On his character, Vincent trying to show his nephew loved he never received:
“That is the core of what Vincent is doing because he didn’t receive that proper love and you can see that through his relationship with Dennis Haysbert’s character, Fish. Looking at the way him and Fish interact that it’s like that wasn’t the proper love. So he is definitely trying to give love to Woody and he wants to, but teaching Woody how to shoot a gun isn’t teaching him about reading this book or helping him with this or that. Even in certain instances, you see Vincent say, “Yo, you finish your homework?” or you see Vincent tell Woody about Frederick Douglass. So he does want to teach Woody some things, but the other things he is teaching him isn’t the type of stuff kids need.”
On what he would like people to learn from the movie:
“For me, I would like to see viewers to start a dialogue. I would like for this film to start a conversation about why this cycle is going on. Well, not even why the cycle continues because the movie shows you why. You see negativity being passed onto kids who don’t have parents when they look for a father in somebody else or the neighborhood. I would like for people to say, “That cycle is going on and we have to stop it.” People should start thinking about ways we can break that cycle of little Woody who had the potential to become something great, but wound up going to prison because they went looking for love in the wrong places.”
This movie looks very interesting and I look forward to its January 18th release. Broken Black men is certainly an issue that continues to plague our communities. Hopefully this film will assist in drawing attention to such a common, yet overlooked problem; however, identifying the problem is only half of the battle. Finding a realistic solution and putting it into practice is the other.
Will you be checking out LUV when it is released early next year?
Reality TV Doesn’t Have To Be Ratchet: “Save My Son” Spotlights Positive Reinforcement Among Black Males…And I Love It
For many Americans, we’ve pretty much counted reality TV out where wholesome, life-affirming television is concerned. It found its place in the “strictly for entertainment” pile. And it’s understandable considering the mindless stereotype-perpetuating drivel that most reality television churns out. We get a good laugh, a good face palm, a good shaking of the head from it. That’s all. So, it’s almost surprising when a gem like “Save My Son” comes along.
Having been introduced to Dr. Steve Perry’s passionate and tireless work with the children of Hartford, Connecticut’s Capital Prep on Soledad O’Brien’s “Education In America” specials, I was intrigued by this black man striving not only to make a difference in the these kids’ lives during the school day, but going out of his way to see to their well-being even after school hours. We see these unsung heroes in our own home towns and admire their work, but sometimes, deep inside we fear that their work will never reach far enough, root deep enough into the lives that most need them. So, I applauded Dr. Perry and eagerly tuned in to “Save My Son” to see Black young men unfold from a life cramped with worries, low self-esteem and unchecked anger and begin to exercise their freedom to be more, to be better, to be fully functioning members of society and their own families. Dr. Perry’s process is more than effective. It’s brilliant.
He first familiarizes himself with the home, school and social lives of each of the young men he has been summoned to help. He finds out the facts – good or bad. We don’t see him jumping into a situation, only taking a parent/guardian or teacher’s word for it. He looks at the young man’s track record and the course of events in his life and lets the facts speak to him. After which, he opens a dialogue about the reasoning and the temperament of the young man he wants to help. He isn’t judgmental or overbearing. Dr. Perry provides them with a safe space to speak their peace – a safe space that perhaps they felt they did not have prior to “Save My Son” stepping into their lives.
What I also love about the show is that Dr. Perry holds these young men accountable for their behavior and their attitudes. He does not let them off the hook or encourage them to explain away their behavior. He presents them with their own actions – holding up a mirror so they can clearly see who they are – with no mother to protect them from consequences and no system or “The Man” to blame for their downfalls. Dr. Perry also begins the process of equipping them to deal with whatever issues they are brave enough to open up about. As is revealed through each episode, many of these young men just want to be loved and as one young man stated, he wanted to know that he was the reason someone smiled. They want to belong to something, to know that they matter. The street life gives them that illusion. “Save My Son” seems to be giving them the real thing, which might be the antidote for the poison that the streets, misplaced anger or feelings of abandonment have poisoned them with.
The show brings in as many men to help get the job done as are willing to be of service. Dr. Perry does not try to save all of these young men alone. He calls upon the life experiences and expertise of seasoned vets of sports, radio, television, education, music, etc. to reach out to these young men and deliver a wake-up call to them that they haven’t effectively received in their neighborhoods, homes or schools. Having had guest mentors such as CNN and TV One’s own Roland S. Martin, Pooch Hall of “The Game,” Steve Harvey, NBA legend Charles Barkley, music producers and athletes, “Save My Son” definitely allows these broken young men a chance to see the bigger picture, what their lives COULD be if only they stand up and begin the process. I’m sold on this show because it presents these young men with positive alternatives instead of just trying to scare them straight. There is a message of hope in each phase of each episode and it is an amazing (and sometimes tear-jerking) transformation to watch.
Have you seen “Save My Son”? What are your thoughts on its work and message?
ELa Truly is a late-blooming Aries whose writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change. Her blog: www.hersoulinc.com and Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly.
I dated mostly white men in my younger years. I attended predominately white schools during those years and I had a lot of white friends, so relationships with white men developed as a result. I grew up in a single-parent household where husband and wife roles were non-existent. Thankfully it didn’t matter because white men showed me what I needed to know about love, commitment, and romance.
When I was finally old enough to date I went out with the first of many white boys. He held all the doors open, treated me like a lady, and paid for dinner. We discussed a variety of topics and he seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say (a rare find in the dating pool of the late ’90s). We didn’t date long, considering we were young and in school, but he set the precedent for all of my interracial relationships.
After dating more of these men I noticed a trend: All of my relationships with white men involved partners who took me out on actual dates, openly confessed their commitments to me, and tossed around the idea of marriage. My positive experiences with white men were stark contrasts to some of my female counterparts’ troubles with black men. They constantly complained of the black men they encountered, but even still, I wanted to find out for myself if there was any validity in their concerns.
I always found black men very attractive yet I hadn’t really dated any (and not because I didn’t want to). I considered myself an open-minded individual so I knew that my dating options needed to widen. Despite the negative comments I heard from a few friends, I started dating both black and white men in the quest to find the right partner for me. Unfortunately, that journey left me with a combination of confusion and criticisms of my own.
Immediately, I noticed differences in my dealings with black men compared to the white men I previously dated. For instance, the black men I met immediately requested visits to my place. Whenever I suggested going on an actual date some either wanted to go dutch or they politely declined. Sadly, their idea of a good time was watching television at my house while eating all of my food. If I hadn’t started out dating white men then I may have assumed those home visits and free-for-alls were the norm.
I also noticed that the black men I kept running into had communication issues. I am well aware that there are intellectuals of every race; however, the black men I met wanted to discuss nothing more than sports and intimacy. Safe to say, I was meeting and messing with the wrong types of men and must have been looking in the wrong places. Perhaps the black men I would have preferred dating were not interested, already taken, or in their own interracial relationships, but the ones I was dealing with were making the dating game more tough than it should have been.
On the rare occasion that I met a black man that treated me the way I was accustomed to and exhibited some of the characteristics I was looking for, I noticed his hesitation in discussing marriage although it was a topic that came up in every interracial relationship I had. All of their parents were still married and they were expected to marry someone…someday. Some of the black men I dated came from broken homes (just like me) so they didn’t understand my desire to get married and they didn’t find it necessary. Even though I grew up without the imagery of “love and marriage” in my home, I knew that I was not interested in being anyone’s long-term girlfriend. While I might have enjoyed their company, I knew better than to stick around with a stagnant man for too long, and I continued my search knowing that lowering my standards just because a guy looked good or because he was fun was not going to be an option for me. What else do you have to offer?
In the end, I’ve been blessed to find a man who is all the things I wanted and would have hoped for, and we share the same goals for the future. And if you were wondering, yes, he’s a black man. But I can say that my relationships with white men taught me to never settle for less than I deserved and enabled me to find my Mr. Right by not being comfortable with mediocre “dates,” and just being a girlfriend forever. They gave me the ability to differentiate between boys and men. They showed me the ropes of dating and the significance of marriage. And that’s not to say you have to date outside of your race to figure these things out, but in my experience, it helped me find the perfect man for me, one actually within my own race.
Jamie Foxx in a tight suit playing a supervillain? I’ll take a serving of that.
According to Variety, actor Jamie Foxx is in talks to play Electro, a supervillain, in the sequel to The Amazing Superman. The film is set to hit theaters in 2014 but Sony Pictures apparently didn’t expect to be so far in the casting process this soon; Emma Stone and and Andrew Garfield are already returning and Shailene Woodley is in talks to be cast in a role.
While the film studio would not saying anything about Foxx being signed on or even in talks to do it, you know Twitter makes people feel a little more free-flowing of the words. Jamie tweeted last Thursday, “Dressed up as Electro for Halloween last night. Costume fits.” So either he’s letting the world know he definitely has the role or an overzealous person excited to give a story toVariety saw him out on the street and ran with it. I guess we’ll have to see.
Jamie is quite the busy man: he’s currently gearing up to promote his upcoming film Django Unchained, co-starring Kerry Washington and Leonardo DiCaprio, which will be released on Christmas Day.
For centuries, and even today, you might catch black people talking about the notion of good hair. Stereotypically, the phrase “good hair” has been used to describe hair that is thinner, finer and curlier than the thick, coarse hair that is often associated with Africans and African Americans. Many in the black community have debunked the notion that one type of hair is better than other; but we took to the streets of Harlem, just to make sure everybody was on the same page. See what folks up on 125th street had to say.
Many couples find themselves in a battle over whether either person is genuinely in tune with the other’s life. Men can seem disinterested or distant, they may also seem to put personal concerns over the relationship. It can lead to women feeling like they are always the one who has to sacrifice for the relationship or they are always the one who is led to compromise, and that’s not fair. As the distance between reality and perfection continues to increase for couples it’s time for men to break their silence. You see, often times many men are sacrificing everyday in their relationship to keep the peace, but they don’t broadcast it or even let it be known to their significant other that the sacrifice was made. Women go along thinking they’re the ones making the most sacrifice, but there’s a few ways that men make sacrifices in relationships all the time. Here’s a short list of five ways men sacrifice without information their significant other of the change.
1. Friends – No one wants to know this and most women don’t like to think of themselves as wedge between herself and his friends but it happens more times than we think. As a man, once you begin to fall in love or like with a woman you begin to see her as a top priority. Our women may not know it but there are tons of times when we should be hanging out with his boys but we’re hanging out with our ladies. We start sliding down Dude’s Night Out on our list of priorities and replacing it with Redbox and couch time.
2. Family – No one should ever sacrifice family over a relationship, but it happens. The challenge that most men face is replacing their mother with a woman who is equally as important. Without speaking to you or bringing it to the dinner table, many men have to distance themselves from their family in order to let their relationship prosper. Most men have to make a decision about whether they’re going to allow their lives to lead to a scene from Jason’s Lyric, or if they’re going to sacrifice for their long term happiness in the relationship.
3. Sports – I’m a Lakers fan. A huge Lakers fan. I realize that most women I date won’t be a fan like I am. There will be times when the game is on but I’ll have to miss it to spend time with my significant other. A woman may not understand this because she doesn’t follow his team. While we may not miss the Super Bowl or a key playoff game, there are plenty of times throughout the season where we’ll dip out of a big game for our significant other.
4. Career – At times a man is faced with trying to gain career gains or trying to improve his relationship. I’ve always thought to myself that personal goals should be a priority in a relationship but it should coincide with common goals in a relationship. A big move can be cancelled because he doesn’t want to test the relationship with long distance, or putting in more hours at the workplace can be minimized with a goal to spend more time with a significant other. We hope that our relationship allows us to chase our goals, but at the same time, it’s the long term fulfillment that a relationship can offer that a job cannot.
5. Life goals – Many men plan great things to be great in life. They realize that their goals are very personal and don’t often involve others. There’s been times when men have thought that their next step would be in a different city or would require a lesser involvement with their significant other but they choose to stand down. We’ll never say anything to the women in our lives but it happens. Men set aside a potential career change to make sure they have their half of the mortgage. Men sometimes make life decisions like getting married earlier than they planned because they don’t want to lose their significant other. Whatever they do, sometimes men are sacrificing their personal life goals to be with a woman.
We hope that women realize these sacrifices but many times they won’t. I urge most women to evaluate their relationships and decide if their significant other is making sacrifices that sometimes go without mention. There’s a scene in the movie, Ray, where a stage manager speaks about a change he made during one of Ray Charles’s performances. He said, “Nobody had to ask me to do it, I did it because it needed to be done.” Many times this is how men operate, in silence, but for the good of the relationship.
Dr. J is a writer for the men’s blog Single Black Male. Dr. J’s inspiration and motivation for writing comes from a desire to provide real and honest advice to all. His approach is no nonsense and rarely sugarcoated. Follow him on twitter @DrJayJack.
From Hello Beautiful
Yes, both men and women can be guilty of things that not only make a harmonious union more of a challenge, but sometimes even sabotage the whole relationship.
That said, there are some very male-specific habits and behaviors that many women agree need to be worked on…not only for women’s happiness, not only to strengthen the beautiful union you’re trying to build together, but even to help both of you be healthier.
Read more at HelloBeautiful.com.
Nope, the saying “mmm mmm good” is not just for Campbell’s Soup. Some of the sexiest black brothas in Hollywood are hotter than that bowl of Chicken Noodle. You would think that as time goes on they would cool down just a bit, but with some men, the older they are, the more finer they get…Here are some of the sexiest black males in Hollywood who are all in their 40s:
LL Cool J
It was the 1980s and the ladies loved Cool James. Well guess what? It’s the year 2012 and the ladies STILL love Cool James. How can you not though? With those juicy lips and those hard muscles, at age 44, Cool James does not seem to be cooling down anytime soon.
Don’t marry a man unless you would be proud to have a son exactly like him. I read this phrase and thought it was important to remember. So often, women create a list of things they want in a man, be it long or short, and fail to include this very stipulation. Some say they want a man who is accomplished, good looking, religious, smart, but fail to assess character.
I’m in my late twenties and single. I don’t rush into relationships because I’m keen on what I want in a man, but still, I tire of a question that I’m sure many women in my position can relate to. “Why aren’t you married yet?”
I’ve met many men from different walks of life, but I’ve been slow to label my relationships. I’m interested much more in who a man is when the date is over and he returns to his corner of the world, than I am in his resume. Who is he in those moments when no one is watching? Who is he when his character is tested? I’m interested more in what is driving him than his destination. Years ago, my older sister told me that women are given a power over their children’s lives that we sometimes forget to exercise. We get to choose the father for our children. We get to decide who will be a part of their life, who will influence them, who will essentially raise them. We have the option to choose, and considering the staggering divorce rate, the percentage of single mothers, incarcerated fathers, and number of cases in child support litigation nationwide, it’s sad that so many don’t choose wisely.
No, I’m not saying that we, as women, should be seeking absolute perfection, but I am saying that we need to remember to place priority on the things that matter to us, because ultimately those things cannot be ignored. Many women I have talked to want to get married. They’re eager to start the life they have planned for themselves with a husband, two and a half children, and a beautiful home. When it doesn’t happen fast enough, they fear they may end up alone and unhappy. The truth is, we can be married and more alone than we were as single women. In all of that planning, we focus on a new last name instead of a life. It is important to ask the right questions.
In the unfortunate chance that a marriage is broken, will he uphold his responsibility as a role model for his children, or is his willingness to be a father contingent on the success of the marriage? I want my son to grow up loving and respecting women. I want him to value hard work, and be persistent in those things he desires. I want him to be confident and humble. I want him to love God. I want him to grow up to be a good husband and father, accountable for his family.
These traits are learned over time and so if I have all the power to decide who will be the one to teach him, I want to choose carefully. I’ve heard it said that children learn more by a parent’s actions than by their words. Just imagine the little boy on the stepstool pretending to shave like his father. Or drawing a picture for his grade school crush. What better way for a father to teach his son than to be the man that he wants him to be. So if we settle for the husband who is not everything we cherish but will do just fine, we’re potentially setting ourselves up for disappointment in our children and, needless to say, a miserable life for ourselves, always wondering if we should have done better.
Herina Ayot is currently working on a novel based loosely on her own life, “The Content of Things Undone.” She tweets @ReeExperience.
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