In 1959 Gwendolyn Brooks coined a poem “We Real Cool” in which she cast a light on a growing culture amongst Black men that included being hip, uneducated, lethargic, violent, and drug influenced.
After 58 years, Black men are still killing themselves and their families trying to be the coolest beings on the planet, but have not made one step of progress economically or socially.
While Black women struggle to feed and house their families, Black men have left them to bear the burden alone.
While our culture applauds “being about that life”, we have yet to stop and think about how “that life” leads to us being the lowest income earners, the most unemployed, the most incarcerated, the most uneducated, the most unskilled, and our children being the most impoverished.
This is a wakeup call. If anything is to change in the Black community, it’s going to have to include Black men taking responsibility for bettering their lives and the future of their communities.
A mass wakening among Black men will require leadership and collective effort amongst all those who set the cultural tone and control the resources in the community. Every church, nonprofit organization, scholar, professional, athlete, student, and gang member must be aware of the movement and ready to take action to save the Black community by saving Black men.
Black men need to trash their entire concept of being “about that life”. “That life” is killing the Black community and tricking Black men men into a false sense of manhood. It’s time to be real men. Forget being cool.
As Black men we have to take responsibility for what we are doing to our communities and decide if we want to continue to be the problem or start to be a part of the solution.
The time is now!