Dear Young Black Man,
You are now reaching a point in life when you’re transcending from childhood to adulthood, you’re learning the importance of independence and dedication, never sell yourself short of that. You are reaching a point where you’ll soon realize what sets you are part, and it’s not “the contents of your character”; reality is everything but gentle, as you get older it’ll be less patient and less forgiving so the present is always the best time to know the truth. You are born into your situations, they do not dictate who you are or what you are but they help shape who you become.
The world views you based off of preconceived ideas and assumptions–your worth and identity has been based off statistics and false concepts–they tell you what will happen to you, or better yet what should be done with you. There are false images painted to you of what a Black Man is and they are nothing more than false truths: you’re a thug, you’re a criminal, you’re dangerous, you don’t care about learning, you don’t love women, you want to be a rapper, you can only be a rapper or an athlete, we love you if you’re an athlete, your opinions are wrong, your heart is cold and non-existent, your feelings have no place here, you only work to survive, you don’t really matter.
Every word stings more than the last, every feeling of unworthiness surrounds and evokes feelings that correlate with these false truths, causing you to sometimes feel as though they are something more than a lie. To hear the same discouraging ideas, to be beaten up regularly would make anyone feel less than, but you are not. Your choice in the matter comes when you cease to allow the lies to dictate your truths, you are at a point in life where you’re learning who you are and deciding who you will become. The reality of it all is that you have the power to make a change, it’s not always easy to do or fun to do but you always have to look at the bigger picture.
As a Black Man, you have to know that there is a weight placed on your shoulders, a burden that is given to you upon birth, you will always feel like you have to prove yourself until you take that power back. The power to decide where your life is going will always be inside you, you may not always have the resources at hand but as you come to accept the control you have over yourself you will learn to make them present. The secret to being a great Black Man is simple because there isn’t one, but the secret to being a Great Man is to accept the responsibility for your happiness; while the road will have bumps and twists, it will be one best traveled knowing you have your back.
P.S. Young Black Man, you have a responsibility to always love yourself, to always look out for yourself and never be ashamed of who you are no matter who he might be.
A Young Black man