Picture of the month

Picture of the month
Life is circular

Friday, February 9, 2007

In Praise of Black Men

The piece was originally published in the Nov. 6, 2002 issue of the Famuan, which is the campus newspaper of Florida A&M University.Reprinted with permission from the author.

In Praise of Black Men
By Rahkia Nance

Black men.

You are the most loved, most beloved, most hated, most emulated, most feared, most revered creatures on the face of this earth.

And I love you for it. If anyone hasn't told you lately, then let me say it.

This message probably doesn't conform to what mainstream media is spewing. I'm not bitter.

I'm not complaining. I'm not pointing fingers.

I'm celebrating the black man -- the beautiful . . . most deserving of respect and adulation.

For me to say I hate you is to hate a part of myself. It's because of a black man that I am a black woman celebrating her 20th birthday.

You can't tell me that a black man isn't a gem.

(And it's no coincidence that you come from the same continent that produces diamonds.)

There's no need to look far for riches. It's found in your self-reliance. Your strength. Your creativity. Your individuality. Your style.

Don't be discouraged by the negative images, instead be inspired and proud of the rich foundation laid by the great black men throughout history. Let them be your light.

I'm talking about the Nat Turners and Gabriel Prossers, with their bravery and unwillingness to relent to oppression.

The Huey Newtons and Bobby Seales, the men who recognized the beauty of the black race and demanded respect when and where it was due.

The Joe Louises and the Jackie Robinsons, princes of athleticism and pioneers of their race.

The Langston Hugheses and Ralph Ellisons, visionaries blessed with the ability to create magic with a pen.

The Charles Drews and Benjamin Carsons, doctors whose work remedied ill-conceived perceptions of blacks.

The Duke Ellingtons and Stevie Wonders, who created the soundtracks for an entire culture, the Jan Matzeligers and Garrett Morgans, who changed life as we know it with their revolutionary inventions.

The Matthew Hensons and Estevanicos, foraging into lands unknown, broadening our world perspective.

The Scott Joplins and Chuck Browns, taking a beat and inventing a phenomenon.

The Booker T. Washingtons and Alain Lockes, advocates for using education as a ladder to equality and success.

From the lauded and applauded to the unsung and forgotten, I stand

Don't carry being a black man as a burden, but as a badge of honor. Let your words be formed from intelligence, not arrogance.

Let reason govern your actions, not pride. Be steadfast and earnest in all that you do.

You have standards to uphold and precedents to set. You have a charge to keep as black men.

Rahkia Nance, 20, is a junior newspaper journalism student at Florida A&M University from Herndon, Va. She is The Famuan's deputy copy desk chief and can be reached at Petite8228@aol.com.

Copyright © 2007 Black College Wire.
Black College Wire is a project of the Black College Communication Association
and has partnerships with The National Association of Black Journalists and the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Comments?

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