First let me say that the picture on pages 102 and 103 of the October issue of Essence magazine is fabulous! Love to see me some black females in all shades and sizes. Can’t get enough of the sistas!!
The beauty of the photo captured and sustained my attention for what felt like marathon minutes. Minutes that kept me emotionally captivated. Intrigued. Proud, and erratically turned on.
Desiree Rogers is enough for any man to become 'imbalanced' - and later discovering as I turned the pages to 106 that Ms. Rogers is 50 years old intensely pulsated my interest. I swear I would have guessed 30. Not a number more!
As the countless sets of sixty seconds passed my elation for the 16 black women (9 proudly displaying no wedding bands) unfortunately turned to disappointment. As I tried to stay in the joyful moment I wa s pulled to what is real for me, as a black man:
The black man is no longer the character of interest. He is a void. A forgotten creature searching for a new place.
Our dark skin day in the sun has passed (yellow brothers hay day been gone). Black women are now of importance while black men have been regulated to a 'thing' of the past. Funny, I rarely use the word 'thing' in my writings. I have learned the word, 'thing', is empty. It is a weak term that does not give a meaningful description. It is a word used when the writer's vocabulary becomes limited.
Perhaps, the black man has limited himself in some ways? Perhaps, he stopped reaching for the stars? Perhaps, he has given up in this battle to remain relevant?
I am not sure - but the somber feelings I had as I stared at President Obama's women helped me, with trepidation, confirm that the most feared and once revered human being on earth has become irrelevant.
Where is America's black man? What happen to his strength? How did his rising dominance diminish to a saggin pants and white t-shirt wearing never-ending fade?
I can say that the white push to criminalize him. Jail him. Kill him - has been successful. What that justification ultimately does, however, is remove all the responsibility that we have, as a brothers, to be on pages 102 and 103.
Is that it? Has America's sista's taken a more responsible approach to be in the forefront? Are they making all the right moves or are they less intimidating?
Intimidation is perceived and functions in various ways. One way that it has worked is that black men are intimidating when they are taking legitimate steps to unify the black family e.g. to be good fathers and accountable husbands. We are no longer sufficiently doing that to be seriously impactful. And, not to take away from the successes of black men: We are the majority in the NFL and NBA. Hooray!
We must admit that we are too busy in the candy store anxiously picking and choosing which tasteful black woman we are going to select from the 10 to 1 ratios while black women are beyond us: Professionally and Personally.
They are getting the jobs black men once got; and they soon will look pass us and become the bride/woman of the Caucasian/Asian/Latino men they work with at The White House and at corporations. This, supporting what I have always known would happen as long as we (black men) continue to marginalize ourselves:
The Dilution of the Black Family
What can we voice happened without pointing the finger?
Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by those beautiful black women in October's Essence magazine.
Stay tuned for The Shadow's latest installment (next week):
Choices: "The Black Woman is No Longer One for Me"