Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Not Buying It: Why I Still Believe in the Good Black Man

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I don't subscribe to the notion that there are "no good black men out there". I know that there are, because I know good black men personally, and I see them in my day-to-day life. I know that there are, because I was raised by a good black man, because my black male friends are good black men, because my girlfriends are being loved by good black men and because I have dated good black men.

I think some women get tripped up because they confuse "perfection" with goodness; or because they confuse material possession with goodness. We have to be careful about determining someone's worth based on what they have acquired, as opposed to what they inherently have inside. Being a good man is not always about having things or giving gifts, but it’s also about giving time, love, respect, esteem, etc.--the non-tangibles that frame a loving, healthy relationship.

We must also have enough clarity to recognize a wonderful man when we receive him, no matter what the label in his jeans reads, the type of car he drives or the title on his business card (if he even has one). I’m not saying not to have preferences surrounding such things; I am simply nudging you to look a little deeper.

It is important, nay paramount, that we remember that we receive what we call into our lives through our own words and actions. If you say "there are no good black men" you will not attract good men. If you lower your expectation on what constitutes good behavior, the men in your life will lower their behavior to fit the bar that you've set. If you excuse the behaviors of men who are of poor intention because "there are no good black men" anyway, they will continue to behave poorly because they can.

I am raising a young black man and I refuse to tell him that he can't be good because he is black and black men are not good. I'm going to continue to show him how to respect and treat a woman and continue to help him to aspire past being just good, and onto being great.

I recognize that there are larger issues at play here—issues that are rooted deep in the psyche of the black race and embedded in the history of this country. I've seen and heard the statistics on the number of black men in jail, and I'm aware of the uneven ratio of black men to black women in the U.S.

I understand that, if you're still single, finding your good black man might be more difficult than it has been for others. My point here is that it's not an impossible task, nor do any of the hurdles to their coupling with black women negate their existence. I just can’t hop on the black male bashing bandwagon when I know so many intelligent, creative, honest, respectful, educated and responsible black men--whether they are available or taken--and I tip my hat to them for being more than a statistic, more than a stereotype or a generalization and for being even better than "good".

Kim Jackson currently works in the marketing and promotions arena. She co-authors a women’s empowerment blog, Peace Love and Pretty Things, is a contributing style and fashion writer for Examiner.com, and she pens fashion, beauty and lifestyle articles on her personal blog, Chic Mommy, Cool Kid.

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