I‘m not an internet troll, but I will stir some sh*t up to do the right thing when it comes to my fellow Black men. Recently, a blogger (no link) decided to liken Black men to white dudes in an effort to get people to view his thoughts on Black male privilege and misogyny. While I agreed with many point in the article, I did not appreciate the title. As an avid fan of “Chopped”, “Chopped Teen” and “Chopped: Grill Masters” I have learned that presentation is everything.
My first response was “maaaaaan, get this goofy mog outta here” but after some social media discourse with enlightened African-American women and men (not all of us) I realized that ire would only stroke the fire. Classic Black dude is about solutions to problems. Its not about fruitless emotions, its about the culture. The question MOST asked in response to these think pieces are “but what can I do?” Instead of a generic “just listen more” or a dismissive “why I gotta explain?” here is some raw: uncut solutions and immediate actions to take to making the world a better, safer place for the women in our community. These are not quick cure-alls, but rather long term changes to your mentality. Nobody gets swole after one day at Planet Fitness, it takes time, sweat, and a monthly payment plan. You ready to wake up?
1. Have a guys night, but watch The Color Purple
Most of you are already boycotting the NFL, but every addiction you give up needs a replacement. Feel free to still wear jerseys and fitted caps (extra points for a Kaepernick “throwback”). But, while watching, pay close attention to characters that seem familiar, especially the problematic ones, basically all of the dudes in the movie. These men still exist in your everyday lives, and you have to recognize the enemies/energies you’re trying to defeat. Don’t be afraid to have lengthy discourses afterwards and check eachother, you can’t lift your minds without a spotter. Also, the next time your girl says “everything you done to me…” it’ll be fun to finish the line. Classic Black movie role play is the sh*t!
2. Volunteer at a women’s battered shelter
Here’s the deal. You, as a dude, can’t just WALK into a women’s shelter and start handing out soup cups. My arrogance mislead me down this path. There is a process, including background checks, money, and pre-screens (duh) But the good news is, you can use whatever your professionally trained at to teach basic skills at women’s classes and community colleges until you are passed to work at the shelters. Start with the local chapter of the YWCA
3. Join a co-ed book club
I don’t know why every single brother doesn’t do this. Here’s the thing, actually read the book. This isn’t about meeting women, but knowing women, historically. Some of these chit-chat lit sessions are primarily women, yes, and diversity makes things more interesting. More than anything, it will get you in the habit of LISTENING, especially because you’ll have things to say in response besides “yeah, you right.” Don’t forget to bring a good
homemade snack wine.
“You were born with two ears and one mouth, so you should listen twice as much as you speak…”
4. Unfollow the butt models, dawg
This is dedicated especially to the readers over 30. Little do you know, what you view seeps into your consciousness and starts to shape your views on the fairer sex. Some of the imagery is so deep down into your sub-conscious that it will take years of undoing. Let’s start with every time your phone unlocks @bigbootymodelxxxthirsttrap isnt there waiting for you. She’s not going to reply to your DM’s or smiley eye heart face and if you’re single, you’re really setting yourself up for too high of an expectation when you’re out mingling.
Same with porn…
Look, the engines getting up there. The abundance of solo joyrides makes it
harder more difficult to rev when ya girl wants to ride shotgun. Think of that classic Eddie Murphy bit, a saltine cracker is the best damn cracker you’ve ever had if you havent eaten in a few days. But ya girl aint a cracker, she’s an important, respectable, part of your world, that takes those daily beatings as the most underpaid, unappreciated member of society. She deserves a good ear and well, you know… don’t blow your excitement on one of Tyga’s exes.
5. Take some of that SALT out of your diet
I mean this literally and figuratively. Simply put, we need you around bro. Between the police, undiagnosed mental illness, and salt middle age for Black men is like 19 now. Try a week without saly in your diet and see how chill you are about things. Maybe the road rage aint hereditary, maybe all this time it was mild sauce. If you have a diet heavy in sodium, you probably aren’t drinking enough water. 8 glasses is what a normal white girl is supposed to drink per day, so your ass might need to a) double up or b) cut back. You’ll find yourself less argumentative, more relaxed, and that beard may even start to grow in.
These are just some suggestions. Im still a single guy who tries to make strangers laugh. But try these five, and if you need help, stop being afraid to reach out to your brothers for help. Im at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’ll bring snacks and my netflix password.