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 adolation.
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 today.
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 Hughes 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 ideas.
The Mathew 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 in awe of all the accomplishments black men have made and all there is to come.
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 from Herndon, Va. She is The Famuan’s deputy copy desk chief. She can be reached at Petite8228@aol.com.