We all know them. They are in our classes. We work with them. We go to church with them. We see them in the grocery store and maybe even at The Moon. We are related to them, and we love them.
Despite what some people will have us think, strong black men are everywhere and we don’t have to look far to find them. The campus of Florida A&M University is filled with them, although they are rarely acknowledged. But why is this so?
Although we are constantly bombarded with reports that black men are filling the prisons, leaving trails of baby mothers and broken homes, and down low brothers are rapidly spreading HIV, we must see that these things are not true of all black men.
Ladies, as you are reading this, look around you. Clearly, there are black men who are trying to succeed and position themselves to excel. But so many times, we talk about what black men need to do and should do to be better, and we don’t take the time to thank them for just being who they are. They are the brothers who protect us, the friends who look out for us, the fathers who provide for us and the boyfriends who love us.
When will we discuss all of the great things about black men?
Black men helped to build this nation and are the creators of our beautiful race. They may not be perfect, but who could be when you are constantly beaten down and tested with the trouble of this world? Somehow the men at FAMU have managed to stay strong and remain focused on higher achievements. They are obviously working on not becoming the next statistics. No matter what their past may hold, their future is bright because they are working to make it so.
A good man takes an active role in bettering his community. A good black man ensures that future generations will get ahead in life by tutoring younger students and making sure they are headed on the path to higher education. A good black man is concerned with the health of his people and starts initiatives to disseminate information about healthy lifestyles. A good black man broadens his horizons by taking advantage of opportunities to travel to other countries, and he does not shy away from the chance to make a positive impression of black men. Strong black men understand that the world is watching them and do not disappoint.
There are good black men around, which is evident from the five young men we have chosen to spotlight in this issue, and we need them to continue to thrive. But they need us to help them. We must shift our focus from attacking the black man for what he is not and start encouraging him to become who God created him to be: Great.
Ladies, it is time we lift up the strong black men on campus and in our lives, and let them know how much we truly appreciate them. If we won’t, then who will?
Alexia R. Robinson is a senior magazine production student from Jacksonville. She is the Copy Desk Chief for The Famuan. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org