Dear Black Men,
I've been thinking a lot about the fact that, as women, we are socially conditioned to believe we exist to nurture and support men. I believe this is especially true of black women.
I don't resent the fact that this role has been imposed upon me. On the contrary, I've embraced it. I happily accept it. I understand that black women are marginalized, to a certain extent, because black men are. I'm proud to stand beside black men on the front lines and also to be someone who is willing to give all of myself if it means healing the wounds inflicted upon them by the oppressor. I'm proud to love freely and give of myself unselfishly and unconditionally.
What sucks is standing boldly beside black men, throwing my heart, my mind, my soul at their feet and having it thrown back in my face. You see, when it comes to loving the black man, I practice what I preach. The black men in my life know that they can come to me and ask for anything and, if I have it, I will give. No exaggeration, I would give my last dollar and my last breath to the Black man. When will the Black man ask what I need?
You'll never hear me complain about being expected to create an environment of peace and joy for my Black men. They are mine to care for. They are mine to love. They are mine to protect. And I feel fortunate for that to be the case. When will the Black man ask what I need?
I am honored to nurse the wounds of my Black men. I am lucky to be called to dry their tears. I am duty bound to strap on my armor and go to war for them. I do. Every. Single. Day. Black Men, when will you ask what I need?
Because, when I cry, you tell me that you don't have the time to dry my tears. When I stumble under the weight of the load that you have been too beaten down and oppressed to carry, you tell me to stop trippin'. You tell me that my contribution, my effort, my fight for you means nothing and that to ask for any reciprocation is selfish.
You stand before the world and claim that you love me, that you are my protectors, that you are my soldiers, that you are my kings. But not only do you sit back and watch while I am disrespected, hurt, oppressed, degraded, and betrayed; you are complicit in that disrespect, oppression, degradation and betrayal.
WHEN WILL YOU ASK WHAT I NEED?
Despite what you've been conditioned to think, Black women are not inhuman and unfeeling. A dynamic in which you constantly take and never give is not sustainable for our communities. Your refusal to acknowledge the toll that this has taken on us and the pain that we endure is devastating. We can't heal our people, until we overcome this obstacle. Let's figure it out.