“All art is a kind of confession, more or less oblique. All artists, if they are to survive, are forced, at last, to tell the whole story; to vomit the anguish up.”
- James Baldwin
For starters I would like to thank you sincerely for taking interest in what I hope to be something of an experiment for myself. Whether you unintentionally wandered on this page or not, the fact of the matter is that this blog of mine exists. It will continue to exist, and it only exists because I have made it so. And while I understand the simplicity in that statement, I think the individuals who decide to stick around might benefit considerably in perceiving just how easy it is to manifest something they would like to see or become themselves.
The idea of including personal pieces along with the website is still something I have trouble coming to terms with. The only thing I’ve been certain of throughout this entire process, is that there does not need to be another cisgender male on the internet to mansplain esoteric topics in layman’s terms. The underlying truth to my apprehension, however, is deeply rooted in the fear of publicizing my own flaws and revealing aspects of myself I’ve either been ashamed of admitting or embarrassed to speak on.
But true salvation does not come with secrets or suppressed responsibility; it is time that I took pride in myself as an individual while both celebrating strengths and holding weaknesses accountable, the paramount issue at hand being in the collective fight for Black liberation and equality.
When your sense of ‘being’ is dependent upon individuals who do not look like you, feel the way you feel or share similar affliction, the inner repercussions can vary from a sense of social isolation to the crippling paranoia of imminent danger. For Black women and members of the LGBTQ+, this is something all too familiar and yet never addressed or spoken of until it is too late. There are facets of my own community who are discriminated against in ways that often do not fit the definition of just “racism” or “sexism”, and is only perpetuated by societal norms I’ve been encouraged to believe what it means to be a ‘man’ in today’s time.
I cannot fathom nor speak on a reality made all the more burdensome for the individuals I speak on behalf of. Voices are often too silenced, ignored--and on top of everything else--not enough Black men love and fight for them with the same urgency as they do for us.
Rather than continuing to reject characteristics of toxic masculinity in the dark, I’d like to use this platform in an effort to expose them by deconstructing personal experiences of my own from the past and document the benefits of becoming the best, most authentic version of myself. I love Black men because I am one-- a very proud one in fact-- and therefore hold us all to a very high, achievable standard. I’ve seen this intellectual, emotionally stable plateau reached from multiple mentors who have served as pioneers in this regard, but it is simply not good enough. There is no Black liberation--there is no personal freedom--that does not include all Black people.
There is an untold perspective swept under the surface of mainstream media. Too many one-dimensional representations of Black caricatures and stereotypes are put on a pedestal and have made it difficult for someone like me to not only validate my own experiences of being Black in this country, but being comfortable with my sexuality and intellectual aspirations as well. This has resulted in me believing that my voice does not matter, and that is a feeling I am most uncomfortable with.
Having that said, it is my intention to share it all with you: my history, the history of my heroes, resources for self-improvement, and a platform for the unheard voices of my peers. I hope that by doing so, we can continue to grow as a community-- allies and all, promote authentic Black excellence, hold myself accountable to inherent responsibilities, and make you question whether or not you are doing the same. I have nothing but love, in all forms, for friends, family, and peers. But it's time to do better.