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Dear Black Man, Teach Me How To Love You

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You would think knowing how to love comes easy with me being a woman and all. You would also assume that because I’m a black woman, I have my black men all figured out. But black men are different and for some reason, no one wants to acknowledge that. For the black men I’m writing this for, it’s often a struggle for them to wake up everyday and live their lives. But instead of taking the time out to acknowledge and understand that struggle, we talk down on them, give up on them, put them down, etc. We don’t take into account that some of them don’t know what it’s like to be loved. We don’t take into account that some of them equate love with dysfunction. We don’t take into account that some of them never even seen a man love their mom. We don’t take into account that sometimes love is less important in their worlds because they have way bigger issues than being stressed out over a woman who probably does nothing but curse him out anyway because she doesn’t understand him. I want to learn how to love this kind of black man. I want to learn how to love him in way that makes him like himself and everything he sees when he looks in the mirror.

 

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I’m not talking about the ones who don’t know what it’s like to only be loved by one parent. I’m not talking about the ones whose daddy taught them how to treat a woman and whose momma taught them how to love one. I’m not talking about the ones whose boredom and brilliance wasn’t mistaken for ADD/ADHD. I’m not talking about the ones who never had thoughts of suicide when the pressure became too much to handle. I’m not talking about the ones who were able to chase their dreams because they didn’t have to choose between taking care of their family or going to school. I’m not talking about the black men who can still get in contact with their friends from elementary because they are all in school rather than in jail or at the cemetery. I’m not talking about the ones who don’t need healing right away. I want to learn how to love the kind of black man I’m referring to in a way that would make him feel like the ones I’m not talking about. I want to learn how to love the black man who feels alone because life keeps taking everything away from him and telling him it’s his fault. I want to hear all of his stories – the ones that made him cry, the ones that made him laugh, the ones that made him angry, and the ones that made him who he is today. You haven’t forgiven your mother, have you? What about your father? Have you even forgiven yourself? Can you teach me how to love you in a way where you know holding on to something that hurt you is only giving it permission to KEEP hurting you?

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Will you teach me how to love you, king? When you feel like you serve no purpose or like God forgot to give you a reason to be here, will you teach me how to love you so you feel like you have a reason to wake up everyday? When you feel like basketball or music is your only way out, will you teach me how to love you so you know you’re more than what society expects of you? The man who was told to man up before he was even a man when he only wanted to cry, can you teach me how to love you so you NEVER feel weak even in your most vulnerable moments? The man who can’t remember the last time he cried because the drugs get rid of the pain most of the time, can you teach me how to love you so my love is enough to get you through anything? Teach me how to love you enough to heal you. Teach me how to love you enough to fill the voids of everyone who gave up on you. Teach me how to love you enough to make you value the women around you. If you teach me, my love alone would make you stop calling women out of their names because you’ll feel like you’re disrespecting me even if I’m not there. If you teach me, my love alone could make you see past breasts and ass and value the mind and spirit. Teach me how to love you in a way that’s deeper than disrespect and arguments all the time. Not that ghetto ass love we’re used to or that they portray in the media, but the real thing. The thing that starts with loving yourself first.

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When people do us wrong, it’s less about what we did and more about what they were already feeling inside. If we all can agree that this is a true statement then why don’t we ever try to figure out what exactly is inside? Why don’t we take the time out to ask the right questions? Why don’t we take the time out to see what was in their life before us? Why don’t we take the time out to learn about the demons they’re fighting when we’re not looking? Before we comment on how he isn’t shit, have we tried to get to the root of WHY he’s so bad with women? Before we comment on how he’s always angry, have we tried to get to the root of WHY he gets THAT upset? No. We react. We retaliate. We give up and go find the man who doesn’t need our love as bad as the one who’s hurting in silence. We excuse his actions by saying, “well a man gonna be a man.” When you love someone you hold them accountable because you want them to correct their wrongs and help them be the best they can be. It’s time to love our black men to the point they feel the need to correct their wrongs. It’s going to be a journey for all of us, and we may lose our patience…and maybe even our minds. But it’s time to at least try every other method besides giving up.

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I just want to end the myth that black men are lazy with no sense of direction. It’s kind of hard to have direction when guidance isn’t something you’re used to. So dear black men. The black men who need black women’s love the most, the ball is in your court. I’m new to this and I have a history of giving up when I feel like my love isn’t appreciated but if you tell me what might be causing you to not appreciate me, I promise to help you work on it. Tell me what might be causing you to think you’re unworthy of my love. Tell me what might be causing you to see everything but the king in you. Tell me what might be causing you to use and abuse a woman. Let me in so that I can love you in a way that will break the cycle that’s been present in your family for generations. But you have to do a few things for me: 1. let your guard down because I’m not trying to make you feel the pain you’ve felt for most of your life. 2. Be honest with me because I plan to be just as honest and tell you why I never learned how to love you in the first place. 3. Be vulnerable because I swear I’ll never tell you to man up if you cry yourself to sleep in my arms. I know the world’s been heavy on your shoulders. I know life’s dealt you a shitty hand. I know you feel like your mom hates you because you remind her of your father. I know your father wasn’t always there, if at all. I know a lot of your best friends are in jail, dead, or just floating through life aimlessly. I know you wish you had the chance to go to college and finish. I know you wish the streets didn’t become your only option. I know you wish you had someone who would never give up on you. My promise to you is that I won’t give up on you ever again as long as you promise to teach me how to love a man who’s never really felt it.


Thanks for reading!

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