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How To Find a "GOOD" Black Man

When I first arrived at college, I was bombarded with "Black American" jokes and in some instances contempt. "Lazy Black Americans...[insert joke]...ha ha ha." But it was all lost on me. I don't have a lazy bone in my body. And if I ever did my father broke them long ago. As a matter of fact, most of the men in my family, most of the men in my community, most of the men at my church were all prominent in their own right in Chicago's 70's & 80's middle class society. And all of them were black. All of them were family men. All of them were proud. Of course there were the projects, the bums, drunks, womanizers and all the rest peppered amongst them (and several in my own family), but they were the miserable exception to what I had grown up to understand as the norm.

But out here on the East Coast to hear my West Indian friends tell it, being Black American was the worst fate anyone with brown skin could suffer. I can't even recall how many times I've been asked, "You're Black American?"

And my answer: "Yes, dammit! I am."

My daughter's doctor told me I was this man. But I don't look anything like him.

The same goes for this new and growing chapter in my life. I'm a father and a husband and sadly to hear it from mainstream media and many African American women I'm an anomaly. And not even. Some might argue I just think I'm all that, but not really, at the end of the day. Every once in a great while I get a comment, always under "Anonymous", where I can feel the contempt (as a writer I can). Like, Yeah, you think your shit (please excuse) don't stink, but it does. There is no right a man, especially a Black man can do. Damned if you do, and dammit, you do.

Uhm...okay? Sorry you feel that way.

And for everyone out there who might be wondering, I use my interactions with my wife as a foil on this blog. I inject humor, make points, tell stories and make light of some of the things we go through. The real serious stuff will never leave the walls of my home or wherever we might be arguing. She approves of MakesMeWannaHoller.com, finds it amusing, and reads it everyday either with her girlfriends at work or at home after I've passed out on the couch. Everyone who knows my wife knows how powerful a woman she is and for those of you who think I come down on her let me be clear: my wife is a twin-turbo bulldozer who is articulate, fierce, beautiful, gorgeous, has a killer swagger (she's rocking a mohawk right now) and is a great friend. Poppa Bear has NOTHING on Big Bad Momma Bear when she gets going. Before I can open my mouth to do anything I'm usually pulling her off someone (family, friend, foe, restaurant owners, etc.) or convincing her to let someone keep their dignity. I say all this to say, you don't have to worry about her. She's good.

Now back to my point. In 2009, when we have an African American in the White House and because we have an African American in the White House, the chips are stacked higher against Black America than they ever were before (give it time if you don't believe this). And personally, I think it's pathetic that all we know for certain, is who is or who ain't shizen (shout-out South Africa) among us. Do mainstream (white) folks have these issues? Yeah, but they're personal, not societal.

So Mommy Blogging took off like wildfire. These stay at home ladies make six-figure incomes and are coveted by advertisers trying to hawk products on their sites. White men, sometimes the husbands of these ladies, and sometimes guys who decided to stay home and make money, began to get in on the action too. Why not? And do the battle of the sexes debates crop up? Of course they do. But it doesn't cut to who they are as an entire people. I mean imagine them debating the crap we do on 24/7 cable news. The blog, StuffWhitePeopleLike, would be absurd if the hottest topic was white women swearing on their lives that white men ain't s%^t. But African Americans have made an olympic sport of going around and around the mulberry bush talking about the same old, tired, ish again and again and again. They were holding rallies about it at Cornell, it cropped up during my graduate days at Bingo. How many specials has BET had and how many reputable African American magazines out there have headlines and teasers like the title of this post? I have been reading the same stuff on black magazine covers for almost 20 years (yup, 20). And I am sooo tired of it. Especially when these now stereotypical black men are NOT the black man that I am. Are they out there? Around every corner. Do they outnumber the "good guys"? Maybe. But who's counting? Or rather, why do we keep counting? Why are we so worried about the bad guys (and girls)? Why not just try to be a good person, attract a good mate or whatever it is you seek, into your life and let the bad folk self-destruct. It always happens, even if it happens very late in life. Why worry about them? Live your own life.

I was at a Jill Scott concert last March and as she was concluding her performance of Cross My Mind, she ad libbed, "Clearly, you were no good for me. And clearly with your credit card bills and bad debt I wasn't doing what I was supposed to do inspire you to be the king you are supposed to be."

I nearly fell out of my box seat and to my death when I heard this.

But drama sells. Just like sex.

Today is Friday and my blogiversary (as I hear it's called) week is at an end. I could've and maybe should've posted this on another site with more traffic to draw readers to mine, but this is my home and my home deserves the best of me, just like my family and just like the dude looking back at me when I go to shave and brush my teeth. Every once in a while I wonder if I should keep the stuff I do, the ups and downs with wifey, my love for my kids to myself? I mean, really, who cares?

About a week ago, someone (African American and male) contacted me via one of the many social networks I'm addicted to:

"I was just reading through your [blog] and I have to say it makes me look forward to getting married one day. I think every guy in his 20's should have access to the kind of information you present! Great Read!"

My answer to my own question: "No." A resounding, "Hell no!"

Oh, and by the way. I AM the shiznit, simply because I work hard at it. Until God, my wife or my kids tell me otherwise, no one else can tell me anything and especially speculate about what kind of Black man I may or may not be.


Happy Valentine's Day.

Have a great weekend.

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