I started to think about all the good guys I know. It didn’t take long before I had a pretty long list. The “endangered species” thrives.
I wondered why these brothers aren’t more vocal as the media works so diligently to support the theory that there’s a shortage. What do they think about all the news surrounding their alleged extinction? I asked. They answered.
How do you feel when society, including Black women, hold onto the belief that there aren’t good men out here? (responses are abridged)
Corey, 29: It doesn’t bother me. I know good men. I know black women who know good men. At the end of the day if you hold onto a belief, sooner or later it will become your reality. So, I believe there are many women who believe that there are no good men, and that’s their reality. I can’t dispute a person’s reality. However, it’s all about perspective, and I don’t see things from one that denies me happiness by myself or with someone.
Ajamu, 37: I think when society is able to view black men as fallible human beings with the same potential for good that any person has, a more reasonable standard for black men will emerge … black women will be able to individualize their judgment of black men to a greater degree.
Thomas Strong, 33: A lot of black women use this idea to justify why they have not found what they are looking for and to validate themselves as being deserving of a ‘good black man,’ but in reality they themselves are the problem. Not all black women are ‘good.’ I feel this belief insinuates that all black women are, and I can personally attest to knowing quite a few that are just as trifling as they want to make black men out to be.
Kweku, 34: I agree with Mark Anthony Neal, a black, male, feminist scholar, and author of the book “New Black Man” when he says that the old models of black manhood need to be torn down and reestablished to fit the multitude and varieties of black men out there who redefine their own legacy of what it means to be black, male and good. But old fears and old models die hard. There are lots of writers, scholars and bloggers who build careers maintaining these limiting definitions and not moving beyond to explore or acknowledge those brothers on the fringes of the old definitions.
So, the summary is that the brothers are taking note of the “shortage” hype. They don’t believe the statistics are true, and blame inaccurate models of black manhood for society’s failure to effectively indentify the good men.
So, if society’s models are all wrong, what is a good black man? The brothers answer … next time.