I don’t buy into all the “there are no good black men” drama. I know several upstanding brothers out here. However, when a friend sent me this article about how the mass incarceration of black men hurts black women, I couldn’t deny that there are also quite a few “good” black men behind bars.
Did that raise an eyebrow? How could a brother be both “good” and incarcerated? Granted, he may not be a “good catch” — at least not anymore — but I wholeheartedly believe there are men in jail who might have been productive members of society if they hadn’t made dumb decisions in their youth. And who isn’t guilty of that?
When I read the article, my mind went straight to my relatives. I have three male cousins, just around my age, who have been locked up for the majority of their lives. They went into jail as teenagers. They haven’t come out.
Yes, they made some wrong choices, but could they have been great assets to their communities, great husbands and great fathers? I think they could have. Maybe I’m biased, but I remember funny, charming, handsome, intelligent adolescents who had promising futures.
Then, I remember hearing they were imprisoned.
As much as that’s a personal tragedy for my family, I think it most definitely affects society as a whole. To bring it to the SIS perspective, maybe one of my cousins – had he the opportunity – would have been introduced to one of my girlfriends at a family function and fallen madly in love with her. Maybe they’d be off somewhere making a home and raising future generations.
Hey, it could have happened. We’ll never know.
Is there an actual correlation between the number of men in jail and the number of single women? If so, does it have more to do with the absence of available men to date or the fact that incarcerated fathers aren’t around to be good examples of manhood for their daughters?
Again, I have mostly questions and no answers, but it’s a topic my many single, female cousins and I discuss when we’re gathered at a family function lacking male companionship in a way that’s much deeper than not having a date.