With all the negative attention surrounding black men, I constantly have to remind myself that black men are Kings, and I must treat them as such. Yes, black women are Queens, but this here is for the men.
My closest friends are men, and I have had the privilege of learning so many things about men from different walks of life. I have friends who have managed to live out their dreams of going to college, making it in the music industry, and running successful businesses. I also have friends who have fallen victim to the system; some have issues with drugs and alcohol, and others are in jail. But all the black men that I’ve met share the same great characteristics: strength, ambition, creativity, humor, resilience, focus, passion, confidence, self-awareness, talent, etc… It is easy for me to see that black men are royalty, and obviously that frightens those struggling to hold on to their stolen power, which is why they keep trying to knock our Kings’ crowns off.
It seems as if every group has teamed up to break the black man down. Police are quick to shoot a cooperating black man as a hunter would a fleeing deer. News stations will share his criminal past no matter its relevance to the story. Record labels will force him to glorify the very situations he is trying get out of in order to capitalize off of him. School administrators will ignore his serious mental and behavioral disorders and punish him with suspension. Judges will make it impossible for him to reestablish himself after paying a debt to society. Other men will discourage him from expressing his emotions. Women will scorn him for not being the man they wish for. His family will pressure him to be a provider and protector whether he has proper guidance or an example to learn from or not.
Instead of contributing to the burdens black men bear, I pledge to crown our Kings:
I pledge to not call him “nigga”
I pledge not to tell him “you ain’t shit”
I pledge to respect him
I pledge to appreciate him
I pledge to support him
I pledge to offer him a plate when he’s hungry
I pledge to not pass judgement on him or his situation
I pledge that the only criticism I will provide him will be constructive
I pledge to not scold him for making mistakes
I pledge to encourage him to do better
I pledge to distance myself when I have nothing nice to say
I pledge to not beat him when he’s done
I pledge to congratulate him when he’s up
Because if I can’t respect, value, and uplift our black men, what message am I sending to everyone else?
Put his crown back on!