We don’t all have learning disorders; some of us just have a different style of acquiring knowledge that your schools don’t accommodate. Diagnosing black boys with uncalled for abnormalities creates isolation and fosters confusion. Confusion leads to insecurity. A lack of self-assurance leads to stereotypes of a black male misunderstood…is it still all good?
No. We’re pissed off because we’ve been pissed on. We’ve taken so much BS that we haven’t let out and we’re emotionally constipated. Often, the dialogue is about women and how bad they have it. Well, we both have it badly. Men are raised to react to adversity differently. We’re emotionally illiterate because we never learned how to cry. We’re not allowed to naturally express frustrations. That kind of build up begets anger. That anger prompts violence. That violence triggers stereotypes of a black male misunderstood…is it still all good?
No. Black men need healing. The only time a lot of young men of color are getting dressed up is to face a judge. And many of the decisions leading to incarceration are directly related to impoverished living conditions, the failures of public education in urban school districts and unemployment. Unfortunately, many crimes are committed to survive a system that is set to fail us. But it’s simply seen as stereotypes of a black male misunderstood…is it still all good?
No, ma’am, don’t clutch your purse. We’re not all criminals. Our tattoos are just like murals at art galleries. Our slang is intellectually coded to communicate with those who subscribe to the culture. Our style represents our desire to be ourselves. We’ve built this country with our bare hands. I think we can bear an office job in a nice building. We’re not bound by stereotypes of a black male misunderstood…it’s all good.
I know several students who were told they’d never amount to anything and are now legally making more than every teacher at their school combined. I knew kids they said had attention deficit disorder who now manage multiple multi-million dollar businesses. I was once told black men don’t read. I wrote a book about being a better black man that tens of thousands of black men read. It’s a bestseller and my second book releases in two weeks. Stop misjudging us. Instead, try to understand us. You might learn something. We’re not bound by the stereotypes of a black male misunderstood…and it’s still all good.
“…and if you don’t know, now you know.” –Notorious B.I.G.
– Enitan Bereola, II
Bereola is the award-winning & bestselling author of BEREOLAESQUE: The Contemporary Gentleman & Etiquette book for the Urban Sophisticate. He’s also the go-to columnist, public speaker, style & etiquette impresario and celebrity ghostwriter. He’s set to release his next book entitled, “GENTLEWOMAN” this month! Visit: Bereolaesque.com, Twitter & Facebook for more info.