(ThyBlackMan.com) I will tell you that not a single one of us can pinpoint where this compulsion of black women to sacrifice themselves in favor of a population of “ain’t quite grown men yet” hails. However, I will tell you that if I hear another sister talk about how she has had to raise or nurse an adult black male into “manhood,” I do not know what I will do.
At the present moment, there are droves of black women who are taking Passa’ John Gray, who should change his name to My Buddy, to task for his rousing Holy Ghost filled performance on Sister Circle last week. In their rush to denounce Passa’ Gray, they forget to cast well-deserved condemnation on the droves of black women who on a daily basis make the conscious decision to welcome a black male into their life and tend to his needs like he is a “My Buddy” doll. Dare I say that such a decision is a calculated decision designed to earn admission into the woe is me embittered black woman club.
One of the most telling signs that the alluded to club is more than a figment of my imagination was the reaction that the Sister Circle co-hosts provided while listening to Passa’ Gray’s ghetto soliloquy of how he was able to help his wife enter the legion of black women who have had to suffer long at the hand of what amounts to as a black My Buddy doll. If the co-host were in their correct mind, they would have taken Passa’ Gray to task instead of behaving as if they had just been delivered from a terminal illness by an on-time God. Since the co-hosts failed to do it, I will use this space to say as a black man that John Gray’s words were disrespectful and hateful toward not only his wife but all black women; yet, they cheered him on. What follows are Gray’s words about his wife.
“I married a woman two sizes too big. I have to grow into [her]. She’s a coat. I still can’t fit her. She’s bigger than me and she’s had to cover me while I grow up. I gotta grow into her. She’s a covering, not a lid. Because if a man marries a lid she’ll stop your dream. But if you marrying a covering, she’ll push you to your destiny. Let me tell you something, my wife has endured more pain birthing me than both of our children. She has sacrificed these last eight years, uncovering the painful areas of my manhood and covering the areas that could have exposed me.”
No more hateful words have exited the mouth of a black man; yet, the two female co-hosts applauded the ignorant offering.
Truthfully, Gray’s insulting words reveal him as a modern-day Brownfield Copeland, a polarizing character in Alice Walker’s classic work, The Third Life of Grange Copeland. It was Brownfield Copeland who after laying eyes on his wife for the first time sighed, “The two of us together could make a whole person.” Meaning that her sole utility was to make him whole as a man.
Let’s be clear about this matter, Passa’ Gray is an opportunist and his wife, like nearly every black woman that I know, are willing enablers;lambs that are eager to be slaughtered by a series of no good black men. The only thing that makes what Will Downing would term a Tired Melody more ludicrous is the fact that black women who willingly and consciously enter into these arrangements have the nerve to complain about the situation after the man, their money, and hope is slipping through their fingers.
In a recent op-ed piece published by Essence, Ashley Nkadi offered the following frustrations that she believes represent the feelings of the majority of disenchanted black women. Nkadi asks,
Why are we expected to “endure”? To bend our reflections? To be soft and docile, denying ourselves and suppressing our power? To always give and to never get? To feed society from our own bosoms, remaining un-thanked and unnoticed? To slowly, but surely become nothing and no one as we magnify those around us, all to be “worthy” or “deserving” of the love that black men say they have for us?
Black women are expected to endure unspeakable amounts of suffering, emotional labor, and pain in the name of our partners. Too often we are expected to meet trauma, infidelity, immaturity, and aimlessness with unwavering love, unconditional support, and unquestioning loyalty.
It has always amazed me how swiftly black women can display their “black girl magic” when it benefits them, however, during other moments they become cowardly simpletons devoid of common sense.
Nkadi writes in her piece that black women are EXPECTED to endure and suppress who they are by the men that they “love.” I am not here to even debate if the majority of black men EXPECT such things as the far more critical issue is why black women are so willing to capitulate to such expectations? When you think about it, a person can EXPECT whatever they want, however, there is no compelling reason for anyone to meet that expectation, mainly if it does not serve their best interests in either the short or long term.
Further muddling this issue is that there is not a single black man who has ever approached a black woman in public who can not testify to the fact that the word “NO” is a readily available aspect of black women’s lexicon. Although this fact conflicts with the tired tale that there are no good black men out here, black women say “No” to the overtures of reasonable, gainfully employed black men on a daily basis.
I know of many black men who are educated, doing well in their careers, and desiring a lifelong relationship with a black woman; however, these brothers will tell you that for one reason or another, they have been disrespected, denied, and denigrated by black women. In all fairness, many of these brothers should consider this karma as they have also foolishly passed over good sisters for some of the silliest reasons as well — this road goes in both directions.
Far too often I have heard black women say things such as “Well, it was just something that I didn’t like about him. I can’t pinpoint it, but there is something.” Amazingly these same women allow men that they are not equally yoked with to enter their life under the guise of “there’s just something about him. We have chemistry.” When things go awry, these same women who previously boasted that they determine who enters their life and who doesn’t, feign amnesia and cannot explain how “that dirty rotten, low down dog” got past my radar. Apparently, the truth, that they determined his arrival, treatment, and the terms of his exit, are too embarrassing to admit publicly.
The writer mentioned above, Ashley Nkadi, ended her passion-filled piece with the following litany.
I am tired of our assigned lot — to birth. To birth grown men, to birth movements, to birth nations. To raise other folks’ children, at our own breasts. To nurse and bathe grown men. To serve as an incubator for those who just need to cook a little longer while they — in the words of John Gray — “grow into [us].” Even now, as America soils its diapers, it expects us to run and change it.
Well, I will not. I envision better for myself, and I envision better for Black women. I envision partnerships, not motherhoods in our marriages. I envision receiving as much as we give. I envision being honored and celebrated for who we are, not for what we have sacrificed. I envision loving and being loved with a love that is more than love.
I must say that Nkadi’s hopes, dreams, and desires are lovely things that I believe any righteous man desires for his wife, daughters, sisters, aunts, and female friends. However, they will remain little more than wishful thinking as long as black women do not direct their “black girl magic” to establishing a standard regarding what it is that they desire and do not desire within a mate; both of these things are important. Put simply, black women need to decide if they would like to engage one of the droves of black men who have concentrated on earning an education and their place in the world via legitimate means — even if he is devoid of a sense of fashion or street life — or do they desire a My Buddy doll that they can dress up and carry around on their hip.
Although unfortunate to say, I believe that for the vast majority of black women they will continue to reach for the My Buddy doll and ignore the droves of fully functioning black men who would love to take a chance on love with them. In light of that expected decision, please sing along.
My Buddy, My Buddy, Wherever I go, he goes.
My Buddy, My Buddy, I’ll teach him everything that I know.
My Buddy and me, Like to climb up a tree.
My buddy and me, We’re the best friends that could be.
My Buddy, My Buddy, My Buddy and Me!”
Staff Writer; Dr. James Thomas Jones III
Official website; http://www.ManhoodRaceCulture.com
One may also connect with this brother via Twitter; DrJamestJones.