Black Men: Living & Loving In Spite Of...
In light of continued violence upon Black and Brown bodies, I am concerned about the physical, emotional, and psychological toll such attacks will have on the collective Black male conscience. In an attempt to soothe a friend's pain I mentioned that survival is part of the Black man's experience in America. We have seen them bounce back higher and stronger throughout the course of history. Many of these historical episodes have however left them absent from the collective. Martyrdom is frequent in Black history, but all men of color cannot be sacrificed so that the collective can enjoy American life. It is also obvious that they must do more than just survive, they must be allowed to thrive and soar. For it is certain that as the Black man goes, the world goes with him.
I recall the stories of my grandfather and uncles confronted with racism and ignorance at home and upon their return from war. These stories were unpleasant to hear, but more dangerous to live. Yet these men were able to make a difference in their communities and impact change. Unfortunately, many of these "How I Made it Over" stories are lost to the present generation who are living testimonies of what happens when dreams are allowed to die and wither, are deferred, or are poisoned before they are allowed to bloom. I heard Rev. Bernice King say in a speech that the graveyard is the richest place on earth as the unrealized dreams and unused talents of millions lie dormant, forever silenced.
In an effort to increase awareness and add to the growing literature about the treatment of men of color in America, I am looking for submissions from American men of color in their early sixties (60s) or older about how they made it over. How were they able to heal in the midst of being attacked and lynched, or having your home, business, place of worship bombed? Their ability to survive and move forward is a lesson we must all learn. How did they survive, how were they able to keep their minds, bodies, and souls intact? I am also particularly interested in interviewing those who may not be able to put pen to paper or have access to computers.
Submissions should range in length from 750-1500 words and be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. To arrange an interview, please email, if feasible, or call me at 850.583.1118. Please leave a message if there is no answer. Calls will be promptly returned. If you prefer postal mail, please send submissions to PO BOX 355010, Palm Coast, Florida 32135 attention of Clarissa West-White.