Black Male Stillness
Hyper-masculinity is the super debilitating badge we wear all day. Can’t look weak to men or women, or be “laughed out the building”. Yes, it’s true. Even those of us encouraging BM to reflect (not striving for acclaim or to make art) also standby to ridicule non-manly men. The thing about that reflection is that ridicule shouldn’t even be a variable to be mindful of while going through that, lonely, process. I think men are a very indicative measure of the pain of loneliness. We’ll do anything to avoid that isolation, including being problematic. Not knowing how to be still, we’re very anxious to anything that reinforces the idea of being alone. Men react badly to rejection. We’ve not learned how to be still at large, to not need proxy to anything or anyone. And there’s a layer of entitlement atop that to analyze. At the root we may find we’re lonely anyway, fearfully running from it damning, and reacting to, anything that reinforces that feeling. It’s easier to react to the pain that nothing belongs to us, since we’ve at least been taught to expect we have some power in this world. Even if that power is just over Black Women, we’ve decided to make it our foothold while chasing the power of being something desirable. We don’t quite get that we’re striving to be desirable to ourselves by measure of others’ validation, because we are lonely. We’ve somehow figured it’s easier to live this way than the unknown of being in this cold, and deep, lonely stillness. However, it is not. It is and isnt. Finding that stillness, immersing in it, is incredibly freeing, but it’s journey is unknown and requires abandonment. That IS frightening, especially when we are so traumatized by what we know to be abandonment, by countrymen, by fathers, by peers. Part of the journey’s abandonment is loosening the grip on your system of reality, to be open to different ideas of who and why you are. You’ll learn how to deal with your loneliness, and what it actually is, and how to dismantle its grasp on how you live and treat others. Being still is not so perilous as we’ve scared ourselves into believing. We have become childish in that regard. Being idle and being still are not the same. Being still takes effort. Black men need to be still, to really sit and question themselves.