Are You A “Good Black Man” or Nah?
By, Ascellia M. Arenas
It seems that’s the million-dollar question. In the age of “being woke,” increased interest in family involvement, interest in developing community, desire for increased achievement in academia, there is this ideal of what a “good black man” is or should be. How do we define and identify a “good black man?” Well, here are some traits that help us construct an idea about what a “good black man is.”
A “good black man” understands the important role he plays in the development of our communities. He is present, active, showing leadership with compassion, and is vocal about how he and his community is perceived.
Fame & Popularity
A “good black man” does not have to be famous to be popular. Who he is as an individual is unique and remarkable; hence, worthy of respect. A man who is visible in the community, making a difference, and helping to bring about positive change can have remarkable popularity without necessarily being “famous.” He can be highly regarded, and respected by his family and friends in such a way that he is considered to be dependable and commendable.
Activism and Ideology
His morals and values are what help to shape him into the “good black man,” he is. Whether he was raised in a traditional family setting, mentored by great men, raised by an incredibly strong single parent (female or male), his intrinsic core values are evident and he walks in his purpose to help promote such ideologies. His “woke” walk matches his “woke” talk. He educates the younger generation, he is a mentor, and his plan is to continually uplift.
Physical attractiveness is not what makes a “good black man” good. How he takes care of his physical form is what makes him a role model for others. We can praise genetics and DNA as the reason why the black male is considered dominant in regard to attractiveness and athleticism : but he does not need to be an athlete, a model, or even a health fanatic to be considered attractive. His physical features are accentuated by good hygiene and proper nutrition. He is aware of what he is ingesting and he also is conscious of what he needs to do to maintain good health.
Education & Intellect
A “good black man” does not necessarily need to have a college education. Although, the number of “good black men” who do pursue higher education are increasing every year. And, we are definitely here for it! He can be and avid reader, he can conduct research on his own regarding his legacy, heritage, and other cultures. He can educate himself through kinesthetic learning; meaning he can learn through action. His instinct to survive is part of what we appreciate about the “good black man,” it is in his nature to comprehend his surroundings and execute what needs to be done in order to sustain his life and the people he holds himself responsible for.
Sexuality and Virility
A black man’s sexuality is often used as content for stereotype. The references to his ability to perform and to achieve the ultimate sexually pleasing experiences with anyone whom he comes in contact with is a tall order. Clearly, for the purpose of reproduction, the black man has not disappointed with regard to continuing the race. Sometimes men carry the stereotypes into physical relationships and are disappointed if they do not meet the benchmark of what a virile black man should be able to accomplish. However, a “good black man” is not only driven to be a passionate, seductive, and satisfying sexual partner: he is interested in learning what pleases his partner and creating intimacy that goes beyond the act of sex.
Faith and Religious Practice
As leader of the community and the household the “good black man” is expected to understand that there is a higher power in our universe. Religion not withstanding, as long as a black man understands that he is the manifestation of a higher power placed here on earth with the purpose of guiding, protecting, leading and supporting his family and his community, he can be considered “a good black man.” For those who are in practice of any form of religion; it is his responsibility to lead his family to their respective place of worship. He leads the prayer. He provides the foundation of faith on which his family is built.
Who doesn’t appreciate a good BMW? Black man working… A “good black man” understands that it is part of his responsibility to provide for himself first and also for his family as an extension of who he is. He can be an employee or intern that shows up to work on time, properly dressed with a good attitude of providing excellent service, and willing to learn his craft in preparation to lead. He can have a great idea and then put forth the action it takes to make that idea come to fruition. He can make things with his hands, repair things, build things, nurture and care for things. He can design through drawing and create models of his concepts. He can create technological advances in industry that have yet to be seen. A man who understands that technology is a tool and it is not always an electronic venture has business savvy. A “good black man” sees opportunity and capitalizes on it.
There are so many things that make a man a “good black man,” it cannot be summarized in a quick article. It takes sincere dedication to the observation of him in his element, understanding how he works, understanding what motivates him, and seeing the fruit of his labor to really be able to pinpoint what makes a “good black man” good. It’s also a matter of opinion, there are some traits of good black men that may not have even been mentioned here. The other question is when we know we are in the midst of “good black men,” how do we treat them? Do we treat them like they are “good black men” or do we fail to recognize them when we see them?