My sister probably wouldn’t like me sharing this but looking back on painful memories I feel I must write about this. Situations that I feel scarred by so much, I remember them vividly to this day. They still affect how I act, how I interact, how I behave and how I think. I have to remind myself I am no longer in that place anymore. The tinge of anger remains and whatever happened to me is now in me. That is something set in stone.
My most vivid childhood memory is an ass whooping I got when I was 3 or 4. I had drawn a smiley face on the board of a Bunk bed. These whippings such an impression on me so much so I can feel as I write ghost feelings creep up on my arm, back, and legs.
Another memory, I was walking home from school in my mandatory blue uniform. I saw an older boy I never saw before reaching into his coat in front of my building. I remember another older boy who knew my mom run up to him and say something. He then pointed in my general direction. The other, who had reached into his coat, kept his hand in his where it was and gave me a head nod. A chill ran down my back when I got on the elevator. I knew what had almost happened. Now I am a Black Man who was once a Black Boy. These events are not far and in between no they were often and left on silent for many years. So I decided to write these series of blog post. This is the prologue.
Erased by society, Black Boys are left alone. Not an opinion but a cold hard fact that we must accept as a community. The Black Boy is forgotten and erased. I can give you a million examples to prove this truth. When society sees the Black Boy, they interpret him as a man. Portrayed and perceived as the “Young” Black Man he is punished and judged far beyond his years. The media has warped everyone’s mind to see them as this. The title “Young man” has been weaponized against the Black Boy to erase his experiences and emotion. Under the guise of “Young Man” he should be used to them. Isn’t he a man? Men are solid, calculating, composed, and do not succumb to his emotions. This is what society tells us so this is how he should behave. Weaponize so much that police officers, teachers, and the community see the Black Boy as much older than he is. I was 13 years of age when an older Black woman told me “Happy Father’s Day”. This framing is dangerous. When one of our Black Boys gets shot or killed, the media runs and says young man first.
The Black Boy’s emotional state resides in the gutters of society as well. We make comedic jokes about it while a whole genre of suicidal rap has arisen. The phrase “It is what it is” is practiced religiously. An expression that is synonymous with “Let it go” and “I don’t care.” The Black Boy learns to keep his emotions inside until he can’t express himself as early as thirteen-years-old. Everything he does becomes compared with the behavior of someone much older than he is. His emotions call feminine. His pride attacked till he builds up his wall. His words met with disgust or confusion.
When the Black Boy speaks on how his feelings, he’s told to “Man up!”. Young and vulnerable, he is left with these feelings and expressions not knowing what to do with them. He can not express himself or be himself. Since he can not be himself, others tell him who he is for him. That is where the worst of it lies for the Black Boy. The media, Black community, policing, and even the Black family forces the Black Boy into a stereotype, whether he wants to be there or not.
The Black Boy is ostracized, fetishized, objectified, labeled, and assaulted.
He will be mystified and sought after by White people. Brutalized and the victim of homicides by police and his kin. He taught to fear and be mortified by all things. Every encounter, every exchange, and every walk requires tentative care and awareness. If he fails to act appropriately, he could end up dead or missing. All because he is Black. Toxicity force-fed to him. He must act, dress, or be a specific way to be. He then finally emasculated with the only thing left is Bravado to hold him up so he can even utter the words “I am a Man.” How does Then we turn around and pimp the Black Boy Experience? How? Why? To understand how the Black Boy ends up in this predicament we first must understand his enemies. The first enemy is the Culture.
Written by: Yoofi Black
Edited by: Yoofi Black(09/13/2020)