“And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? ...."
The second question God asked Adam questioned who he had been listening to. A large part of his problem derived from the fact that he had been listening to the wrong person, Satan. For the most part, the myths about black men are being promoted by enemies of our community. The idea is to promote the weaknesses among us as examples that represent us all.
If we constantly show ourselves images of fallen black men, it won't be long before we begin to think that the fallen represent us all. In moments of frustration, we even find ourselves internalizing those fallen images.
Who told you there were no black men? Why did you believe it when you looked around and saw men driving cabs and buses, working in offices, holding positions in government, working in high finance, and making life-and-death decisions across this nation? Who told you there were no black men? Who told you that a black man is nothing? Why did you believe that when the legacy of nearly every black family includes stories of fathers and grandfathers who gave their lives on farms, serving as pullman porters, butlers, janitors, teachers, preachers, and professionals to keep their families together?
Who told you that a black man is shiftless and lazy when you see millions of black men get up and go to work every day on jobs that no one else wants and millions of others stand in line looking for work that they can't find?
Who told black youth that all they need to succeed in life is athletic skill? Why do you continue to believe when you know that nearly every NBA or NFL superstar has a college education and that even the rapper Master P was one of the smartest students in his high school class?
Who told you that you are basically dumb and stupid, so just concentrate on building your arm and leg muscles but not your brain power?
The world keeps focusing on the negatives of black men, constantly showing them how naked they are, and many men go into hiding, forcing their women to come up front.
We should not others define our potential. Instead, we should focus on education, diverse achievements, and the active participation of black men in society to challenge these stereotypes and empower the community as a whole.