In the UUA Meditation Manual “Been In The Storm So Long”, Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt writes a short piece about waiting for her husband to come home one night. Nothing special, right? Right…until you remember that Rosemary is writing about the worry and fear that comes with loving and being in love with a black man in a society that says that they aren’t supposed to be loved but feared and loathed.
Those of us who love and have been loved by black men know what Rosemary is talking about. We know that most black men are not thugs or gang bangers or miscreants. We also know that most non-black people (and even some black people) are not going to see our black men the way we see them. They are not going to be given the benefit of the doubt. They will always be suspicious.
And because we know how the men we love will be treated, we have to live with the fear and worry that someone who doesn’t like the way the man we love looks is going to cause them harm. We live in the fear that we will be Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin.
In America, to love a black man means that one walks around with the knowledge that much of the larger society fears them because of who they are.
I’m trying to find words to end this post, but can’t find any.
All I know is that I love black men.