Actually the sand has been slipping out from beneath the feet of Black men for a very long time – not because of feminism, mind you – but because of the economic and cultural institutions in society. This is not an excuse, because we have refused to empower ourselves as a whole.

Black men are crying for help – and we have not yet evolved to the point where we have an ability to listen to this cry of distress and do anything about it.

Nevertheless, in the past few decades, progress amongst our women has blossomed in ways I’m sure our ancestors would never have dared dream. They are doctors, lawyers, judges, writers, CEOs, engineers, and national security advisers – as well as holding their original societal roles as mothers, wives and family matriarchs. This is not without conflict – witness the recurrent struggle over women “having it all” – but the dialogue is vital. Our Black women are a rousing success.

But what about us? Where have we been during this decades-long transition? Many of us have cheered our women along on their path toward self-development and societal recognition. Still, too many of us have also been on the defensive, arguing against these changes as deadly to our culture as a whole.

Ultimately, a plethora of Black men, including myself, are raising daughters in this new environment, and I am doubtful that we will return to the dynamic of 1955. Consequently, the Black male in America has to find a way to be masculine, strong, educated and thoughtfully forceful in today’s society. We have to change the dialogue about who we are and what we are and find a way to evolve toward who we can be.

Zack Burgess is an award winning journalist, who is the Director/Owner of OFF WOODWARD MEDIA, LLC, where he works as a Writer, Editor and Communications Specialist. Twitter: @zackburgess1

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The New Black Manhood  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

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