Check out my exclusive interview on “The Dr. Vibe Show” responding to the issues brought up in this article! —–> http://bit.ly/2hsIC4O
The relationships that my peers cultivate is often concerning to me. They see their insecurities and mask them by hiding behind their “ideal” man or woman, putting their all into that one particular person. After time, they lose themselves.
-Randall Barnes, “Seven Steps To Building A Successful Relationship”
All my life I’ve been infatuated with Black Women. It’s hard not to be inundated with this respect, seeing that I’ve been around professional, independent black women since I was a child. As I grew older in age, my infatuation never stopped. However, a sense of frustration and disappointment developed. I just couldn’t understand why my female peers didn’t like me. It seemed as if the young man with aspirations to write books was overlooked for gangbangers and drug dealers that had no future ahead of them. Mind you, this was just in middle school.
I never understood why I was called “ugly” by the young black women I admired and cherished. I still don’t know why it hurt so much. My parents always nurtured my confidence, telling me I was handsome and special every chance they got. They went out if their way to let me know that they loved me. However, the neglect that I felt was still there.
It lingered on into my high school years. I turned from a victim into an observer. I started to observe the young women that were around me, especially those with the feminine swagger displayed by my mom and aunt. I started documenting these observations in stories I was writing. My observational stories turned into me creating my idea of a “perfect” girl: Aaliyah Anderson.
Aaliyah has all the qualities that I loved from the black women around me and some that I wished I saw more of. Aaliyah is strikingly beautiful but prides herself more on her talents. She’s opinionated and well-informed, never speaking erroneously about any subject. Of course she’s flawed, battling her offensiveness and need to make a big deal out of little things. Her flaws don’t define her though. She’s not forever haunted by her setbacks and mistakes, admitting to them and growing. She doesn’t hold her issues in. She expresses them through writing in her diary and allowing people she trusts close enough to her to help mend her brokenness.
The creation of Aaliyah Anderson turned into me writing my novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson in 2012. The summer of 2013, I put the novel onto Wattpad.com, securing almost 60,000 views on the story to date. My success on Wattpad turned into a multi-book deal with DC Bookdiva Publications, a position as a staff writer/social media admin for Urban Intellectuals, student leadership at Fort Valley State University and plentiful opportunities at growth. As I ascended up the ladder of business success, I noticed that I started to get more and more attention from my female peers. The attention that I was getting was different though.
I started to become almost idolized. The Black Women around me marveled at my accomplishments and applauded my feat of being able to write two whole books in their voice. I was appreciative of their support but angered all the same. I wanted to be lusted after. I wanted the same attention I saw my boys get. They seemingly beant women to their will, always finding a way to bed them. I saw that as the true expression of masculinity. Do you blame me?
Look at the state of affairs for black men in this world. What collective power do we have? What resources have we accumulated? What institutions gave we built? How many of us have wealth and assets to pass down from generation to generation? As men, we pride ourselves on our egos. Other races see power in money and institutions. Largely, we look at our power through the lenses of sexual conquest and persuasion.
We brag about the women’s numbers we’ve gotten and go into detail about our different sexual escapades. We brag about the supposed “game” that we have, neglecting the fact that the true principles of being a man involve integrity and honor. Black women, forgive us for our almost undying desire to sleep with you, even before learning who you are and what you stand for. Personally, I mitigated my desire to tie my sexuality to my value. However, realize that many other men haven’t done the same yet, especially in college.
You are correct, many upperclassmen males target underclassmen females. We know it’s because of the supposed inexperience that these young women possess. However it goes deeper. We all often are eagerly swayed by the sight of power, organization and big brands. It’s almost hypnotic, making us bow down in supposed respect. Realize that the labels that a man has doesn’t define him positively or negatively. Start looking into who these guys are as people, as that’s where true friendships and relationships start. Many times their intentions are thinly hidden and their “game” is weak.
There’s nothing wrong with the act of sex. It’s natural. A woman having it doesn’t mean she’s a whore or “thot”, especially if it’s responsibly and safe. However, there’s something wrong with leading people into believing the sex is a bridge into something deeper. Sex that’s used to hide inner hurt is wrong. Sex used as a bargaining chip is wrong. You’re more special than that. Don’t allow yourself to be disrespected.
Black women, you have power. Stop relinquishing it to men and women that don’t deserve it. Even in this position as an “idolized campus celebrity”, I still feel neglected. I feel like I’m pushed to the side as you allow immature men to hurt you. I wrote this apology as a way to vent while also uplifting the women that I always admired. It’s impossible to apologize on behalf of all men. So, let me personally apologize.
I apologize if you’ve been used and hurt. I apologize that you often question yourself. I apologize that you’ve not been given the room, time or motivation to grow. I apologize for this culture of oversexualization that objectifies you. I apologize that we as men don’t take the time to understand how special you are and nurture you.
Apologies are empty without action. I vow to always promote the best of black women. I vow to use my platform to challenge misconceptions about who you are and promote the best aspects of you every way I can. I vow to protect you. I vow to respect you as a human being, not just as a woman. I won’t abuse you with my status and power, only affirm you and create opportunities for your personal and professional growth. I promise to always be a man of honor and gallantry, respectfully letting you know of what I believe to be missteps on your journey to personal and professional success, communicating with you to make things better.
All I want is your respect, a chance to be a good black man and your unwavering support in my endeavors. 2017 will be bright! Mark my words! 🙂
Want to know why I apologized to black women? Check out my exclusive interview on “The Dr. Vibe Show” for more clarity!
BET’s new show “The Quad” is coming out on BET January 2017! Check out my thought process on what HBCU’s could learn from HBCU centic media, especially the “Drumline” movies!
PUBLIC NOTE: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the Urban Intellectuals, affiliates or partners.