Lets Chat, Man to Man

Lets Chat, Man to Man



By Tracy L. Williams

Not to long ago I received a notice on Facebook from my dear friend, Dr. Leonard Brock. He wanted me to look at some alarming statistics. Although I was aware of these numbers already it really made me sit down and think about some causal factors. Although some may be systemic, I believe that we, as men can do something to change these numbers.

Am I my brother’s keeper? This question was once asked with a sense of pride. The question however was a rhetorical one. The inquirer inevitably knew that he was his brother’s keeper; that he had his brother’s best interest in mind. The question used to be a statement.


Sadly, today that question is just that: a question. As we look at our African American men we see a decline in every positive measurable statistic there is. We must ask ourselves what happened to the fraternal order of brotherhood that banded these men together to fight for equal rights, justice and equality. What happened to the strength to stand together and march in the streets demanding the same liberties afforded to every other citizen of the United States? Where are the Martin Luther King Jrs, Malcolm Xs, Marcus Garveys and other notable leaders that once stood tall and fought for all that was right? It seems as though our will to be men died with the civil rights movement.

Instead what we have now is a group of males that are lost, confused and out of touch with reality. When the fight ended for desegregation, voting rights and when affirmative action was approved, a new more toxic and deadly war began. When the civil rights war appeared to be won and the marches dissipated, when the issues of protest seemed to be solved, there were no more fights to fight, so we began to fight ourselves. As a result, when the few jobs became available for us through affirmative action we began to fight each other for those positions. The backstabbing began; the crab in the barrel frenzy raged as we gained access to white America and wanted everything they had. In our minds, their possessions were representative of what free people had. Today the majority of us are still trying to emulate what we think a free people look like. So we imitate the very people we fought to get away from during our oppression.

During the days of oppression we were tight! We needed each other. We comforted each other in sorrows and worked together. The minute the imaginary perimeter was lifted, we took off and never looked back. We were no longer our brother’s keeper. Instead of advancing in harmony with one another and gradually moving forward together, we went a 100mph in the wrong direction. We engage in blatant acts of sabotage working against ourselves, competing against ourselves!


Gangs of men marching together have been replaced with gangs of men trying to kill one another. Instead of encouraging positive values and morals such as education and strong family ties, we encourage each other to drink, cheat, steal, lie and murder. As a result, we have more men outside of school, outside of the home and unemployed than ever before.

Our rich culture, once proud and strong, has been cast aside for fast money and good times. The value of hard work has been replaced with hustling and get rich quick schemes. Our forefathers fought for freedom, education, and equal rights, but we do not take advantage of it. Why did they even bother to fight at all? They fought to be released from the chains of slavery and we walk ourselves into jails and prisons. Our men have walked away from our woman and our children. We walked away from our responsibilities as men, as providers, leaders and protectors, and we have the audacity to wonder why society looks at us the way it does.

I say to my brothers that this is our fight. Now is the time to re-evaluate our position in society and stand up strong like brother Malcolm, brother Marcus and brother Martin. It is our turn to sit down at the table and begin a movement much like the civil rights movement and restore honor and dignity to our name. We must reclaim our families, households and communities. We must look to each other for positive support and hold each accountable for our actions.

No longer should we accept the current ideology that we are less. We must cast aside the pathology of victimization and stand tall in the face of adversity. Today, at this moment, we must take advantage of everything that our great leaders fought and died for. We must go back to our homes, to our women and to our children. Strengthen our minds through education and our bodies through healthy living practices.

Our legacy DEMANDS that we do so. I challenge every man in this community to hold himself and his brother accountable; to uplift and encourage him to do and be better. Today is the day we take onus of our actions and stop pointing the finger at other people, other things and other races.

The next time the question, “am I my brother’s keeper?” is asked, we can answer in a loud and affirming voice, YES I AM!!!


Image result for are our children being pushed into prison



Article: Remastered/Republished