Black male masculinity is a complex one. Once again this topic rears its homophobic head with the discussion around Michael B Jordan and Jonathan Majors friendship, the two actors in the new movie, “CREED III”.
On one hand, we have a long history of systemic oppression and marginalization that has forced Black men to adopt a certain type of masculinity to survive. On the other hand, this toxic form of masculinity has led to a plethora of issues within the Black community, including mental health problems, domestic violence, and homophobia.
From a young age, Black boys are taught that they must be strong, tough, and in control. This is reinforced through media, music, and even within their own families. Black boys who do not adhere to these strict gender norms are often ridiculed or ostracized by their peers, leading to feelings of shame and inadequacy.
This pressure to conform to a certain type of masculinity is not just limited to Black boys. Black men of all ages are often expected to be the providers and protectors of their families, which can lead to feelings of isolation and stress. This pressure is compounded by the fact that Black men are often subjected to racism and discrimination in the workplace, making it difficult to provide for their families and maintain their sense of masculinity.
It’s important to note that not all Black men conform to toxic masculinity, and there is a growing movement within the community to embrace a more diverse and inclusive definition of masculinity. This movement is led by Black men who understand the negative impact that toxic masculinity has had on their lives and are willing to challenge these harmful gender norms.
One of the most significant challenges for Black men who are trying to break free from toxic masculinity is the lack of support from within the community. Black men who do not conform to traditional gender norms are often viewed with suspicion or even disdain, which can make it difficult to form meaningful relationships with other Black men.
This lack of support can lead to feelings of isolation and depression, which can ultimately lead to mental health problems. Unfortunately, mental health issues are still stigmatized within the Black community, which means that many Black men who are struggling with their mental health do not seek help.
It’s essential to recognize that being authentic and showing vulnerability is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it takes a great deal of strength and courage to challenge toxic masculinity and embrace a more authentic version of oneself. Black men who are struggling with their mental health or who are feeling isolated should seek out support from friends, family, or a mental health professional.
Another critical aspect of challenging toxic masculinity is the need to show love and support to other Black men. Homophobia is a pervasive issue within the Black community, and Black men who are openly gay or queer often face discrimination and violence. By challenging homophobia and showing love and support to all Black men, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, we can begin to break down the harmful gender norms that have plagued our community for far too long.
In conclusion, Black males’ masculinity is a complex and nuanced topic that requires a great deal of introspection and reflection. It’s essential to recognize the impact that toxic masculinity has had on our community and to challenge these harmful gender norms at every opportunity. By embracing a more diverse and inclusive definition of masculinity, showing vulnerability and seeking support when needed, and showing love and support to all Black men, we can create a healthier and more authentic version of masculinity that celebrates our differences and empowers us to be our best selves.