Why Do Black Men Keep Failing Black Women?
White folks aren’t the only ones who need to be atoning right now
I’ve been shocked, if not dumbfounded, by White people across America suddenly recognizing that racism is not a figment of Black folks’ imagination. It only took 400 years and three pandemics to get them to concentrate long enough, but something has finally shifted. (Hold your applause. They don’t deserve it. And don’t let them just turn Juneteenth into a new holiday weekend for so-so sales either.)
Although I will never get my hopes up too high given that I’m a millennial — America has failed me too many times to still be its sucker — I must admit that it does indeed appear that some real change is on the horizon.
As much as we all have to worry about gun-toting bigots with or without a badge or the “Karens” of the world, Black women have to worry about Black men more often and more immediately — on top of everything else.
But Black men, I implore us not to let those White folks have all the atonement. We also need to focus on the myriad ways that we fail Black women and girls. Then maybe we can each pledge to hold one another more accountable. Not to sound like an after-school special, but given that men apparently need to be told again and again to stop being so goddamn awful, it feels like we live in one.
So, I’m here to help.
Two years ago, I published an essay entitled “Why the Music Industry Hasn’t Had Its #MeToo Moment.” Not long afterward, I received an email from a female music executive saying that she had read my piece and wanted to talk. What she shared was her pain from the harassment she received on the job caused by one of the powerful men the piece discussed — as well as the hurt she still carried over the culture she loves not loving her back the same way.