Y’all know, black men get a bad rep, if you let social media and entertainment tell the story. But I beg to differ. So, I’d like to honor some really amazing African American men this month and I’ll start by telling a story of two men I had the pleasure of meeting recently. They both had characters that made me both question my beliefs of black men and confirmed some as well. It encouraged me to wonder the point of, or even considering, loving a black man.
A few months ago, I went on a girls’ trip with a few of my close friends and we decided to catch an Uber while there. We encountered two men who were similar in stature and complexion, however, they had beliefs that were fundamentally different.
First of all, my girlfriends and I were already apprehensive when we saw that our driver’s name was George. I mean, come on, images of an elderly, burly, white man with a salty beard and attitude that would ask us to take our picture on HIS phone as a keepsake to “keep” him happy at night, came to mind. (I’ve actually had that happen to me before.)
But anyway, George pulled up and fouled us all. This dude opened the door for us, made great conversation about society and culture, especially the plight of blacks in America. We talked about music, Netflix and he gave us a tour of downtown Richmond. This guy was all kinds of respectful, and I did mention he was black? Yes: young, black and fine.
However, dude was taken, which ironically, made him more attractive. His faithfulness to his fiancée, and three kids back at home, was refreshing. He didn’t mind telling us he was engaged and working on providing for his family while driving for Uber part-time. Did I mention his work ethic? Girl.
He even said that there is no excuse as to a man not having a job/hustle/goals. He told us he drives Uber all day (and night, given it was after 11pm when he picked us up.) I must say, George was bae, and my friend had no problem telling him that either.
But, the story gets a little darker.
Once we arrive at our destination, the young man who greeted us at the entrance was anything but welcoming. He insulted one of my friends by suggesting she was on crack. And given we had such a pleasant experience with George, meeting that bastard really set us off. Like, literally, two minutes ago we were praising George for bringing hope to the community of black men, but that guy reversed and reverted our thinking. There was absolutely no excuse for that. Dude gets no passes.
My friend was bothered by that comment all night and, upon leaving, she confronted the man once again about his comment, but he pretended he had amnesia. As if he didn’t just come for my friend’s whole life, integrity and morals. I mean, my friends and I have intelligence and grace (with the degrees to prove it) so, for a black man to come out his face insulting us, while not even knowing us, is infuriating. I still can’t get over that to this day.
Dude tried to dismiss us like we were in the wrong to make himself feel better or deviate from addressing and admitting the offense. A simple apology would have sufficed. But that belligerent denial was sickening. So, we left the establishment. But not before my friend told him off. (Go, boo!)
On our way home, my other friend tried her best to rationalize the situation in an attempt to calm her down. This friend is more of a people observer/analyzer and concluded that men like that have to search for things to say to pretty girls to spark their attention, either disrespectful or not, because he can’t attention any other way. Which makes sense now, but at that moment everyone’s emotions were still heated. She spoke from personal experience and common sense, however, I have a relentless desire to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Call it optimism. I couldn’t believe that in a manner of minutes we met a black man that gave us hope and another that gave us despair.
I said all this to say, all men aren’t the same and as cliché as this is, I still have to remind myself (constantly) that there are some black men out there that want to bring honor to their female counterparts; that for every dufus there is one king out there, and that there is one waiting for me.
Honestly, I can say I truly believe that; which is a huge win for me. At my job, there are many black male teachers who are educated, respectful and (surprisingly) kind. They have families at home, and are faithful. They actually care about the students (mostly black) in that school and truly desire to see them succeed. I must say, that’s refreshing in every form. And it may be just me, but I’m not used to black men possessing these qualities. It’s experiences like these that make me want to love a black man even more, or should I?
Ladies, if you have an experience like this one, or maybe you know a black man that should be honored this month, comment his name below!
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