Black Male Agenda
Why Black Men Need Black Women
By Kristina Rowley
In a "melting pot" society where a variety f races and cultures are dating and marrying at a higher rate than ever before, how important is "Black Love" or relationships between black people. Black Male Agenda, a fairly new campus organization, held a discussion on Feb. 23 in Wiseman 102 explaining why relationships between black males and females are relevant and important in today's society. Members of the organization felt it was important to address relationships during the end of Black History Month and Valentine's Day month, because the blueprint for a strong black family starts with black males and females.
Like most battle of the sex's discussions the room set up was divided males to one side females to the other. George Ross and Alexis Redding captivated the attention of the audience by acting in a skit depicting an African couple exchanging vows, kissing, and jumping the broom together. A member of Black Male Agenda brought out that when slaves married each other the most beautiful thing is the vows because how could an enslaved people who have no control over their destiny make promises?
Next he asked the audience "Do black men and women need each other, and if they don't what do they need?" A female audience member answered black men and women need each other to keep the black family together because during slavery the black family was separated and today it is shattered because of it.
A male member of the audience asked what is wrong with "blind love" or relationships not according to race or culture. To which a female responded there is nothing wrong with "blind love" but the true answer to the question of why blacks are not strong couples is because they are not in touch or educated about themselves. Blacks are mixed with many different cultures, it is about having a person who is strong enough to take you to the next level and understand you.
After a few more arguments about issues black males and females have with each other President of Black Male Agenda, Maurice Robinson, said the question, "Why do black men need black women?" is irrelevant because no one ever asks why pairs need each other. Black people are a pair, one hand washes the other but they both wash the face. Other cultures don't ask why they need each other, said Robinson, these are the results of the African holocaust we need to get out of the slave mindset and realize that we are one.
Ross and Redding illustrated the degradation of being enslaved and mistreated by their captives in another skit while member of Black Male Agenda Julian Walker explained how during the period of slavery women could be raped anytime and men could be sold.
Walker asked how can black men and women be expected to provide and care for a family together, under such conditions, how could they protect each other? A Black Male Agenda member enlightened everyone with an original vocal performance about getting out of mental bondage and "the system."
Speaker Alex Lambert related a quote from Dr. Carter G. Woodson, "In order to know where you're going, you have to know where you came from." What was the natural state of black people before the African holocaust, asked Lambert. Lambert advised that we connect with who we are because the first step to recovery is acceptance.
Don't be confused thinking you don't need each other, said Lambert, we are not European we are African. Lambert asked all males in the room to stand and cry out, "I need you black queens", and in return all females to cry "I am at your side my black kings." Then everyone was encouraged to mix and sit with the opposite gender. Change is life's greatest reward, stated Lambert, fear is the motivator, you should fear if you don't change.
Marcus White, another member of Black Male Agenda posed another question to the audience, what do you think we can do to restore ourselves to what we once were as an African people?
A woman from the audience answered that we need to respect each other and a man added that respect is important because without each other no one would be here. Another woman said that ignorance can be found with both males and females, if we hold ourselves to higher standards and become educators to others we will be good examples.
An elderly woman in the audience related that it is a good thing that we can look at each other in many different shades. As an elder and a grandmother she speaks from a time when black people were "colored" and though they did not have a lot they banded together through love.
The woman stated that today black men and women act the way they do because they are missing being treated as brothers and sisters or even humans by other black people. The younger generation needs to absorb and learn from older ones like her.
After more discussion and a duet rendition of Alicia Keys' "If I Ain't Got You" by Stephan and Victoria Petty the members of Black Male Agenda thanked everyone for coming and invited everyone to their future programs.
Black Male Agenda is a group put together to help build knowledge of self in young black men to help find greatness within and express it to the world in order to liberate their community and themselves from an African centered paradigm, organizers said.
The members of Black Male Agenda are always working to build a better world by mentoring in everything from economics and politics to arts and music. If you are interested in Black Male Agenda join them on their weekly walks every Wednesday at 12 or 3 p.m. in front of Alex Haley Residence Hall.