I No Longer Want to Be a Good, Strong Black Man.

By: @DerrickJaxn

good-black-man"Such a good, strong black man." (Insert smile and look of pride by loving family member or friend)

I've always been humbled by those who'd call me that and still appreciative of the intentions behind it. I've even used the term myself without giving it much thought. But with recent event's cold cup of truth splashed directly into my eyes, I've realized that saying "good, strong black man" is just as destructive if not more so than the original N-word was.

Have you ever heard of a good, strong white man or an educated white woman? Doubt it. Reason being, "white" without any other modifiers is generally accepted to be connoted with those things. On the flip side, why isn't black?

If I have to modify the adjective to include educated, strong, "never been in no trouble", "with my sh*t together", what is it saying about just being default black? Dumb, weak, trouble-maker, worthless? And what is the difference between that and the original N-word?

So when someone black gets killed, could that be the reason we have to verify the value of their lives with college degrees or intent on going to college, no criminal background, and vouchers from those close to them that they were good people?

Trying to counter the notion that being black isn't synonymous with good qualities by listing them upon introducing yourself is to inadvertently condone and perpetuate that notion. I don't want to escape stereotypes, I want to do away with them. In the same way that as citizens we are innocent until proven guilty, as a black person, I want to be deserving of respect and appreciation until proven otherwise as well.

It's going to take some time, but the reconditioning must start somewhere.We learned the current meaning of "black". Let's learn a new one. I am a black man. That, by itself, is more than good enough.

-@DerrickJaxn

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Author: DerrickJaxn

Derrick Jaxn is a lifestyle blogger, motivational speaker, and author. He consistently delivers raw truth with a passion and can emotionally connect with anyone no matter how alone you thought you were. If you read it, there's a good chance he writes it, but you won't get it like this from anywhere else. Follow him on Twitter & Instagram @DerrickJaxn.

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14 Comments

  1. Great article. I hope during my lifetime that I am blessed to see being a man or woman will no longer need to be categorized for acceptance in a world we all are born into.

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  2. That’s nice! ; ) <3

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  3. This was an eye opening perspective. I love the idea of us being enough, just by being us.Growing up in a small town, my sisters and I were always described as ” well- mannered, intelligent little girls”. When you are distinguished from the rest of a race by being and doing the “right thing”, then there is time for a change. But I take pride in being called those qualities at such a young age. Well-behaved children are a rare entity. (Shrug)

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  4. I appreciate this so very much!!! A few years ago I dated a man, that explained this very same perspective to me. He too did not understand the need for people to describe him as a “Good Black Man”. He mentioned that one of the things about me that attracted him to me was at the end of our 1st phone conversation I told him that he was a “Good Man, And I Look Forward To Getting To Know You Better.”

    A few days later, we had our 1st date and we discussed this further. He aske me why I didn’t say a “good Black man”. I immediately thought of how annoyed I get at work when a non-black person reacts when they meet me for the first time. How shocked by my name being Meredith, and how irritating it is when they think telling me I’m articulate ( uugghhh ) is a compliment. I always ask of they also told my Caucasian co-worker, Holly that she too was articulate.

    I made sure to just describe the good men that I meet, know & respect as such. There’s truly no need to state the obvious.

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  5. You’re good and strong, regardless of what your skin color is. I pray that one day it won’t matter what race you are to determine what kind of person you are, level of intelligence, etc. Thank you for the inspiring words, man. God Bless.

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  6. I love this article. I often wondered why we have to prove ourselves as being smart, beautiful, strong, powerful, etc.
    I am going to share this article in hopes that others understand and stop compensating for who we are.

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  7. Thank you so much for this Derrick!!!! I have two sons and I have often said “Qualifiers disqualify the noun” whenever they used adjectives to prove a point. It’s almost like a friend asking, “Can I be honest with you?”; so you mean to tell me that you haven’t been being honest until now?? I will certainly share this with them. I’m sure it will make them smile. BTW love, Love, LOVE your work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  8. Great article! We need to be re-programmed in a lot of areas. I appreciate anyone willing to go against the status quo. Keep up the good work!

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  9. Wow that was eye opening. Well said!

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  10. I totally agree with this. Black does have a negative default. It shouldn’t be assumed that ‘black’ is uneducated or weak. Also, there is no other culture that does that. You don’t say look at that strong educated Asian woman, or that strong educated Indian man. You just don’t here that or say that.

    Great Article.

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