Carl W. Kenney II is an award winning columnist and novelist. He is committed to engaging readers into a meaningful discussion related to matters that impact faith and society. He grapples with pondering the impact faith has on public space while seeking to understand how public space both hinders and enhances the walk of faith.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Black women carry the pain of black men in ways that deserves attention
Photograph courtesy of the blogMimmysays.com I
listened as a 61 year-old grandmother wept after witnessing the arrest of her
grandson.It was the second time
authorities entered her house to take him away.
wish they didn’t have to handcuff him with me there,” she said as the thoughts forced
her to consider so much more.
talked about her son who is serving a sentence for possession of marijuana.He violated the terms of his probation after
starting a new business.He was headed
in the right direction when old mistakes took him away.
has three strikes,” she told me.“Each
was a minor charge, but when they added them all up he’s forced to serve time.”
asked me not to share her name. Maybe it’s the frustration that comes after
witnessing both her son and grandson go back to prison.Maybe it’s hard to bare the guilt lodged so
deep that it’s hard to say the rest.
both have so much to offer,” you could hear the shouts coming from that place
beyond the surface.“I don’t understand.”
is happening to black men?Why are so
many trapped in the criminal justice system?
cries of black men are being heard as America processes the days following the
George Zimmerman verdict.Divergent
views regarding the relevancy of race has opened wounds once marked with band
aids used to soothe America’s need for unity.
criticized President Barack Obama for sharing how it feels to walk in a black
man’s body.Some condemned him for
waiting too long to speak.Others are
hostile that he simply spoke.
black men keep those feelings to themselves?
is wrong. It’s the truth that few will
refute.At issue is who to blame for the
vast list of maladies that make black men America’s biggest problem.
how it feels to be a black man - like we keep getting in the way.Maybe that’s why so much energy has gone into
putting so many black men in prison.
anyone heard the tears of the countless black women in search of answers?What went wrong with my son?What did I do wrong?What can I do to change things?
no one has the answers.All we have are
questions with massive commentary and blame.
listened to a mother and grandmother cry over her children.She talked about her son’s father and the
father of her daughter’s son.Both men
have spent time in prison. It’s a story too many have shared.
Jones has witnessed the death of cousins due to gun violence.One of
her teenage cousins was shot in the head.Many friends have been killed.
all makes we think about taking up arms to fight with them,” Jones, the owner
of Sincerely Yours Salon, said after being asked to express her emotions
related to watching so many black men go to prison.
talked about the war against black men.After crying and praying, Jones says it’s time to fight back.
Jones alone?Are black women fed up with
the attacks against the men they love so much?
it a war, or has the black community imploded?
death of Trayvon and the Zimmerman verdict unearths things too agonizing to be
limited to words on a page.These are
matters assembled from generations of disillusionment.It all comes after watching so many go off to
prison and more killed due to hustling in the streets.It comes from witnessing the power of
hypocrisy and claiming ownership of things much deeper than a few mistakes.
comes after becoming fed up with asking why.
is wrong with the black man?
feel heartbroken because of the murder of children we bore from our womb and
being stripped of the protection of the men we look for in our black men who
are not there,” said Deborah Dalton, executive assistant to Dr. Robert C.
Scott, Senior Pastor at the Central Baptist Church in St. Louis, MO.
talked about the lonely feeling that comes after enduring so many deaths and
incarcerations.How do you stop the pain
of women standing in wait of son’s becoming the men they can adore? What
happens when the smiles of black women fades each time they watch another
relative go to prison?
needs to pause to listen to black men as they tell their stories.As we affirm the witness of their pain, don’t
forget the grandmothers, mothers, aunts, daughters, nieces and cousins who
carry more than they are able to share.
often cry alone at night.
women are carrying loads of pain. Listen. Just listen