Let’s all continue to Elev8 Black Men in 2011. Kenneth Braswell shares his thoughts on the work ahead in 2011 for the responsible man. Also check out the inspirational video featuring Nick Canon and Russell Simmons.
What does a responsible man look like; sound like, smell like? Is he defined by his walk, or maybe in his talk? Can you find his meaning in the things he owns or in the amount of money he controls? Is his manhood carried by the blood in his veins, could it be found in the fullness of his mane, maybe; at the core of the things he claim? This thing we seek called “manhood” could just be as elusive as “he” is to find. His definition; un and mis-defined.
For years we’ve heard the poetic descriptions of womanhood in Maya Angelo’s, “Phenomenal Woman; in scriptural references of the “Virtuous Woman,” of Proverbs 31 and in the teachings of T.D. Jakes’ “Women, Thou Art Loosed.” Deservingly so, there has been no shortest of messages that describes the virtue, gives honor and celebrates the beauty of womanhood. As a society we revel in the notion that women are recognized, respected and their value, reinforced. This is as it should be! Yet, we have so much more work to do, if we hope to strengthen families in its entirety.
In the end logic will defy our work, if we don’t find a way or the need to also honor, celebrate, support and educate men to be engaged in the responsibility of being productive men. As we proceed with this challenge there are four things we must keep in mind in this transformational work with men: 1) we must be conscience not to forget the men who have and do honor themselves, their families, communities, 2) not to dismiss men who have emotional desire, but not the financial means, 3) for the minority of men who perpetuate the negative stereotypes of men, we must find effective ways of continuing to do our work, knowing that some may take more time than others, to get it, and 4) we must include the voices of women in an effort not to make the same alienating family mistakes of the last 30 years.
It is our desire and belief that we will find at the core of “responsibility” a place to begin our work. Ingrid Cliff; author of “Instant HR Polices and Procedures,” has this to say about responsibility; “there are three types of people – those whom nothing is ever their fault and it is always the fault of someone else, those for whom everything is their responsibility and those people who know their boundaries, own what is theirs and let the rest go. (Read More)
Watch Nick Cannon and Russell Simmons inspirational comments at the Year of Responsible Men Event: