Thursday, October 18, 2018

What does it mean to be a young black male living in America?

September 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Brother Talk, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( 400 years ago Africans were taken from their homes and forced to come and build a new world and that price of their own blood, sweat, and tears.  These same Africans and their descendent s have fought so hard to rise above their expectations in this country that I am proud to say that 400 years later after being brought here as slaves; a black man is the President of the United States.

In school we learn a lot about the American legends such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, etc. But what consistently seems to catch my mind is; what would these people think about a black man calling himself President of the United States. These people would have to laugh at the bogus statement about a black man being president. Many of them not only owned slaves; but believed that African-Americans were not capable of taking care of their own selves and that slavery was needed. But hundreds of years later a man named Barack Hussein Obama would break all these stereotypical mindsets by becoming the 44th President of the United States of America.

Sad to say that this same man who has broken so many barriers and has been through so much adversity in his life; is one of the most disrespected Presidents in the history of America. He is a man that has been publicly criticized and ridiculed for every decision that he makes. President Obama has defeated all odds that are set against him; and even though he should looked upon as inspiration; I believe that things have only gotten worse for young black boys that are trying to succeed in the American society.

I myself am a 17 year old black boy that has been born and raised in the city of San Bernardino, California. A city which only reputations seems to be “The Home of the Crack heads” and is constantly referred to as “San Bernaghetto“. I guess I can say the stereotypes that are brought against my city are true. We do have a high homeless rate and if you go to the right area; you will see a lot drug addicts wandering around. But what I believe is our biggest problem is the problem that no one can see with the naked eye. That problem is the genocide of young black males in the city of San Bernardino.

As I look around black boys in my city are being killed off in several different type of ways. One way is they’re literally being killed whether due to gang banging or by the hands of a police officer; black mothers have to bury young black boys my age every day. Another way I see black boys getting killed is the destruction of their mind through drugs such as marijuana but mostly crack cocaine. The last but not least way I see this genocide happening is prison.

More and more black boys of all ages are being thrown into prison and never seeing the light of day again. Although some of these methods are not physically killing young black males; they are still killing off black male’s individuality from society. Which is still a form of genocide; and I know that my city isn’t the only city where this genocide is taking place. It’s going on everywhere in America and there and there is no end in sight. But I’m not here to point out who is responsible for this nationwide genocide that is going on; I just want to show that there is a problem andyoung-black-men-2014 no solution has been shown yet. The only thing one can really wonder is; WHO’S NEXT?

So I guess this is where I myself come back in. I’m growing up in the midst of this genocide. Now of course I’m not a gang banger, I don’t do drugs, and I’m not planning on getting caught up with the law anytime soon. And even though I love hip hop I’m not an aspirating rapper. I honestly do love to watch sports and even occasionally play sports but the phrase “BALL IS LIFE” doesn’t really fall into my category.  I honestly do not like watermelon and I think Kool-Aid is disgusting.

Now even though I just separated myself with common stereotypes that black people are faced with every day; for some reason I am still abruptly thrown right back into. So every time I step outside; somebody sees a tall black male and ask the question I hear almost every day. “Do you play ball?” Every time I hear this question I kindly tell them “no“; and then they ask “Well why not?” As if it is a requirement that play sports. Being given this feeling is a feeling that I don’t like because it makes me feel as I’m left out; or as if I’m missing something that I should have.

And if I was to compare the number of times I’ve been asked if played ball to the number of times I’ve been asked what college do I want to go to or what are some of my goals in life; the numbers would 10 to 1 with the ball question receiving 10. But then I wonder to myself; what would the numbers be like if a white kid that was a little bit shorter was asked the same questions? Would the numbers still be 10 to 1? Most definitely not; and with this conclusion more questions arise. Why is it when the teacher wants to make a class rap; I’m the first one to be chosen? But when it’s time to choose a group leader; the class laughs when I volunteer myself? And what I’ve come to realize is that it’s an issue that’s bigger than racism or politics. It’s the issue of equality. The issue that we are set out to be treated equal but in reality terms people are intentionally put behind others in the race for success that we all strive for in America.

But for some reason people don’t see this. They don’t believe that black people; especially black men; no longer have struggles. That just because there is a black president all of America’s race issues have disappeared. Well I’m here to say that race issues in America are still very much alive and have even gotten worse in some areas. For now it is proven that a black man can achieve anything that he sets his mind to in his country. So just like President Obama broke the stereo types that our prejudice founding fathers had on African-Americans; I must do the same and break the stereotypes of the prejudice individuals in my society. But my road to success will be ten times harder than it has for any other black men before. For people now know what we are capable of and what we can achieve.

So as I strive on in the quest for success in America; I stop at times, look at myself, and ask then I ask myself; “What are you doing? Why are you doing this?” Why I want to succeed so badly is a question that I have not been able to answer for myself yet. I guess I just know that there has to be something better out there than where I am right now. That somewhere out there; there is a place of peace and rest. And at times I again take a look at myself and I ask the question; “Who are you?”

Well I think that’s pretty easy to answer; my name is Brandon Watts, I’m 17 years old, and I’m a young black male that wants to succeed in America. But what does that mean? What does it mean to be a young black male striving to succeed in this American society? I’ve come to the conclusion that that only means one thing; it means that I have a very long road ahead of me. A road that consisted of me breaking large barriers and the faith to keep moving when all odd are against me. But I know that failure is something that I shall never seek. For I am on the side of the side of the God almighty.

So what does it mean to be a young black man living in America? It means that not much is expected of me. It means that if I’m not playing sports, rapping songs, telling jokes, or doing anything else that entertains people; then I’m obviously a gang banger, a drug dealer, or some other kind of criminal. But it also means that I come from a long line of greatness; I come from people who never gave up and defeated all odds. It means that whatever I go through in life; I will always have God by my side.

Staff Writer; Brandon Watts



10 Responses to “What does it mean to be a young black male living in America?”
  1. Conscious black man says:

    Great read. Your young so I expect you to be in such awe of president Obama and his “achievements”. But please understand that everything given to Obama was given to him by the white man. He is owned and controlled by white money and therefore is only loyal to white money. He has never made any true effort to help the real issues of his hometown Chicago or African people in America and he never will, because he is not allowed to. It is not likely to believe that a country would give all its power to a person of the same decent as the people they spend billions to ruin every year. He is well controlled and knows his place as a puppet. He is the perfect puppet after Bush because white people are scared to go at him because they don’t want to be called racist, and black people don’t hold him accountable for anything because we were brainwashed to believe this man identifies with us because his skin tone is like ours and he’s “hip” to people like jay z and Beyoncé, and likes sports. But, was raised in white neigborhoods, with all white kids, by all white parents. A Rothschild federal reserve owner once said, “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes it’s laws.” Goldman Sachs and white banking money put Obama where he is, and they did it for a reason. To keep Americans quiet and docile while we go in and steal and kill in third world countries. Obama is, for a lack of a better term, a “house nigga”. He wants nothing to do with any idea being discussed on this website that’s for sure. American makes billions of dollars off the destruction of African people, in Africa and in America. Why would you put a man in charge of your country who wanted to stop that? Simple answer, you don’t. You put someone in there who can help that. African people are suffering worse under Obama that we had under Bush or Clinton. Please watch “hidden colors 3” the movie, and parts 1 and 2 after. Also, Google Doctor Umar Johnson. Read his book, and watch some YouTube videos on the man. It’s time we stop identifying with our oppressors hired help. Blessings to you and all your family. Stay safe young God.

  2. Seth says:

    Thank you for your article Mr. Watts. I observed a word you used to describe our situation and others commented using the same word. That word was/is “expectations.” I’ve heard throughout my life that “great expectations lead to greater disappointments.” There seems to be some truth to that statement. I gather that at least some part of you seeks to disidentify from the current social stereotypes of black men. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. If I may offer you some GOOD advice, it is the following: you need not be concerned with what America expects of you or from you, nor with the social stereotypes that so consistently saturate the various media. Once you fully and accurately understand your ancestral history, then you will naturally more accurately understand your imposed environment. Every effort is made to insure that you feel rejected, in the hope that this full rejection might force u to consider one of the paths that you and those like you have been limited to in this system. Understand ECONOMICS, economic systems, economies and how they have come to be. Therein are all the answers to who, what, when, where, and why you have been rejected. You have been rejected on many levels,by those who have , for various reasons, chosen to be subservient to a beast that peddles moral judgement but refuses to drink it’s own product. You are fully ACCEPTED among those who understand and see. Seek not to be seen as “not this or not that”, rather, understand fully who you are and force feed that truth any nation on earth who desires to reduce your remarkable history, current capability, and GOD ordained future to “Green Eggs and Ham.” The greatest position that this system could offer you is beneath what you have already been.

  3. Morris says:

    What a wonderful, insightful article from such a young man. With such words you’ve empowered not only yourself but a nation.

  4. Brandon Watts says:

    Wow! Thank you so much for all your comments. I will definitely take this all in as I strive forward on my journey to success.

  5. unartfulapproach says:

    Great article Brandon. As a young black male, I can tell that there are thousands of us out there dealing with those same questions of identity. We don’t know where we fit because we’re expected to act one way but our interests lie elsewhere. Sometimes we get pushed away from members of our own community because we don’t conform. But those questions dealing with identity are key to developing a strong sense and a meaningful life.

    As Socrates once said: “The un-contemplated is the life not worth living.”

    Bro, you’re an individual with unique tastes, talents, interests, idiosyncrasies, abilities, hopes, ambitions, flaws and a myriad of other things that make you distinctly you. This uniqueness is awesome and requires no justification. Don’t let anyone make you believe that you need to fit their description of who you should be.

    I have a blog talking about young black men. Its just started but I’d appreciate if you came and checked it out. Its

    Keep up the good work.

  6. hoodgirl says:

    Andre Junior,

    What you say is the proven path to financial security. Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover is a money management book that teaches 7 principles “Baby Steps” to Build and Protect Wealth where the base is Discipline which few possess because it is the norm to live paycheck to paycheck regardless of race.

    Keep up the positive mindset and your family roots will have endless possibilities!

  7. Andre Junior says:

    As a black man (35 with a Wife and 2 young ones), The only haven I have found in this country is my faith and those of my faith who are in the same circle.
    That being said, the challenge I face is to lead my family and end the cycle of, “settling”. I wan to succeed so that I can secure a financial future for my children. Many of my white friends received essential material items from their parents when they graduated college and started a family. My parents had nothing to leave for me, basically living from check to check. I am learning on my own, how to manage finances, secure emergency funds and save. These concepts are rather foreign to our culture and it is sad. The cycle stops here. I am advancing in my career so that I can leave my success for my children and my children’s children. So, I live below my means, Establish a date to eliminate my debt completely and teach my children the ways of an entrepreneur. Don’t just go to college to become a good employee, learn and establish a competitive advantage and make the most of it. Why strive for success? I would urge you to follow my vision and establish these essential goals, at the least.

  8. Chris says:

    You are a leader. The world needs you to continue to lead. I loved this article. You are a bright young man Brandon. Please continue to lead, leave your mark in this world, and continue to strive for greatness. There is so much negativity in this world that it is a breath of fresh air to read this article from a young black male. Thank you for sharing this. I hope many young black males read this and inspires them.

  9. gc1479 says:

    Nice article!

  10. Neil says:

    Excellent article Brandon. I’m a lot older than you (43) and I am a black male born and bred here in London, England the offspring of Caribbean parents. Your experience in the US is similar to my experience here in England. Black boys/men are expected to be good at certain sports, singing, rapping, dancing etc etc. But we also suffer from the other more negative stereotypes. People expect us to be involved in crime, be lazy, unemployed, school or college dropouts etc.
    We as individuals must rise above these stereotypes and do our very bests too prove the doubters wrong. We must stay in school, work hard, get good guidance and when we have achieved better things we must pass them onto young people like yourself.
    It’s not easy but great things always take time and effort to achieve as I’m sure you already know. Hopefully President Obama’s time in office and his achievements will spur on and encourage other black men to aspire to greatness.

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