Black Brotherhood is Different Across Generations and That Can be a Challenge.

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( I believe that even if you’re significantly younger than some of your friends and family, you can still learn a lot from them. As I’ve mentioned before, a lot of things in life repeat themselves. In your lifetime you might experience the same impacting events more than once. In those cases, a combination of place, people, period, and pockets might come into play.

Black Brotherhood is Different Across Generations and That Can be a Challenge.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that some generations cover a larger number of years than others. The closer they are the easier certain conversations can be because the older generation has experienced a lot of what the younger generation is going through as adults. The adult game tends to be the same from generation to generation: relationships, bills, loss, love, faith, politics, education, business—work and life balance stuff.

Those things are tweaked and redefined each generation but a lot of it is recognizable and most of it is the same as it ever was. Growing up, the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Birmingham which provided mentorship for the youth. Later, there more community, in-house organizations would be established or setup camp which did the same but gave you a greater chance of having a mentor who resembled you.

I mean, picture it: you’re young, Black in middle school, dealing with peer pressure, establishing or engaging in friendships with your classmates and neighborhood kids. There’s pressure from succeeding at school, pressure from representing your parents and home by behaving, you probably have some after-school activities (academic bowl and newspaper club here)—it’s a lot to deal with in middle school.

Now, multiply that several times and ditch the safety net of parents or guardians covering room, board, meals and medical. Next, you want having to be on someone else’s time for a period for pay, having to pay expenses, needing insurance for stuff even if you won’t actively need it for the most part, losing loved ones who you’ve known for years or decades—that’s just a portion of the troubles of adulthood.

Explaining This Stuff to Brothers Across Generations

Honestly, looking at the list of pending challenges and what my nephews can expect when they become adults, I remember no one really sat me down and laid this all out for me but my mother. Some stuff would be better for a man to have explained to me but the vast majority of it could’ve been taught to me by my mother, father, aunt or uncle.

However, for the stuff that should stick and you’ll reflect on it and think some things would be different if you’d learned this or gotten advice on it from a Black man in your life. That is, depending on whose learning tree you’re sitting under. Some trees are obviously better than others. Even if they’ve experienced the same thing, how they dealt with it and their outlook on it may or may not gel with your demeanor or the nuisances of your version of the situation.

Factor in the generational aspect and as I said, some situations take a different form. The risks and impact could be greater or not as impactful. Social approaches and circles have different dynamics. Some stuff from my generation and how we would’ve handled it might be dated by how my nephews will handle it—even if the consequences and who will have to deal with it are the same as it’s always been.

Being unable to actually connect with our younger brothers or explain why it is how it is now to our older ones is a problem. Who says it, the delivery, the relevance, how long it takes to explain it—all of that can make connecting with a brother in a different generation incredibly difficult.

As a result, some of the same issues continue into the next generation and they generally get worse. Everyone’s method of dealing with this is different as well. I approach my eldest nephew’s issues from a place of understanding and little to no judgment but I also make sure not to overstep my role as an uncle.

Actually taking an interest in them and their lives goes a long way in understanding them but similar to how they might believe your approach is dated or you don’t get it, there’s an element of thinking their issues aren’t that serious or that the youth are into weird stuff because you’re much further removed from your youth than you realize.

Always remember: when you were their age, adults looked at your generation as being wild or violent or “I worry for the next generation.” It will never change and stop lying by saying “We were never this bad” because an old head will correct you.

Staff Writer; James Swift, Jr.

Gaming since 1989 and headbanging since 1999, James enjoys comics, RPGs, wrestling, and all things old school and retro. Check out his writing here AfroGamers and The Black Rock and Heavy Metal. You can also find him on Twitter at; metalswift and soon on Kick where he will stream mobile titles.

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