It’s mind-boggling how we ‘men’ come into this world. The first thing we come to know is that we are assigned to be men; we are coerced to accomplish all that the Eurowestern world has constructed for the black man to obey and follow, but the moment we do not act as men, we are suddenly not men, not…human, not to ourselves, not anyone.
We scrutinize our own bodies and police our manliness; we become ‘inferior’ when we arrest our own eyes. We are black, masculine, paradoxes to the white masses of the Eurowestern world. It’s almost as if we surge into this world only to be forced into a box, a barbed box of black manhood, virility and moral virtue. What is moral virtue to the black man but a rigid, egotistic European conviction asserted by philosophers Socrates, Aristotle and Plato, to the black man who does not know he is a man, or what a man is or could be?
What is virility, strength, perceived animalistic sexual prowess to the black man in a world in which he does not know that, somehow, the world did not necessarily create him, but created a malformed subjectivity of the black man that inhibits his body?
History speaks to these questions and the development of the black man, though it does not provide any clear answers because the ontological problems of the black man are so socioculturally complex. You are right about how we are shoved into this sort of ‘vague, unwanted position of manliness.’ I can suggest that I know myself to be a man, but how it feels to assert that I am a man? What of that?
It is obviously not the unconscious fault of black men who do not cast doubt on black hypermasculinity, but it is indefinitely worrisome that within this barbed box, we have been killing ourselves and others. It is more worrisome that a lot of us are not aware that this ‘hypermasculinity’ has been causing a gradual, psychological degeneration of the black psyche. It has emotionally and physically killed the black women who created us and raised us. White police officers weaponize our black bodies and kill us.
It has consistently scared off our so-called friends and supposed white ‘allies.’ It has augmented the God complex of white men, made us racist playthings to white women and subjected us to dwelling in this sadistic carnival; we are expected to be ‘entertaining’ performative, to feed the malignant colonialism of the racist imagination within the psyche of the white masses who see us only as accessories to abduct and throw away. I’m so confused by this. Are we forced to become men? Or do we decide what we define as men? Who we create? Who we will ourselves to be? I hate having to feel forced to fit into a mold all the time. I want to escape it. I’m sick of being condemned to psychological punishment whenever I’m told that I’m not ‘manly enough,’ subjecting my manliness to nothing but voyeuristic gratification and muscularity.
This is not what I want. This is what they want. If we have free agency to live to create ourselves, but we are forced into the barbed box as I earlier mentioned, isn’t the problem of “hypermasculinity” almost recurrent, leaped over in a sense? We know that we are humans, beautiful black human beings, but when we look outside of our bodies and see the annihilistic force for ourselves, from the people who we have hurt, to the people who have come to hate us, what could we do?
We should learn of what hypermasculinity is and how it has been killing us. You and I are already aware of the fallibility of black hypermasculinity. It is not only a social construct incongruous to our objective biology, but also its concreteness only exists in the heteronormative, white supremacist, patriarchal imagination.
We should also learn of what being a black man means. We come into existence, without much rigorous introspection or philosophical speculation, believing that all we are inherently strong black men. Not all black men are physically strong. Not all black men are mentally strong. Many black men lack both physical and mental strength. If our value judgements are always contingent on the dogmatic binary of ‘black male superiority’ and ‘black male inferiority,’ there would be no room to create a new subjectivity.
Consequently, we would be perpetuating heteronormative, white supremacist patriarchy. Masculinity is fluid, yes? We must then create a freer self. There is no right answer on how this can be done; nevertheless we must resist and eliminate all racist toxins that would exacerbate the denunciation of black men as demons, superhumans and beasts.