This is the first installment of our Katrina Commemoration Series.
1. Pay Attention
The way I see it, the main reason that people don’t act on things is because they are not paying attention to them. Think about it: the reason I don’t volunteer to mentor young people is because I ignore the need; the reason my woman is frustrated with me is because I am ignoring or not paying attention to her; the reason I don’t vote is because “I don’t pay attention to politics.”
The common thread here is ignorance. People hear or read the word ignorance and react to it like it’s a dirty word or an insult. What it is is a state of mind that presents an opportunity to share and to learn. The issue is not ignorance in and of itself, it is the apathy that is often coupled with it: not wanting or caring to know. It follows then that if we don’t want or care to know, we won’t pay attention.
We should seek to defeat apathy & ignorance at all costs, wherever we see it manifest itself. How can we do this? How can we become more collectively aware? It starts for most people as a reactionary choice, a reaction to something that someone said or did/did not do. In the cases of Katrina and Rita, the [lack of a] response to people’s needs from the government could inspire some to start caring, to start paying attention, to want to take such matters (e.g. responding to a disaster) into their own hands.
There is nothing wrong with this, it’s actually a good thing. However, this cannot be the only way we can be driven to pay attention. To paraphrase an earlier SuperSpade piece, “Successful collective action is not created from hatred, anger, or being “fed up,” or reacting, It is created out of love for and knowledge of self…” What that means is we need to pay attention before something goes down in order for our attitudes and actions to be sustainable. To use closer-to-home example, many of us (myself included) have a pretty reactionary approach to our own health: we don’t watch our diet until we get sick or gain weight, we don’t stretch before exercising until we pull a muscle, etc. In the same way that this has dangerous consequences in our personal health, the reaction-only approach to collective action also has dangerous consequences, the worst being the fact that we can forget what we were reacting to in the first place. Continuing with my analogy, most dieters end up gaining back the weight they [temporarily] lost because after they hit their ‘goal,’ they stop dieting or eating healthily. After a year, many people have literally forgotten about the travesty that ensued following the Gulf Coast hurricanes. The ignorance and apathy that we thought had been eliminated was simply on vacation.
Going forward, how do we avoid this from happening with regard to the hurricanes, or anything else? We can start be doing some homework. Instead of simply looking at what happened, look at how and why what happened happened. This will be effective on two levels. For those who insist in only acting in reaction to something, the more you investigate, the more likely you are to find things that lead you to want to act. On a second, more substantive level, the level of ignorance is lessened to the point of non-existence in the presence of exposure and knowledge. We can start by asking each other questions. You’d be surprised how much you can learn about a situation or a person by asking, “What do you think about X?” If you notice someone is passionate about something, ask them why they care so much. Even the lazy and apathetic talk. We can use this talk for educational purposes instead of using it kill brain cells. Let’s talk about what’s going on in our lives and in this world. Ask people what they are doing, what they are reading (The SuperSpade I hope!), what they are involved in. You may be surprised. Seeing and talking with other people caring about things that you care about is a great way to help you get over the hump and get involved (for my friends that “don’t pay attention to politics” from above, understand that politics is simply action-based conversation, and who hates that?). It can help you identify things that you are passionate about if you are unsure or unclear. Let’s talk with one another. Let’s listen to one another. Let’s share with one another. Let’s educate one another. Let’s uplift one another. Let’s pay attention to one another. That’s how it starts.
Awareness is critical to action. To be active, we must be aware. To be aware, care about our collective experience. To care, we must pay attention.
One Love. One II.
Everyone should be well aware that today, tonight, marks the 1 year commemoration of one of the greatest, most catastrophic, most revealing natural disasters in the history of the state of Louisiana, the history of the United States, the history of the Planet Earth. It was great in size because the amount of people, land, and property both directly and indirectly effected. It was catastrophic because of the damage done to people’s lives, minds, and possessions. It was revealing because it caused people to revisit some of the harsh realities that exist in neighborhoods across this nation’s cities, cities across this nation’s states, and states that are nation’s members. This event has a name that will forever be burned into our memories: Hurricane Katrina.
Throughout the last few weeks, many people have been pondering this tragedy. The SuperSpade has looked at this from many different angles since its occurrence last August. As people reflect on everything that happened before 29 August 2006 and everything that has happened since, I’d like to ask people to use this as a motivation to become more active participants in our communities so that in times of need, we can rely on one another, help one another, and be present for one another.
It’s no secret what I think about the local, state, and federal government’s response to the storm. Instead of continuing to frame such an attitude as a platform for more complaining, I look at it as a platform for action. With that said, here is the SuperSpade’s 3 Point Plan for Community Action:
We’ll be dealing with these in detail for the rest of the week. I encourage your participation in this discussion and in how we can effect positive change on our future.
One Love. One II.
It has been a long time coming, and now it’s finally happened. Steven M Devougas, of Weekly Dream fame, is now officially a SuperSpade contributor. He has been contributing to the site since December, and he quickly became the favorite author of many SuperSpade readers.
Brandon and I are happy to welcome him to the squad and are excited about how he will help us, and you, bring about positive change in this world.
One Love. One II.
Thank you Dumi for gracing our site with your presence. It’s always tight when the smartest person you know shows support. This started out as a comment, but grew to it’s own post for a couple of reasons: 1) it got kind of lengthy, and 2) I have been MIA for a while due to some other things going on and felt this would be a good topic to get back into the mix with. Big ups to Brandon & Steve for holding down The SuperSpade during my absence.
I think the Cyber Leashes piece is an interesting one for a number of reasons, but it mainly boils down to an issue of two main things: what are our motivations for doing anything that we do, and how/why do we use technology.
Anyone that has ever seen me knows I’m a nerd. I’m definitely the guy Dumi was talking about who cares a lot about gadgets and technology: about how they work, when they’re released, why one’s better than the other, all of that. Why do I care about these things? Maybe because I’m genuinely passionate about such things. Maybe because it makes me feel good and intelligent and current. Maybe because I’m good at it. Dumi’s post asks us what our motivations in having “information all the time at the fingertips” is. I believe that this is a question we need to ask ourselves about everything that we do and think about, including and beyond technology.
Let’s go further. What’s the difference between obsessing over a set of rims and a chocolate phone? Not a whole lot (well, perhaps I’d be perpetuating more negatives stereotypes with the former than the latter, but I digress). Neither will put you one step closer to “things that will improve your life” or “liberate our people.” So why do we think about these things? Because they make us feel good and we think they make us better. This consumer insecurity, the idea that we need to buy/have things to validate ourselves, pervades pretty much all parts of society and is especially damaging in poorer communities where being a consumer has similar absolute but much higher relative costs. The problem with having our vision tainted by this consumer insecurity is that it has damaged priorities that our people, that all people, used to have and hold dear: the idea of common identity, of shared vision, of collective action. What we lost was the notion that feeling good was a concept that went beyond the individual. What we lost was the notion that taking care of one another is important and should be a priority over selfish indulgence (Before I get jumped on, I’m well-aware of the “secure your own mask before assisting others” philosophy, however, I think most people use that to justify their own self-centeredness by omitting the “assisting others” part). Dumi’s questions should cause us not only to think about how we consume technology and if it serves a greater purpose, but also about how we consume any/everything else and if it serves a greater purpose. Let’s get back to the basics, back to what’s important. Let’s make what’s important to the individual beneficial to the collective, and vice versa.
I do not want to confuse people by any means into having them think that technology is neither useful nor important. In fact, the exact opposite is true. In my view, the issue is not the technology itself, but how we approach and use it. In general, technologically under-exposed individuals will see technology as a toy, a game, a form of entertainment. This is because it makes it less intimidating to think about it in terms of fun and only fun. The issue is that too many of our people never graduate out of that mindset and way of viewing technology to a more mature vantage point: one that sees technology as a tool, as an enabler, as a method of getting goals accomplished. This is what Dumi is calling for and what I wish to re-iterate here. The reason I started The SuperSpade with Brandon was to show our people how technology could be used for what I feel are more substantive things. I envision a day when people go online for more than celebrity gossip and sports scores. I envision a world where people do more online than watch videos of people lip-syncing pop music and make sorry-a$s MySpace pages. I envision a world where we use technology to reach each other to talk about how & where we can organize a meeting to work towards liberation. I envision a reality where we use the internet for what it was intended: a network to connect people and share information. This site will soon become a place where people can share ideas that will better society, where they can trade tips on how best to start mentorship programs in places across the world, where people can come give and receive social, political, and economic empowerment.
I want all of us to begin to see technology for what it can be and not what so many people think it is. In college, I often wondered how people communicated without email or cell phones. I wondered how peopled scheduled study sessions and “study” sessions without text messaging. After thinking about it, I determined that people simply found ways to do what they needed to do. Well, I submit to you that since it is now so much easier to communicate and easier to stay in touch, that we take that ease of use and use it for big things, not BS. Technology is aimed at simplifying things, not complicating them. At making things easier, not more difficult. How successful it is at making thing simple or easy is debatable, but I see it as something we can use it to achieve our big goals freedom & liberation, of unity & peace, and of a community with a shared vision. Do you see what I see?
One Love. One II.
What’s up fam,
My friend Dumi was inspired by my friendship series to help us expand the discussion beyond Black men to talk about how friendship is undermined by what he describes as “Cyber Leashes.” I couldn’t agree with him more and as life becomes increasingly hectic and complex, we must always remember to get back to basics.
Dumi is the author of the critically acclaimed, Black at Michigan blog and I encourage you to check it out.
I know you’ve seen them. In fact you’re likely in close proximity to one or multiple of them at this very moment. Some call them smart phones, blackberries, treos, sidekicks, whatever you call it, it’s likely too damn big and still attached to your hip or ear (if it’s not on your ear you’re probably wearing your Spock ear piece). Now I admit, I’m an addict, I’m addicted to my phone, I’m addicted to my Bluetooth headset, I’m addicted to the ability to check email, but I’m really not sure why.
I know that you’ve probably read the numerous articles that cite Americans are over exposed to work and under exposed to leisure, but I can’t help but notice we have almost all subscribed to the cyber leashes of technology. I remember the first time I saw a blackberry it was years ago and my aunt who worked for the Pentagon had one, I remember thinking, “I’ll never get one of those, it just means you can always be answering people” fast forward six years or so and I’m gleefully checking my email while sipping an overpriced latte. So you may ask, “Why are you so concerned with the idea that many have opted for access to information all the time at the fingertips?” The simple answer is if you’re like me, nine times out of ten, you’re not getting things that will improve your life, liberate our people, or are even necessary. You’re just checking email to check it, just visiting that blog to see if somebody in cyberspace responded to your last comment, trying to see if that email giving you more work that will make someone else rich has come across, or you’re just plain bored. That’s right, I said it, Americans are bored and we’ve opted for cyber leashes to compensate.
My brother Brandon has been breaking down the connections between friendships and Black men, but I think it goes well beyond just that group. Let’s be real, how many myspace, friendster, orkut, facebook, dodgeball, etc. associates do you have? Now how many of them do you talk to? It’s much easier to pretend to interact with them via the occasional message and seeing who else they’re talking to then talking to them and finding out what is really going on in their life. Just like it’s easier to wade through spam on my treo than work on my damn dissertation. We as a people have become bored in part because we’re too accessible but also in part because we’re easily distracted. We have enabled this boredom with technology.
For months I’ve been thinking about our obsessions with technology. Thinking what life was like before the cell phone and the internet, and it’s getting really hard to remember! As we step forward into the digital age and get more and more access to the world at our fingertips I only hope we don’t leave behind what “makes the world go round” … people. Next time you grab your hip to check that text message, to look up that movie time, to just look at your phone cause you’re deathly bored, think about doing something that is going to better the condition of the folks around you, just not fatten the pockets of cell phone companies.
“The essence of strategy is not to carry out a brilliant plan that proceeds in steps; it is to put yourself in situations where you have more options than the enemy.”
-Strategy 6, 33 Strategies of War, by Robert Greene
I have always been known as a planner. Growing up, my parents always stressed “have a Plan B, because the only surething is death and Jesus.” I was one of those people who had to have all of the information, formulate contigency plans and a main plan. Because I always hedged my bets (“hoped for the best, but planned for the worse”), I was able to maintain cool and calm in the face of unforeseen circumstances. I only ran into trouble when I had no options and no room to maneuver. I hated the boxed in/caged animal feeling that comes from facing “checkmate” in a particular situation. I also realized that I hate dealing with individuals who had no skills in planning and execution. How does on develop the skill of flexibility in planning and execution?
Lately, I have been obsessed with all things dealing with strategy. This summer, a good friend of mine and I rediscovered the classic game of chess. Every Tuesday, we would meet and play a game, while discussing the business of the week. The first time we sat down, he beat me in three moves. Now as embarassing as this is to admit, I learned an important strategic lesson. Whereas my strategy was to decimate him piece by piece, he focused more on controlling certains squares on the board to limit my options. He had his “strikers” in places where I could not even think of moving.
The Chessboard of Life
Few people realize that life is, at some points, a chess game. We are all implicitly strategists. When the use of force is not an option, then strategy is the fallback. From the child who tries to convince his parents to get him that new toy, to the teenager who wants a new car or curfew, to the adult who wants a promotion, we all have plans of attack for attaining access to scarce resources. It is human nature. It is not evil unless your objective is evil. Hard work is only part of the battle. Mailmen, teachers, waitresses and immigrants all work hard, and often work harder than the majority of people in society. To truly attain our dreams, it is imperative that we work harder and smarter.
There are some basic tenets to being a strategic thinker. The first thing is to know what your objective is and your timeline. Nothing has meaning outside of time. Second, take inventory of your resources. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your constraints? Third, who and what are your enemies? Fourth, how can you use what you have in your possessions to surmount the enemies/obstacles you face? Fifth, take wise counsel. As a man who believes in God, prayer is extremely important to me in my strategic process, because if my plan is not in line with God’s, there is no way it is going to work. A lot of people consult God last, if they consult Him at all, but they ignore a tremendous resource. I also, have my “roundtable” discussions with my committee to cover all of my bases.
Accuracy of information is paramount. Also, It is essential to have more than one approach. Begin to think of various situations and variables that could occur and build that flexibility into your plan and time line. When you do this, you will maintain the presence of mind necessary to focus and execute in the face of opposition.
A favorite and essential technique is what author Harvey McKay calls “digging your well before you are thirsty.” If you ultimately know the process necessary to meet your objective, you lay the groundwork and accumulate the tools before the need arises. You take the initiative before instead of constantly reacting to situations. For example, when looking for a job, there are people who blindly mass mail resumes to employers and pray for a response. The more strategic approach would be to keep your options open and make contacts with people at other companies that may be able to get your resume in front of the right people.
Be Water, Be Wind
Strategic thinking, planning and execution is the highest level of human reasoning because it requires you to act instead of react. We analyze everything else, but seldom do individuals implicitly analyze situations in their daily life. Thinking this way requires a great deal of discipline, diligence and patience-three things most people are extremely short on. However, the rewards are astronomical. Take the military approach. In the military, before the troops take the field, they send out reconnaissance teams to get the lay of the land. From these scouts findings, the commanding officers develop their strategy. After the mission, the officers analyze what happened and debrief. Taking this approach is a great introduction to approaching life. Do your homework, collect the data, analyze, execute and debrief.
But beware of the danger of falling in love with your strategy. Strategy and tactics must adapt as situations unfold. The whole idea is to develop your personal chessboard so that you control the key portions of the board and have any number of options.
I know I have only really glossed over this topic, but you get the idea. Look at your life and objectives with more of a critical eye, and be willing to be strategic about your life. People without options are powerless. Anyway, have fun, before you lies the oportunity to match wits against life, and with the right mindset, you can win.
Truth and Peace,
Steven M DeVougas
Question of the Week: Is the life you live a result of a plan or the result of happenstance?
My Umi says…
Shine your light on the world
Shine your light for the world to see. –Mos Def, “My Umi Says”
Most connoisseurs of real hip-hop will recognize that song and for those that are unfamiliar with it, it is on the Black on Both sides album and it is required listening. I just rented Dave Chappelle’s Block Party DVD and though I enjoy every artist on that DVD, Mos Def’s performance really hit a nerve on several levels that I want to share with you.
Unlike on the album, Mos Def says during his performance, “Sometimes, I just want to be Dante, but my Umi says…” When he said that, I was reminded of all the times I have said and heard other people say, “I’m just trying to do me.” Often times, we say this in order to explain and/or justify to people that we need to indulge ourselves. Of course, there is nothing wrong with recharging our batteries, but what would happen if every time we said, “I’m just trying to do me,” we said, “I’m just trying to do God’s will.”
But let’s keep it real, shall we? “You doing you,” doesn’t really become a big deal until you get tired. Tired of work, tired of life, tired of giving, whatever it is, a constant state of being tired might be indicative of a larger problem. When we are tired, our fleshly impulses rise to the surface unless we look to the hills from which cometh our help. In Isaiah 40:29 the Bible says, “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.”
So when we are tired, why would we try to give ourselves a tune up when the Creator knows every hair that is on your head? In other words, you can’t do you if you don’t know you. And God knows us through and through, so it would make sense we would go to him when we are weary in well doing.
So let’s just realize that when we say, “I’m just trying to do me,” it is really our flesh talking. But even when you say flesh, some people automatically think of these larger than life vices, but what about the middle? I define the middle as all the things you do on a regular basis that you don’t consider bad but doesn’t necessarily glorify God. This is the real battleground. For example I myself like jazz music and I am listening to it right now. So when I say, “I need to do me,” it will more often than not involve jazz music. But when it is time for me to get in the Word or pray, the jazz has to go because before I know it, jazz music could become an idol in my life that prevents me from entering into the Holy of Holies. Replace my jazz example with knitting or lifting weights because whatever it is, I am convinced that we have been fooled into thinking better of ourselves on account of letting all of these seemingly harmless activities become the center of our lives without our even knowing or admitting so. Therefore, I encourage all of us to really pay attention to what we say and how we may inadvertently lull ourselves to complacency.
My Abi says shine your light on the world
Shine your light for the world to see.
I have been thinking about what it means to make your light shine. So I guess a good place to start to would be to examine what is meant by light. My first inkling is to correlate God with light but I would need to find evidence for this in the Word. And what do you know? In I John 1:5 the Bible says, “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” And in 2 Corinthians 4:4, the Bible states, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
The other part of the equation involves how we actually shine our light. For the longest time, when I would hear of shining your light on the world, I would think of Psalty and the Singing Songbook (do you remember Psalty?) and other figures that permeated my Sunday School/Children’s Church experience. But as I got older, the only place I felt comfortable enough to let my light shine was in church and after getting complacent in the things of God, it started to dim there as well. So here I am walking around thinking I am letting my light shine by doing “good” things and being nice to people when I was missing the big picture.
In fact, it is only when I allow God unfettered access to different departments of my life, that I am able to let me light shine. And when that happens, people notice the God in you and will want to know how you maintain a glow that radiates love, compassion, and a desire to be significant and not successful.
And where do we get tripped up? I think we limit our ability to witness when we are at work or any situation where God comes up in conversation and the most common question is, “So you do you consider yourself religious or spiritual?” And of course, 9 out 10 people will say they are spiritual, and then it is on to the next topic. But what would happen, if you didn’t minimize your faith into being spiritual when just yesterday you were lifting Holy hands, asking God to help you be a witness to your co-workers? What would happen if you asked someone what they meant by being spiritual? What would happen if you shared with others how God changed your life once you made the decision to live a righteous life?
I am scared of the possibilities because just like we wait on friendships, we also wait on the opportune time to witness or otherwise share our faith. Stop waiting! Now am I saying that you should go to work in your Sunday suit and a Bible in your hand? No, but what I am saying is that you don’t have to share your whole doctrine of Christianity in one setting. Work it in conversation and don’t be timid. In the word it says, “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:33) Mull on that a little bit.
“I want black people to be free, to be free, to be free
All my people to be free, to be free, to be free”
Lastly, I want to touch on the part of the song where Mos Def repeatedly declares he wants his people to be free. Free from what? And what does freedom mean, really? If you do have freedom, are there different levels of it or is like an a la carte’ menu, able to mixed and matched accordingly? Thankfully, Garlin took on the mighty task of tackling the sticky issue of whether or not freedom is truly indivisible. And I agree with him that it is indeed divisible. But when we say, “I want my people to be free,” this now brings into the debate the following question: what is an acceptable level of freedom? In other words, what is the tipping point at which I transition from not free to free or from not having freedom to having freedom?
I think too often times we as Black folk get too caught up in trying to define the goals and vision for the race, especially as it relates to freedom. My suggestion is that whatever you think Black people need to be freed from, make efforts to break that obstacle, get educated on that obstacle, pray for its demise, and make this effort tangible and personal. I know I was kind of all over the place with this post, but I hope you stayed with me and will make your voice heard.
Stay up fam,
Steve is travelling and interviewing, so as a result there is no new Weekly Dream for this week. We appreciate the thoughts and support of The Weekly Dream and of the SuperSpade, and ask that you’d take this time to review all of Steve’s words of wisdom imparted to all of us through his weekly enlightenments. They will return next week.
One Love. One II.
What’s up Superspade family, this post represents Part II of my series concerning Loneliness, Black Men, and Friendships. Today we are going to address the paranoia that concerns Black male friendships and the suspicion of homosexuality. It is time to talk about the elephant in the room.
This post is specifically dedicated to my nephew, whose relentless curiosity and dedication to living a Godly lifestyle never ceases to amaze me. Keep the faith little homie,
Love, Uncle Brandon.
To kick off our discussion, I turn to Lady B, whose comment on the first post sets the stage perfectly,
“If you want to see something dear just watch little boys playing and sharing together in kindergarten and first grade – then something happens and they are taught that they are not suppose to be close or love other boys unless they are gay this is not right.”
Young kids, Black boys in particular, are being robbed of their innocence earlier and earlier. For example, when I grew up in Detroit, my best friends became my “play” cousins. For those of you that have never heard of this term, a “play” cousin is someone who is a close friend so much that you can depend on them like you would a member of your family. In the Black community, a play cousin carries with it a measurable amount of significance. Now can you remember the last time you heard Black men or Black folks for that matter, talk about play cousins or some similar moniker? I certainly can’t remember and I think similar traditions that Black men used to engage in represent a downward shift in the innocence that used to define healthy Black male friendships.
Now fast forward to current debate about brothers on the down low. Thanks to JL King, brothers all over the country are having their sexuality questioned overtly or implicitly. To be clear, I believe that the health and emotional fall out from brothers being on the down low is indeed a legitimate problem in the Black community. However, maybe we should rethink our efforts to encourage brothers to be honest about their sexual activities. I say this because I think we have made it so that many heterosexual Black men, in attempts to avoid suspicion, have withdrawn from their Black male friendships and overcompensated in their female relationships.
So now we find ourselves with Black men with a jaded sense of innocence combined with a barrage of suspicions surrounding their sexuality. These two factors I believe work together to destroy sound friendships between Black men.
Some of the effects of the down-low paranoia have caused Black men to engage in the following behavior to various degrees;
1) We for the most part feel comfortable hanging out with the guys, but a certain stigma surrounds hanging out with just one of our friends.
2) Our sexuality has become more of a central part of what we define as masculinity. As a result, some men to overcompensate their love and appreciation of women almost to the extent of becoming womanizers in order to prove they are not homosexuals.
3) There is a more marked shift between having boys and having friends. Focusing more on having boys enables men to do guy things while keeping enough emotional distance from each other to maintain deniability.
4) We have come to rely on our female friends to be our male friend fill-ins.
5) We don’t use each other as sounding boards before the jinks goes down. This is because we rarely ever tell our male friends anything of substance unless our plans or mistakes have been obliterated.
6) Unless we have something specific to talk about, we don’t call just to touch base and see what is going on in each other’s life for fear of looking like we are keeping too many tabs on our male friends.
7) We don’t feel comfortable sharing emotions with our male friends because if we even do that to begin with, we typically focus these conversations towards our female friends. We rarely tell our male friends that we appreciate them being there for us when they helped us through that tough situation. Or God forbid, we wouldn’t be caught dead telling our male friends that we love them (look up agape and phileo in the Greek language).
Of course, this list could go on and on, but I want you to add to this list based on your own observations and/or experiences. Nevertheless, I don’t think anyone could reasonably argue that the down low paranoia has not affected the quality of Black male friendships. As such, it behooves us to continue to address brothers leading double sexual lives (this includes cheating with other women too!) but at the same time, we have to create and protect spaces for Black men to share in meaningful dialogues. But when we cast a shadow of doubt over Black male friendships, we end up endangering these spaces and create more problems than we solve.
So let me leave you with these questions,
For the men, have you allowed other people’s suspicions affect the way you interact with other men in the light of the community concern about brothers on the down low?
How do you think the down low paranoia has affected the quality of Black male friendships?
How can we address this issue without endangering healthy Black male friendships?
Looking forward to your responses as we call out the elephant in the room,
Stay up fam,