The Bridge: For Colored Men Who Are Blamed For Genocide: The Male Bashing is Enuf


By Darryl James

It’s not that Black men in general hate Black women.

Truthfully, a small percentage of Black men may dislike Black women, just as a small percentage of Black women may dislike Black men.

But there is money in pandering to the hatred of Black men.

There always has been.

Since the founding of this nation, there have been cartoons, literature and verbal propaganda spread about the “danger” of Black men, stoking the fire of hatred toward us for the harm we may visit upon society.

Black men have been blamed for everything from the defiling of white women to vicious crimes of varying types, and from the destruction of communities we move into as well as various and sundry crimes against humanity, except the plague.

Wait—if AIDS is the new plague, then, well, Black men have been blamed for the plague, especially if you give credence to the “down low” propaganda which dictates that Black men are secretly having sex with other men so that they can infect their wives and girlfriends with HIV and kill them and their babies.

The problem with Black male bashing used to be that it came from the hearts and minds of vicious racist mongrels who were too ignorant to realize that one group of people could not be responsible for the destruction of an entire society.  Well, perhaps one group can, but we’ll leave that for another column.

Currently, some of the meanest, hateful propaganda about Black men comes from Black women.

And, now the old Black male bashing is becoming the new Black male bashing because “The Color Purple” just won’t seem to die and thanks to the sellout of all Black manhood personified in Tyler Perry, more Black male bashing drivel is being recycled.

I wrote two years ago that while some may cheer for Perry’s success, making claims of what it may portend for other Black films, I weep for what it portends for the Black male image.

What of the Black male, relegated to specific extremes of hypermasculinity or emasculization near eunuch status?  What of the Black boys who are taught by Black women to hate/despise their fathers? What of our new culture of Black male effeminization?

Perry is demonstrating clearly where he stands in all of this.

I now consider him an enemy of Black men.

I’m shocked that he didn’t don the dress and force a role for Madea in his new male bashing film.

“For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf,” had all but died, except for the book that has been given to new generations of Black women as some pathological rite of passage. But Perry, who has enough success to create or purchase stories that uplift the entire race, has chosen this story out of all stories over time as his new watermark.

Certainly, “Sounder” was available for the remaking, as was “Imitation of Life,” or “Nothin’ But A Man.” And even though Puff Diddy nearly destroyed “A Raisin In The Sun,” the piece would still make a fine remake for the silver screen.

The problem with the likes of “Color Purple,” “Waiting to Exhale,” and “For Colored Girls…” is that they completely crap on the Black male image by presenting us as one-dimensional characters who appear in the stories for the mere purpose of harming Black women.

Seriously. Name one fully fleshed out positive Black male character in either “Color Purple” or “For Colored Girls…”

I’ll wait.

No I won’t. Because we all know there are none.

“For Colored Girls…” does nothing new, showing evil Black men who rape, toss babies from windows and, of course, have secret sex with other men.

And the subsequent destruction carried by promoting such ignorant stories is that Black women all over begin to identify with the downtrodden Black female images in the stories, which means that they identify the Black male images as representative of Black men all over.

This goes far in promoting the Black man as the omnipresent boogeyman with one true goal—the destruction of the Black female.

Of course, some Black men harm some Black women, but not all or even most. And portraying horrible images of Black men in stories proclaimed to “uplift” Black women serves only to drive a wedge between an already divided home. It makes it more and more palatable for more Black women to view Black men in general as their source of destruction and accordingly, their enemy.

So, what is the solution?

I’m not suggesting that we only present positive images of Black men. But I am suggesting that we demand and create more positive images of Black men and Black women, particularly images of us loving each other.

But that won’t happen until we show Hollywood collectively that we just don’t want to see another tired story full of Black women harmed by destructive Black men.

But first, we have to show Black women just how destructive these kinds of movies are to the Black male image and to gender relations in our community.

At some point, Black women will have to understand that their empowerment/freedom should not/cannot come at the expense of Black men. Those Black men who love them want them to be powerful with freedom–we just don’t want to be diminished in the process.

There is harm and destruction coming from both sides of the gender divide.

There is also love.

We decide which to promote, and right about now, I think that Black Love is in desperate need of promotion.

As a writer, I’ll be doing my part with my upcoming stage play and film, both scheduled for 2011.

What will you do?

Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.” Now, listen to Darryl live on BlogTalkRadio.com/DarrylJames every Sunday from 6-8pm, PST. View previous installments of this column at http://www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at djames@theblackgendergap.com.

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11 Responses to “The Bridge: For Colored Men Who Are Blamed For Genocide: The Male Bashing is Enuf”

  1. Greetings Big Bro,

    I blasted your blog to my yahoogroups and posted on twitter. I would love to hear and see more positive movies & images of Brothers. We are starving to see these images, believe me. We know there are good brothers out there; not all of you want to sleep with a million women, there those who want to be good fathers, brother and providers. Do keep us abreast of you efforts in film.

    Sista Shai (Shy-ee)
    African Holistic Health Chapter of NY
    http://www.africanholistic.weebly.com
    347-427-8668

  2. I understand Mr. James the challenge that arises when within our own race we struggle to tell the stories of our personal journey. For colored girls (circa 1974) is a piece that really transcends sex and race. On the service, the story is hard and it vilifies the type of man that would rape/kill/beat and use a woman. The fact remains there are men (white/black/chinese/etc) that do just that. I am a former states prosecutor and I can attest that there are plenty men across color lines that exact this pain. Yet- the story is about triumph over the base forms of evil that would set out to destroy you to the point you would want to commit suicide- yet instead you manage to find yourself, learn to love yourself hopefully and rise again. I am certain you understand the bigger picture. But I do understand that when we are in America- where other images of Black men as more than the above forementioned- a film like For colored girls can feel like another straw on that camals back. I offer this- there is room in our creative sphere for more than a monolithic message of reality. I think our real struggle is forcing Hollywood to expand the images of black folks, especially black men. I do agree that I stand with you my brotha in the struggle- I will not nor do I believe we should sacrafice you in our quest to find our own voice. Sisterly Love…

  3. Tyler’s interview on Oprah explains his distain for black men. I don’t believe he is aware of his male bashing. It’s unfortunate the peek into our culture through art tends to display the black man as pond scumb, as my late aunt would say. Eventually, I hope, Tyler will recognize his assault on brothers and create a piece that will lift men up.

    I wish we’d decide that portraying ourselves as the surviving victim isn’t a role we’d want to be seen in ever. Enough already! How about writing different stories about winners? Think we can ever represent expectation? Expect to succeed. Expect to learn. Expect to love. Expect to earn. Expect a wholesome childhood for our children. Expect functional relationships. EXPECT! Momma don’t, daddy didn’t, abuse, neglect – geesh! ENOUGH!

  4. Enough is enough. You Hate me?

    I Hate YOU NOW. To Hell with your Broadway-acclaimed misandry. Forty years worth. You are dead to me. I don’t care any longer who has your mind and how easily you’ve rose to sully our name w/wild exaggeration, for a movement.

    Congratulations, you’re disgusting. Sacrifice black men and boys on an altar of feminism?

    I live for your hate pedestals fall.
    No more. F–k ya’ll.

  5. On the money…and the money is what leads Oprah and Perry to propagate the lie. Heaven forbid, if they actually told the truth about the beauty of Black Men and Black Women in general, and the African American race in particular. If those ‘in’ the cycle of power would love themselves…they would be ‘broke’; interesting that of all the clout Oprah ‘has’ she can ONLY use it to lift white folks. Perry can only use his clout to make fun of Christianity, and become a new generation’s minstrel show. Why not just start trotting out a Tyler Perry/Oprah Winfrey remake of “The Little Colonel”?

  6. I am currently working on a series of ideas (stories) that portray positive images of black men, black women, and black children. I’m doing it all alone. So, it will take a while to get the plan complete. I only hope and pray that somehow it will not only help change the negative images, but will start a “revolution.”

  7. I will begin by speaking of my personal experiences dating ‘decent’ black men- men who have a job, are educated, and enjoys the things I enjoy- the expectations are too damn high. I mean you got to look like Halle Berry (who is half-white btw), Kim KarTRASHian (ditsy, skank-ho), etc, etc, etc. I am tired, too, ‘VOLUME’- and your comments are exactly how black men really feel about black women, which is what we knew all along. I hope you all are happy wit yo white/filipino/mulatto/quadroon/octaroon/everything but a black [woman] and leave me the HELL alone.

    Black women should not have to sacrifice SANITY for black men or any other man. And these comments are not the result of being ‘hyped’ cause I just got outta the movie ‘For Colored Girls’- they are because I saw my mother go through 20 years of being with an alcoholic, drug-addicted black man. Try understanding us before you pass some surface critique of a damn book and movie.

  8. Demetrakg, it sounds like the Black men you’ve been with just don’t like you. That’s not about their desire for women of other color. That’s just their rejection of YOU. Just from reading your words, I can tell you’re a mean, ignorant, hateful heffa who needs to be alone.

    Halle Berry is over (do YOU want her?) Kim K is a piece of trash and you are a sick dog to think all of us want the same thing.

    Stop speaking for ALL Black women, because Black men don’t want to be with you. Just find some poor, silly dude with low self-esteem who wants to be with you and shut up. Your mother was abused, you were probably abused and both of you should get therapy instead of defending some stupid movie.

    I hope you now go for white people or dogs, because Black men are too far above you. Not as a Black woman (which you probably are NOT), but as a sick piece of crap human being.

  9. It’s unbelievably insane to wrap your experiences and shortcomings in a view of an entire race or species. What needs to be recognized is when there is an absence of self-knowledge and understanding; your emotions speak before your mind does. Most of us as children become what we see. If someone grows up in a painfully destructive institution, chances are, they will exhibit that (regardless of how functional they may appear to be:-D). It will usually show up when there’s a discussion that strikes those buried pain……..This is dialogue that is long over due

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