by Kenray Sunyaru
As a conscious Black man I have learned that we are born to die and white supremacy fosters - accelerates our death. Since death is inevitable, it should make us appreciate life. When I was young wise old heads told me “let death be your counselor,” it offers much insightful advice.Sadly, today too many Black men, especially young males, ignore the lessons of death and do not appreciate their lives. Hearing all their lives from the womb to the tomb ‘a nigga ain’t shit’, they do not view their lives as sacred, just sacrificial; they have a socialized death wish outlook, glorifying violence, guns, and murder.
Too many young Black males live with a self-deceptive ‘hard-core’ mentality, instead of living with a ‘heart-core’ mentality. Believing their bodies are false armor and that somehow thinking a bulletproof vest can prevent death, they fail to realize it is the soft heart that keeps them alive.
Living from heart-core means loving oneself. Too many young Black males die prematurely, not living long enough to love and appreciate their lives. Conversely, most older Black men die unfulfilled, not living in a self-determined manner.
When most older Black men die their life’s summation in their obituary reads: veteran, job, family, and church goer. This is a very limited legacy! What about their Black manhood? What about their principles? What did they stand for? Did they struggle against racist injustices toward Black men? Did they express the best in themselves through self-reflective writings or poetry?
Like younger Black males who sacrificed their lives for ‘capitalistic street dreams’, most older Black men I have known lived sacrificial lives; sacrificing their lives to ‘country’, ‘careers’, ‘job’, 'bread-winners' (family martyr), and prisons. The fear and anxiety about death for older Black men is not death itself, it is knowing that one is going to die not truly having lived on their own terms.
For older Black men it is not the fear of death, but living throughout their lives being limited and afraid to self-actualize their Black manhood potential. In death, too many young Black males denied themselves early; too many older Black men have lived their entire adult lives in denial.
While alive denying self-determined Black manhood is a living death!