Sometimes I find being a black man in america very difficult. Most of the difficulties come from not knowing how to act in different situations. As a black man, who is trying to make it in america, I have to have at least 10 different faces that I can be able to use at anytime.
What I mean by I having ten different faces is, that at certain times I have to act a different way in a different situation, because I have to match the perception of the people I’m around. I can’t be the black man I am with my friends, with the rest of the world. I have to change how I am based on the situation. I can never be who I really am unless I’m alone.
For instance I have insomnia, my nerves are bad from my childhood, and from military experience. I smoke weed throughout the day just so I can be at ease and finish my writing on time, and so I can just sleep peacefully through the night. Being that I’m a black man smoking weed, I’m seen as a threat, and a criminal. Some people think I’m going to attack them, but what they don’t know about me is that I’m a pacifist. My skin color rings threat because I’m a black man with a, “drug.”
Now a white man could being doing the same, smoking weed. But, when the white man, or white teenager does it, it’s considered hip and cool. He wouldn’t be harassed for it by anyone. The image of a black man is already painted. Everything about us makes people think differently about us, and it causes us as black men to be confused.
Crimes that we commit are looked at different because of our skin tone. Our intent is different because of skin tone. Everything we do is different because of our skin tone. It’s hard to do well in a society where your skin tone, and your hair paints your image before you speak.
Most people will never know how it feels for someone to lock their car door when you pass by them. Or how it feels to see someone walk on the other side of the sidewalk because they see you coming their direction. And if I’m not smiling I must be an angry black man ready to attack the world.
It’s hard to live in this country as a black man, it’s even harder to succeed. We all have the same opportunities but the paths are much harder. As a black man the path to success is hard, even harder when you’re born into poverty, and all the things around you are crime and violence. More pressure is on us black men and being that most black families depend on a leading black man, it’s even that much harder. The pressure gets to us when we don’t live up to our potential.
I have a great friend who sold drugs for a living and he had a billion dollar mind, but with two kids, and no education he felt that it was the only thing to do. He dropped out of school, because he lost his father to prison, and his mother couldn’t afford to upkeep the family. So he tried to work while going to school, that soon came to an end when he realized that he needed more hours.
After he dropped out, he got more hours but wasn’t making enough money. What kind of job are you supposed to get without an education at 17 years old? And how do you expect to feed your family when the highest you can make is 7.25 an hour? He turned to the one thing he seen all his life. Who can blame him? Lucky for me I never had to go through that kind of pressure. I don’t even know if I would have been strong enough to handle all of that.
None of this excuses what he’s done, but it’s how the system was set up for black men. We have lower schools, high incarceration rate, they built us ghettos, and made it hard for us to get a job, because we can’t afford college. Arrest the black men you take away everything they have.
The only way for us to get out of this rut, is to lift each other up. Too often I feel like too many black men are in competition with each other. Competition over material things, and trying to keep up with the joneses is what kills us. “Most black men couldn’t balance a checkbook, but buy some new ice talkin’ bout how my neck looks. Well it all looks great 400 years later we buying our own chains.” -Kanye West
I feel that this is true saying by Kanye is true. Every race has it’s own successful communities, why can’t we? If we all worked together there would be no reason we couldn’t. We compete with each other instead of building with each other. I think all black men need to look inside themselves at the darkest times and realize the power they hold inside them. Instead of working hard to stunt on the next man, we need to work hard so that other black men don’t have to continue going down this harsh and cruel world. Our only mission should be to make sure that a child never has to go through the stuff we went through. The only way to change the perception of a black man in this country, is to show them everything we’re not.
As a 23 year old author and screenwriter, Darious Hart focuses on writing anything that comes to his mind. With many different styles that he can operate from, he focuses more on supernatural, dark literature. Currently living in Newark, NJ, and veteran of the United States Marine Corps, he has found a stronger love for writing as he notices that his everyday interactions with new people from across the nation inspire him with new ideas every day. Darious looks forward to pursuing a career in being one of the world’s most prolific writers, and seeing his films on the big screen one day. He wants to inspire people from all around to pursue their dreams and follow them despite anyone who tells you that you can’t, and believe in yourself even when no one else will.