So I’ve been playing basketball for 10 plus years now. I had desires to play in the NBA but I picked up the pen and never looked back. It’s a personal decision I’ve had to explain to so many people but it’s my choice not there’s. I caught myself having a De Ja Vu moment when a little black kid asked me, “Why are you not playing in the NBA? I just told him, “I’d rather write for a living little man.” Keep in mind, I’m used to kids his age asking me this which is why I no longer get mad after realizing kids don’t understand how life works yet.
But it brings up an interesting question though. Do black kids only believe that they can be basketball or football players? Because I truly believe many black kids are being hypnotized into only getting into the NBA or the NFL. Many black kids have not grown up in stable conditions so they believe all of their money should go to buying expensive things that they don’t need, hanging around the wrong crowd, and getting various women pregnant. However, most black kids are taught how to dribble and throw but are never shown how to read, write, or count. this to say that young black kids should not pursue sports? NO! I’m saying that black boys should at least have a deceit education, have positive influences such as teachers and mentors that inform them that the sky is the limit, and most importantly a supportive family structure that takes the time to educate their kids so they don’t end up in remedial classes.
Which brings my attention to Rap and Hip Hop music. Most artists are negative influences on a young black boy because these artists are always sagging pants, have a bad attitude, brag about how many women they’ve been with, and they do drugs because it’s cool. It’s their image on and off camera and it’s abhorrent Sadly enough, young black men don’t even know who Langston Hughes, Fredrick Douglass or Huey P. Newton but they know who Blue face or lil whatever is. The damage on a young black boy growing up with these negative influences is that he will berate women, drop out of school, sell drugs, have a drug problem and most importantly, blame the white man for all of his personal failures.
I don’t consider myself a role model but as a 26 year old man I’m responsible for leading by example. I live a clean life that excludes drugs, alcohol and promiscuous sex not because I truly believe in doing the right thing. This may mean, “I’m not cool anymore” but I don’t care. I’m tired of chasing after women, drinking heavily and getting high because that’s WHAT BEING A MAN IS ABOUT! It’s not! Being a man means you do what’s right even if you’re doing it by yourself. Which is why my days of mistreating my body, mind, and spirit are officially done. The temptations will always be there but I choose to rise above in the midst of evil.
Black men don’t have to dribble a basketball, throw a football, sell drugs, or be rappers in order to be successful. We can be teachers, doctors, laborers, lawyers, mentors, and writers. Black boys need to be educated before anything. Sports come second because if you get injured and you can’t manage the hospital bills that means all of their efforts will come to a screeching haul. Also, many black parents need to quit living vicariously through their kids athletic ability. Filling his head up with thoughts such as, “He HAS to make it to the NBA or the NFL” just because his family can’t budget their money properly.