Throughout history, black women have always been a source of stability and support for our men. We are mothers, wives, grandmothers, aunts, sisters. From us comes life and it’s in our nature to birth hope and promise in the lives of our men. I believe every black man has a story about how his grandmother or wife “held him down” or “soldiered up” in an effort to make and keep him great. We often support our men with pride but often, mainstream media doesn’t highlight this story, only the glory.
We in The Exam Room got a chance to speak with Carlos King, Executive Producer of OWN’s newest series, Behind Every Man, a much needed series focusing on the powerful forces behind some of the most successful men in the black community. This is such a needed perspective as it is critical that people truly understand that behind every successful man is a woman. You can watch the interview HERE.
Black men have been beat down since the beginning, subjected to mental and physical torture during slavery and now at the hands of their jobs, the media, and even the police. This constant beating is exhausting. It is up to us to let our men know that they are powerful beyond measure. We understand what they go through daily because of the color of their skin and because of that, we must lift them up.
As an accomplished on air-host and behind the scene producer known in the reality tv world, King’s latest project premiered on Nov 7th and is a refreshing look into the forces behind our men. A man without a supportive woman in his life can be his downfall. So, how can you support your spouse or loved one? Here Are The Top 10 Ways Black Women Can Uplift Black Men:
1. Be Filled Up Yourself – You can’t pour into someone if you are empty. Take the time to be whole and happy yourself so that you can graciously pour into someone else.
2. Don’t Tear Them Down –It is true that life and death lies in the power of the tongue. Black women are intelligent creatures and have the witty ability to cut anyone down with words. But does this edify? Positive words and encouragement are critical in the life of our black men. It may be the only positive thing they ever hear.
3. Be A Shoulder To Cry On – Men often have to put on a tough guy persona outside of the home. They don’t want to cry or appear weak. Create an environment where your man feels comfortable enough to be emotionally vulnerable with you.
4. Be A Safe Space –In addition to being comfortable with vulnerability, creating a safe space for your man enables him to truly be himself and release the weight of the world off his shoulders.
5. Take The Time To Listen – It is important that we give our men room to talk, vent, and release whatever it is that they are going through. This ensures that they don’t hold on to harmful thoughts and habits.
6. Give Them Space –sometimes our men need space to process their feelings. Allow them to space they need to clear the mind and negative thoughts.
7. Respect Them – the world disrespects our men regularly. If we disrespect them to, how can we expect them to feel empowered? Be careful how you speak, what you say and never embarrass your man in public.
8. Be Honest – supporting our men also means telling them the truth. Telling the truth in love will make them better in the long run.
9. Hold Them Accountable – supporting our black man involves holding them accountable. We cannot let them get away with any and everything. We must hold them to a standard.
10. Take One For The Team – Sometimes we have to sacrifice our needs to support our black men and ensure that their success. This should never be the case all of the time but we just have to remember that we’re all in this thing together.
Keeping respect and honor at the forefront, these 10 tips will help us continue to support our men in the best way possible. Be sure to tune into Behind The Men on the OWN network.