A letter of love to my fellow Africans.
Written and performed by Femi M. Nassi.
Dear Black Man,
They say this world is yours. That as long as you are a man, this world will do you good. They tell you to dream for you have the right to do so. They tell you to sing for your voice should be heard across the nations. They tell you to build and create and own this world as it is yours. But we both know it isn’t always that easy.
We know each step you take could turn into the last one you make. We know that every morning you bless the sky for being among us and every night you pray for it not to be the last one. I know that this world hasn’t always been good to you. That nothing you do seems to be good enough. I know that the dreams you have sometimes seem not to be valid enough and the pain you carry not to be real enough.
The story you carry is not a light one. The memories you hold are more than about remembering the past. They’re also about building a future. A future where the things you accomplish have their own value; one that cannot be taken away…one that should not be taken away.
Dear Black Man, you are powerful. You are amazing, you are valuable. You are a blessing. There is a power within you! One that only you can use to build the life that is yours. And truly it is yours. Let no one tell you how to live it. Let no one control it for you. Let no one live their own through you.
They say real men don’t cry. Real men don’t doubt. Black men don’t weep, black men shouldn’t be weak. But sometimes, it is through weakness that we find our true strength. It is through hardship and darkness that we find our own way, our own light.
They ask you to know every answer even to the questions no one asks making you carry a weight that no human should be left alone with. They pick your identity and mold it into a new reality taking away your right to choose what you believe is right. Sometimes it’s out of love. Other times it’s out of fear, between those who care and those who don’t. Often times it’s hard to really know.
Yet even through that surrounding noise you can still find yourself. You can still find your path, you can still hear your own voice. In the times of doubt, please believe in yourself. When things get too rough just take a look around. Remember that you are not alone. That even the strongest men alive sometimes needs a hand. That those who truly care will not laugh about what matters.
Dear Black Man, the answer is within you. Deep down it lies right next to the dreams and wishes you have. So allow yourself to dream and to fight for those dreams. Even when those around you don’t believe or understand them. Remember that your strength isn’t just physical and that your skills and abilities aren’t defined by others limitations, their expectations, their definitions.
Dear Black Man, there will be days of darkness. Days during which the hours will feel like trials on their own. A test to measure your strength and your patience. There will be nights of loneliness, of real pain mixed with feelings of failure, fear of failure. Nights full of endless hopelessness and increased doubt. In those moments, please remember that you matter and that your presence on this earth is a blessing we thank the heavens for. Remember that your skin is a treasure to be proud of. That your smile is the cure to our wounded hearts and your success the motivation we need to keep fighting, keep moving and keep existing.
Dear Black Man, don’t let this world break your spirit. Don’t let it turn off your light. Don’t let it decide who you are and who you can be. Your story is worth sharing with others. Your feelings are worth being expressed. Your laughter is worth a thousand treasures.
© 2019 Femi M. Nassi. All rights reserved.