I’m Not Your Mama: Black Men Don’t Need Black Women To Heal Them, They Need Healthy Black Fathers

From one tired Sistah, to another who can understand.

I am TIRED of playing mama to a GROWN ASS MAN.

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In my life I have dated many men. I have dated men that I realized have had very traumatic childhoods. A few were abandoned children, over-mothered men, and men without positive black male role models in their life. The result of such relationships caused much damage to me emotionally, physically, and mentally. Even spiritually. I found myself being empathetic to their trauma and their history. I felt most of my connections to these men for having similar childhood wounds. I too, was a daughter that lacked a consistent black father in my life. Yet, none of those men wanted to be the father I needed, unless I was calling him “daddy” in the bedroom. However, I have came across so many posts that have been trying to encourage black women to be the mothers they claim black men need. Similar to the post above. Why would any man seek a woman to care for him as if she is his mother, and he is her child? Is the expectation to find a good mother for his children? Or is the expectation for this woman to mother him similar to his own mother? Considering that most black mothers remain consistently present in their children’s lives, compared to black fathers, is this necessary to heal black men?

It became apparent to me what some expectations are for black women in a recent clip I saw from Snoop Dogg in an interview. To loosely summarize the point he made in regards to Kanye West and Black Women. The message I received was, “Kanye West wouldn’t be acting up right now, if he had a black woman in his life”. Though Snoop made points in this interview that I could see as somewhat valid, can we honestly say that Kanye West’s behavior is due to lack of black women presence in his life? Or that it’s because he is married to a non-black woman? Considering this is a man who has become a popular artist and have many professional connections with black women, is a black woman not accessible to him? I recall when Kanye West first publicly advocated for Donald Trump, many people regarded his behavior to the grief of losing his mother. While it’s understandable, as grief can affect your behavior in many ways, I wonder why no one mentioned: Where is his father? I haven’t read much about his relationship with his father, or what kind of relationship they may have. I do, however believe it is safe to say that a black man can be just as impacted by his relationship with his father, similar to his relationship with his mother. Or lack thereof. Especially considering the reoccurring issues with absent fathers in the black community, and how necessary it is for black boys to have a positive black male image for his own identity. Do black men need black women to help them heal their trauma? Or could the solution be healthier relationships with positive black fathers or role models?

I am also interested in why any other form of mental health treatment or therapy wasn’t suggested. How come black women are becoming the scapegoat for healing possible traumatic issues, when I don’t believe most even have professional experience in the field of mental health? I guess because I do not have any children, I never look forward to meeting a grown man to date and think I will be his mama. In fact, I base my partnership with a man solely on whether he will be a good husband and father for any future children I desire to have. Would it be fair for any black woman to expect the same? Another observation I have witnessed with Kanye West, as well as countless other black men, is the desire for a positive male mentor. I recall an interview he did on the breakfast club years ago in regards to his previous mentors, Dame Dash and Jay-Z. He stated,

“It was the moment when Roc-A-Fella split and it made more sense for me career-wise to roll with Jay even though Dame had supported me,” he said. “But then I wonder, I say, ‘Where would I be if I had rolled with Dame? Would I have been more successful? Would I have been less successful?’ I can’t say. But at that time, you know I came to Roc-A-Fella because Jay Z was my idol, and it would’ve been very hard for me at that young state where I was to separate from my idol.”

Though he spoke highly of both Dame Dash and Jay-Z, I noticed that he decided to move forward with his idol. I can see many black men seeking a direction in their life in favor of who they idolize. Can we also consider that if a black man lacks a positive father or role model presence in his life, that as an adult his idol can become his surrogate father? Similar to how many black men seek surrogate mothers in their women? In recent years, many news outlets have spoken about a possible disconnect between Kanye West and Jay-Z. In more recent months its been obvious that there’s been a change of behavior within Kanye that has disconnected him from his previous mentors, fans, and colleagues. The same behavior that Snoop spoke about in his interview.

I would like to impose a theory on his recent attachment and support for Donald Trump. I can see Kanye West as a black man, without a father’s presence, that is seeking another idol. Seeking a man that could resemble what he feels “a man should be”. In this current society, its safe to say that white males have held onto the dominating image of manhood. It could only be logical to think a black man will seek a male figure of the dominating culture, once he possibly feels he’s exhausted his search within in his current environment. It seems to me what is severely missing in recent interviews about Kanye West, is how his image or identity is affected by not having a positive black male role model consistently in his life. Specifically an elder black male. A father. What exactly would be expected of a black woman to do? Especially considering that many black women have similar issues with the lack of a black father’s presence or a healthy presence. How come the black woman becomes the scapegoat, yet she may not be the possible solution to this particular issue? Could she fully replace this missing role model? Can she be a powerful enough image for a black male seeking his identity in another black man or any man?

Another issue I see with idolization among black men, is the fact that much envy is exposed towards other positive black male fathers and figures. Take the message captioned below about Russell Wilson and Ciara. I have seen similar opinions expressed from black men in opposition to Russell Wilson and his relationship with his wife’s child. It seems to me that many black men even take issue with other black men who are positive father figures in black children’s lives. After I shared this post, a Facebook friend shared evidence that stated the poster was absent from his own child’s life. One day I may do a blog in how many black men repeat similar patterns of behaviors from their fathers whether they are present or not. It seems to me that there is much resentment within black men when it comes to fatherhood and manhood in general. I see it in both how they seek idols in other men, as well as how they express anger towards other men, and each other.

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This takes me back to my original point: What is a black woman to do? What role would a black woman play in solving this issue? As stated by Snoop, a black woman could possibly speak up against certain behaviors in black men, but that’s only on the merits he will even listen. Is it fair to make black women a valid solution to change black male behavior? Especially considering that we are not talking about a young boy, but a grown man. A man even older than me. This isn’t to discourage the choice of another black woman to take on this cause. However, I think its only fair for this to not be expected by every black woman. As I stated earlier in this post, I have been down this road many times before. I have even been in therapy for years trying to repair the internal damage many of these relationships have left me with.

So I say with all sincerity, and all the wisdom I have gained from my own experiences. I will not personally volunteer to take on this role with a black man I plan to date or even pro-create with. I am here to let black men know, “I am not your damn mama”.

……… But I wish you the best on your healing journey.

Artist Unknown.

© Tanisha R. Coleman and Visions Of A Black Herstorian, LLC 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Tanisha R. Coleman and Visions Of A Black Herstorian, LLC with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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