Black men, we need you to stand up for us when other men, and the world, puts us down.
For it is the ones in power that have to come alongside the powerless to spark change.
Black men, we need you to support us without saving us because no one really wants to be a helpless Disney princess, unless we ask you to save us.
Black men, we need you to create opportunities when doors close in your face. Our households depend on you to help keep our children clothed and fed.
Black men, we need you to tell our daughters that it is ok to speak her mind and stand up for herself.
She should not have to dim her light to be attractive or to make other men shine.
Black men, we need you to show our sons what it means to be a Man of purpose and character. This is something we can’t do even though it seems like we can do everything and more.
Black men, we need you to acknowledge that we are your equals and that you can lead while standing right next to us, instead of in front of us.
Black men, we need you to lead us. We want you to lead us. Not as dictators, but as democratically elected officials who have proven to have our best interests at heart. We know you will not exploit us for selfish gain. We trust you. Help us to keep trusting you.
Black men, we need you to empower us and know that our power does not lessen your power. It only strengthens it.
Black men, we need you to understand that if you abuse us, we have no choice but to leave you and replace you because our self-worth is worth more than our loyalty to you.
Black men, we need you to see us. To really see us even when the world treats us like we are not there. We need you to see us because we see you.
Black men, we need you to partner with us, in the household, in our communities, and as we climb the ladder of success. There is no need to compete when we complement each other so well.
Black men, please know that we will not race you to the top, because this is long-distance running for us. We desire the holy grail, because trying to be “better” than you is not a worthy task. We want to be our best selves. That is all.