I Am Not Your Typical Black Guy
It is time to break stereotypes and stop educating based on differences. Here is how I overcame my own battles and became proud of who I was.
What is the typical black guy might I ask? What was your intention behind clicking the article anyway? Maybe you want to find out what the typical black guy is? Even worse, you might want to find out what the non-typical black male gets up to?
The reality is, there is no typical black guy. That black male or female that has a distinct personality and living traits live in your head. We are all different, hold unique views, and yes, we have disagreements.
My aim in this short read is to show you that a typical black guy does not exist. Unfortunately for me, I had to find this out the hard way. Due to beliefs being shoved down my throat about who I should be, I grew hate towards white people.
Anyway, here is a list of things that I share with some of the “typical” black people you think exist:
- My mother is from the Caribbean.
- I was born in a single-parent household.
- I do like chicken.
- Funny enough, I also enjoy the sounds of Caribbean music.
- I was the bad kid in school.
And before I forget, here is a list of things I learned from the “typical” black guy education system:
- Society is against you.
- You are oppressed by white people.
- You will have to work two times harder than the rest to get a good life.
- The system is designed to make sure you fail.
The problem was not who I was, it was what I was taught. The list of traits in the first list could be anyone from any race. There are mixed individuals who have parents from the Caribbean, and most meat-eaters like chicken. Any child can be a bad kid in school too.
However, the things black men and women are taught from a young age tend to damage our individuality. We all grow up believing the same things and trying to prove them correct in our lives.
I was actually able to prove most of the things I was taught as a black child in my own life. My teachers appeared to me to mark me wrongly often. Also, I was frequently treated differently from the other children.
A lot of my teachers pushed me away from academia and into sports. After all, that was the only thing I appeared to be good at. And the white kids were scared of me and my friend because “we were too aggressive whilst playing.”
When you are taught from a young age that the world is against you, everyone that does not look like you is your enemy. Unfortunately, this is the lens through which I perceived my reality.
From the age of seven, I believed that everyone that was not black wanted the worst for me. They wanted me to fail and were against my progress. It was here that my hate for white people grew.
However, through deep thought and personal learning, I overcame my hate. I escaped the education a “typical” black man gets. Through this, I believe I was able to become the black man I wanted to be.
Death to Stigma’s and Stereotyping
I went most of my early years avoiding people that did not look like me. I only played with the black kids, and if there weren’t any, I would play by myself. In my mind, everyone was against me.
It was not until I hit nine years old, I met my first black friend who had a white friend. Although I did not like the idea of it, he was always up to play with us. So, I had to let him out of respect for my black counterpart.
However, it was this same white friend that probably changed the trajectory of my life. When I was 12, I had the ambition to go to a sports secondary school. I did not like academics and had the dream to become an athlete. But there was one big problem. It was the worst school in the area.
The school had reported stabbings and theft for years. In fact, it even had a horrible case of one child attacking a teacher outside of school. My mother was doing her best to find another school, but that was the closest school to me.
Just as she was about to enrol me, my white friend stopped me on the way back from school. He asked if I was attending the open evening for the secondary school he was going to.
The school was a conservative Christian school located in one of the whitest areas you could ever think of. I did not want to go, but he really wanted me to go to the same school as him.
So, that day, he came to my mother’s house and told her to follow his parents in the car to the open day. The school was about one hour away from me, and I was complaining the whole way. But upon arrival, I sensed that this school was much better.
The students looked well kept, and the teachers spoke eloquently. My mother fell in love with the school, and I had no choice from that point on. I was going whether I liked it or not.
Now ten years on, I am still good friends with him. All of the students that I know of that went to the sports school down at the bottom of the road have become:
- Drug dealers
- Single Parents
If it was not for my white friend, God knows where I would be. The school is so bad, it is under review and might be getting shut down. Thanks to my white friend, I am in a much better position than I could have been.
At the age of sixteen, I learned that I did not need all white people to like me for society to be fair. Also, I did not need the whole world to like me either. All I needed was a few people who cared about my progression.
The idea that all white people were against me and wanted me to fail no longer held correct. My stigma and stereotypes were broken, and I am forever indebted to my white friend who changed the course of my life.
Death to an Oppressive Mindset
As I got older, I understood that my black education installed in me an oppressive mindset. I believed that the whole world was against me because of something I could not change.
Yes, slavery took its toll on blacks everywhere. However, physical oppression is better than oppression of the mind. And before you think my views are extreme just think for a second.
I was a poor kid from a single-parent household with a mother who was 16. If there was anyone who experienced massive setbacks in life it was me. However, my freedom to think and pursue my curiosity has given me the ability to rise above my challenges.
If you take away someone’s ability to think for themselves, they are forever trapped. And an oppressive mindset makes you feel this way. I was controlling my legs and my arms, but my thoughts kept me low.
I was a prisoner to my own mind. And this is the best oppression yet because I believed my thoughts and actions were all my own. But the reality is, they all helped form a lens I was told to look through.
When I began to pursue knowledge for myself, and grow into the person I wanted to be, I realised I was more oppressed in my own community.
The strong religious views in the black community did not allow me to ask questions. Everyone had the same views, and a different view was always disregarded. My blackness was stripped from me once people found out I leaned more towards the right in my political views.
Through becoming my authentic self, I learned that I did not belong in the black community. I did not belong to any community that made my skin colour a priority over my views. And thanks to this realisation, I freed myself of my hatred towards society, white people and my own skin.
Now I Am Free
I do not know what the typical black guy looked like in your head before. But it is time to stop defining and clustering people in this way. My journey does not speak for every black person.
I know many black people who would hate this article and would leave a hateful comment. I also know many who would give it 10,000 claps if they could.
I held “typical” views of white people when I put my blackness first. But living a life where I believed I was oppressed and my opportunities were limited made me dead anyway. There is no point living if you have those constant thoughts in your head. Your desire to live would be crushed if you truly believed all of those things.
I am not your typical black guy because I am more than a black man. My blackness is nothing more than skin colour. It is something I was born with and cannot change. Just like being born to a single-parent household in poverty. I can and cannot change that either.
It is time to free yourself from any typical views you have. Stop putting everyone in a box and realise people are people for who they are, not what they are.
I am a personality, a mind, an intellect, and so much more before I am black. You are so much more than who you are, and that is what makes you human.
I am not your typical black guy because there is no such thing. We are all people with extremely complex personalities, desires and tendencies. You will never be able to put me in a box, and I can never do the same to you.
The sooner we learn that it is the faster we can destroy stereotypes and reduce hate in this world.
I am a Visionary and Writer who seeks to enrich society by challenging how we do business today to lead to a world of better leaders and opportunities tomorrow.