By CJ Guion
This weekend was Women’s Empowerment in Raleigh. Many celebrities and entertainers from around the country such as Steve Harvey, Keyshia Cole, Marvin Sapp and others came out to the annual event, which served its purpose of inspiring women. After the event came and went the thought crossed my mind as to why there are so many events and award shows such as WE and “Black Girls Rock” that promote and uplift the accomplishments and hardships of women, but hardly anything at all that does that same for male counterparts. There has always been the joke that Mother’s Day is much more respected than Father’s Day.
The fact of the matter is that when you look at statistics on education, jail, and employment, most times women are over performing males, especially in the African American community. In 2008, according to Census.gov, 919,000 African Americans males were enrolled in college compared to 1,562,000 African American females. In the 2007-2008 academic year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, 52,247 African American males conferred a bachelor’s degree compared to 100,210 African Americans females.
I am by no means saying that women don’t deserve to be celebrated; many women work hard, head households, and deserve to be respected and awarded for all in which they accomplish. However, there are just as many men out there who are single fathers, making history, and being role models in the community to which young males can look up to proudly. If anyone needs to be uplifted and inspired to do better it is African American males.
It just seems the only time we decide to inspire and uplift African American males is when they are at risk and on the verge of no return. Why not have prevention measures and resources in place to make sure that they never get to that point. If they have no male role model in the home, why not give them one early, rather than waiting until the damage has already been done. If you fix a car when a problem is first detected, it will run much better than if you wait until it breaks down on the side of the road. It will also save you much more money.
It appears that we only celebrate black males when they are on the field, the court, or on the stage. What about the males who are going to law school, venturing into politics, and opening their own businesses. Females are inspired to succeed in all areas and fields from education to athletics. Yes, black women have come a long way from the struggles they’ve endured for so many years, but there are just as many black men suffering in society as well. However, it appears that no one seems to care much and men are just expected to fend for themselves.