Ok! When, The Best Man Holiday was released. In the African American community, this was a much anticipated movie. The Best Man was a good movie and many of us were curious to see what changed over the years. It had been a long time since my wife and I actually saw a movie on opening weekend. Since it is very rare that we want to see the same movie, we decided to go ahead and check this one out. Mind you, a few of my ultra masculine friends alluded to the idea that they had gotten emotional during the film. I laughed and teased them. “You better not be saying that the movie made you cry. Men don’t cry…especially over a movie.” My wife and I had to go now.
Without giving the movie away, I’ll just say that while we were watching the movie, not only did I hear women coming unglued, I heard a few men sniffling also. In fact, even I felt a welling up of a tear or two. I’ll admit it. I cried. This is the first time that I can remember that I actually cried at a movie. There have been a few movies that I felt like it. I can usually control it. This time, I wasn’t so successful. It was such a shocker to me that I posted it on FaceBook. Why did I do that? My post created a problem. Either my male friends were teasing me, going to the movies to prove that they can make it out without crying, or they were being untruthful about their “The Best Man Holiday” experience. Either way it goes, the conversation behind the admittance of tears sparked another question. What are acceptable times for real men to cry? I received answers like child birth, death of a loved one, etc. Although more men were honest with me than I expected, the overall consensus from the vast majority of men I heard from suggested that to cry is soft. Communicating this to me helped me to further understand the problem of our current generation of young men.
We are raising them to believe that there is only one acceptable emotion for men to show. That emotion is anger. Every day, I have a new encounter with an angry teenager. Many of the young men I see could actually be in a great mood. Yet and still, their facial expression and body language would suggest that they are angry. It’s as if someone or something has taught them that men are supposed to be hard and anger is the only hard emotion. If we are ever going to see a generation of emotionally stable young black men, we must begin to both mention and model emotional stability before them.
To Show Emotion is to Show Humanity
“I Ain’t Never Scared” and “I Ain’t Got No Worries” are grammatically incorrect and emotionally untruthful phrases. They both became popular in hip hop culture and they suggest that fears and tears are not acceptable. Truthfully, the man who does not feel a multiplicity of emotions during various times of his life is the man who is not alive. You are not less of a man because you are comfortable with accepting all of you. You are actually more of a man because despite the cultural push back, you can own your emotions. Just try hard to not let anything make you become an emotional wreck.
Romel Gibson is a youth and college pastor, mentor, community leader, motivational speaker, musician, and songwriter living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He serves as a full-time Campus Life Director with Youth for Christ, one of the largest non-profit youth evangelism ministries in the world. As a songwriter, his most notable works include L. Spenser Smith and Testament (Greater, Surgery), Tonya Baker (Miracles), The Anointed Pace Sisters (Praise and Worship), Myron Butler (Changed), Marvin Sapp (Never), Ruben Studdard (Holding On To You Lord), and Johnny Gill (Black Box).Romel has been married for 12 years to his college best friend Quanedra. Together they have been blessed with three beautiful daughters; Allayna Pilar, Moriah Kelis, and Rylee Addison.