Black Male Feminist Speaks Out

One writer gives his take on what black male feminism should look like in practice.

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In a piece for Clutch magazine, Charles H.F. Davis II offers his take on oppressive ideas about manhood, black male feminist thought and his work as an educator on these issues:

Later this week I will be heading to Syracuse University to speak with fraternity men of color about manhood and masculinity. It is my hope that through our collective dialogue as men we might begin challenging and changing our understandings about not only what it means to be a man, but to be people living lives worth remembering with an opportunity to change the world. Through the understanding issues of misogyny within college and fraternity life and their effects not only on women, but men as well, these students may begin take action. This type of work is immeasurably important toward the task of aiding and assisting the disassembly of destructive masculinities -- ideas and performances of manhood -- many of which oppress women directly.

From large-scale workshops such as this to the day-to-day conversations with Black men on my campus, the work of building a larger community of progressive Black men is being done. Not only in the area of male feminism engaged, but also are the topics of heterosexism and homophobia; this, another conversation for another day. Similarly to myself, the rhetoric and participatory action with young men and boys of Jonathan Berhanu, Frank Harris, Tyrone Howard, David Ikard, Howard Jean, Dumi Lewis, Keon McGuire and countless others is a testament that my efforts are and should not be an exception.

Each of us has a unique chance to replicate ourselves in the lives of others. In understanding the long history of male-dominance, and female/feminist resistance to that dominance, we as must each understand the struggle for equality and equity neither begins nor ends with us. For these young men and boys, being influenced by the contagion of an idea -- constructing a better reality for wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters yet unborn -- great strides can be made. Let this article in some way and in no uncertain terms re-inspire hope and belief for Black women to know they are not alone; we stand with you and in opposition to all things against. 

Read more at Clutch magazine.

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