Black Man, What Does It Mean To Be You?
Anthony Bradford Mitchell
If you have been a frequent visitor to my blog then you know that each month a segment is dedicated to redefining beauty. Women are interviewed and allowed to share their perspectives on beauty and how they define it for themselves. Last month, we took some time to highlight black fathers for Fathers Day in an effort to change the negative narrative associated with black fatherhood. If you missed that article, check it out here.
In an effort to continue to highlight the positivity surrounding our black men, there will now be a designated section for men to discuss what being a black man means to them. Our first feature is my lovely boyfriend, Anthony Bradford Mitchell. Mitch discusses what masculinity means to him and what it means to be a black man. He shares a positive outlook on what it means to be a black man and that is definitely a bright light that needs to be shined more often.
Introduce yourself to the audience
Hello everyone! My name is Anthony Bradford Mitchell, but you all can call me Mitch. I am a 31 year old son, brother, boyfriend, Godfather of 3, College Ministry Leader, Youth advocate and Owner of Mitchspiration LLC.
How would you define masculinity? Does your current definition differ from what you were taught?
I wasn’t raised by the typical father. My father never verbalized “manhood” or “masculinity” but rather showed or put me in experiences that taught me these things. Masculinity, in my opinion, is the ability to be confident and accountable in the things required of oneself as a man. Provision, awareness, logic, emotional intelligence, health, physical fitness and a relationship with God are a few of the attributes I equate to masculinity. Masculinity is a relative term and will look different based on upbringing, personal experience as well as personal truths we choose to embrace.
What does being a black man mean to you?
Being a Black Man is the highest honor on earth. When I trace back the significance of the Black Man to the world, I’m reminded of Simon of Sirene. Simon was the man chosen out of the crowd to help Jesus carry his cross when he was too weak to carry it alone. Many believe Simon may have been chosen for racial reasons even back in those times, but in a spiritual sense, he was given the highest honor any human being could ever ask for to this day.
If you were asked to rewrite the black man’s narrative what would you say?
I don’t think it’s our job to change the black narrative. Our narrative already includes scholars, teachers,CEOs, activists, leaders, visionaries, philanthropists, inventors, organizers, authors, athletes, musicians, dancers, singers, actors, playwrights, directors, doctors, lawyers, surgeons, professors, teachers, specialists among many other prestigious titles. It is the job of others who view us as the “enemy” or the “problem” based on strategically implemented statistics to open their minds to TRUTH. TRUTH that much of what America is came to be off the backs of Black people and specifically Black Men. Hate is what stifles unity in this country and truth to be taught in schools. We are just as extraordinary as any other ethnicity on this planet. Our narrative doesn’t need to change. Hate and the actions that come along with it need to change.
Do you have words of encouragement for our readers?
We have to become more intentional on truly LIVING and not existing. If you love someone, tell them. Don’t worry about “the phone working both ways”. Be a light every opportunity you can. You never know who’s watching you. There are people we will impact without ever speaking a word to them. Take time to evaluate YOU. Whatever people or things that you know aren’t helping you move FORWARD in life, LET THEM or IT GO. It will be hard, but God always has a way of making what we see as a “loss” turn around with a bigger gain.
If you want to keep up with all that Mitch has going on make sure to check out his social media platforms!
Know a man who would be a great feature next month? Submit their info below!