If I was a black woman I’d snap my neck and roll my eyes with a hand planted on my wide hips. With a pointed finger tipped with an acrylic nail I’d give you the attitude that has festered through years of degradation.

If I was a black woman I’d tap my foot while I emphasized each and every word of hurt and pain I endured and the loneliness that I live with while awaiting your return to manhood. I’d speak of the abuse of your hands and the open wounds your tongue has cut into my heart. Pushing out your children, then watching you cheat on me with the streets, introducing our legacy to the mistress that confines you.

If I was a black woman I’d struggle with a depression so deep that I would drown in the oppression of eighteen generations. I’d love you so much that I’d attach my self-worth to your confusion of self. I’d build my home in the projects or in the ghettos, making something out of nothing, hoping it would last long enough to find some measure of joy. I’d shop fast, live fast, and seek pleasure faster, knowing that at any moment death might take all that we’ve built.

If I was a black woman I’d medicate my children so that their hunger pangs would be deadened, blaming ADHD when the real problem is the lack of patience, no man at home, and (to be honest) me.

If I was a black woman, bitch and hoe would be names I would impose on myself, giving me an identity for you to notice again. Damn, it’s hard for a sista to compete with the streets. The vices, lost modesty, and lack of self respect were caused by you, black man.

Since I’m not a black woman, I must confess my guilt to my sisters, mothers, and queens. Your burden is ours. We’ve belittled you, degraded you, then expected you to step into the gap of of our absence. We’ve waited for you to fix all that we have broken.

We black men are the cure for your afflictions, but we must first become black men again, accepting our rightful places in this world. We must find clarity and a new reality so that you have something worthwhile to measure yourself against. We must grace home with our faith, our daily presence, our authority, and our wisdom. We must educate our children so that the systems will not. Black men must be willing to be who God created us to be. Because without black men, black women will cease to exist.

What will you do for the black woman?

Me, I’ll stand up and be a true black man.