During a late-night conversation a few years ago, a friend of mine asked me if I could do one thing for the black community what would it be. My response was I would wrap my arms around the world and give every person of color a hug. I would love on my community especially the men in a way that could only be second to the love of Christ. In a world of colonization and oppression; where dollars are more important than souls it seems as if there is no love for people of color. The life of a black man is seemingly only worth its contribution to retail dollars and the prison industrial complex. As my social media continues to be flooded with posts about the recent passing of businessman and rapper Nipsey Hussle I’m reminded of another conversation from my past. My former supervisor once said to me, “I know what you can’t do but tell me what you can do?” I can’t fix the problems of the entire black community. Nor can I treat all symptoms of the diseases of colonization and oppression worldwide. However, what I can do on my small platform is pen a letter to men of color.
Dear Black Man: God loves you
As I write this letter my vision is clouded by tears of pain. I cry for my sons and grandsons. I cry for fathers and brothers. I cry for friends and enemies. Finally, I cry for the women and children who are damaged as a bi-product of your trauma. Black man if no one ever told you, you are beautiful. If I was an artist I’d paint a mural with all your hues. When I close my eyes and think of the garden where the creator of life reached down and created humanity from the dust of the ground and breathed the breath of life into Adams nostrils; I see your face. When I think of God looking over all of creation claiming it as “good”, “it” included you. When He created woman because it was not good for the man to be alone; He created me with you in mind.
Black man you are appreciated. I appreciate you for the work of your hands and the love in your heart. I appreciate men like my grandfather, uncle and sons who took it upon themselves to father the fatherless. I even appreciate the mentors in the streets who mentor in the only way they know how. I appreciate your efforts to try to better yourself and the world around you. I appreciate the hours that you work in a society that says you’re not good enough. I appreciate your willingness to mentor and mold the youth. I appreciate you for your contribution to the world from the pyramids to the traffic light and even the world’s first smart store.
Black man you are necessary. We cannot create life alone. We were created to complement each other. It is possible for us to raise children and support them alone, but it is not optimal. Black man you are a necessity in sustaining, growing and developing strong family units. Strong family units lead to strong and healthy children, Strong/healthy children become adults who change the world. You are necessary in our homes. I hear so much talk about the “angry black woman”, she’s not angry she’s frustrated because she is missing her other half. She is doing a job with half of the workforce necessary to complete it. She is tired, she is depressed, she is lonely, and she is scared to relinquish control. You are necessary to fix her problems. Eve needed Adam to say no don’t eat and don’t listen. We cannot have a true Eden experience without you.
Black man I empathize with you. I fear every time my sons don’t answer the phone that they’ve become a victim in this violent society. I cannot imagine the fear you have every day that you will become a hashtag. From the boardroom to the block none are exempt. I can not fathom walking around every second of every day having to be on high alert. I can not imagine living life with the understanding that society sees you as a threat and your life of no value. I can not wrap my mind around the thought that even your brothers who look walk and talk like you see your life as having no value and are willing to snatch it from you at any given moment.
Black man: I love you! I love you enough to tell you, you are beautiful, necessary and important. I also love you enough to ask just who do you think you are to raise a weapon and take the life of a child of God? Who do you think you are to harm another human being who poses no immediate threat to you? Who do you think you are to murder a mirror image of yourself? I know it’s rough out here. I know we are all products of our environment. When do we say enough? Black man I love you enough to remind you that we have an adversary who does not want the love of God in your heart. We have an adversary who comes to steal, kill and destroy. We have an adversary who does not want you to realize your full potential and live a life that God calls good. We have an adversary who does not want you in the homes with your families, in the marketplace or promoting positivity in the community. As for myself anything my enemy thinks he wants to take or withhold from me I’m coming for it ten times stronger. Spiritual warfare is real. We need you to fight for what has been stolen from you. We need you to end rivalries. We need you to fall on your sword and be OK with losing a battle every now and then, so we can win the war. We need you to never again raise your gun at your brother in anger Cain.
Black man: God loves you! God loves you enough to wrap himself in flesh, live life and endure a cross experience to save you. God loves you enough to inspire the writer of Acts to include the story of the Ethiopian eunuch in the New Testament to dispel any question of whether you are important to Him. God loves you so much that he made it abundantly clear; you, your understanding of God and scripture are a priority to Him. Black man God loves you.
A black woman, mother and friend
Father God I come to you in the mighty name of Jesus thanking you for mankind
Father I ask that today we would come to know you as a comforter and a friend
Father I pray that you would remove the pain, hate and anger in our hearts
I pray that you would fill us up with peace and love
Lord, I thank you for the life and contribution of Ermias Asghedom
Father we ask that you would comfort his family, friends and the community he left behind
Father I pray that you would raise up another to continue his work in the Los Angeles community and the world
Father I pray we would come to see ourselves and each other as your children and live a life that shines your light on the world; that we would not allow our enemy to fill us with hate, anger and jealousy
That daughters and sons will no longer have to feel the pain and void of losing fathers
Mothers and Fathers will no longer feel the pain of out living sons
Women would no longer feel the pain and burden of losing their partners to unnecessary violence
That we would show the love of Christ wherever we go and to whoever we encounter
Father I pray that we would come to the understanding of your love for us
Father I pray that you would free us from mental slavery and we would come to know true freedom through you
In Jesus’ name I pray