Hello World! I hope all is well out there. As many of you know, I rather enjoy sharing my opinions and perspective on certain things whether other people are interested in hearing them or not.  Today I feel compelled to discuss the “Angry Black Guy Complex”.  What is this you ask? Well . . . have you ever noticed how COOL it is to just walk around looking angry and pissed off seemingly all the time? Okay maybe its not actually cool (at least not in my opinion) but it sure is perceived to be so. Particularly among my Afro-American brethren.  Now let me clarify, I too have fallen victim to the popularity of just looking plain upset and agitated for no particular reason at all.  The classic “mean mug” is celebrated and glorified widely and I think I’ve developed several theories as to why this may be so.

Example: Ever walk through the mall and mistakenly make direct eye contact with a complete stranger? Let me explain how this awkward moment goes between black men.  We make eye contact and immediately think “what is this n*gga lookin’ at?” (because we’re slightly paranoid and at times unnecessarily confrontational).  Instead of a polite smile, which is completely unacceptable and unheard of, we give a cold stare for a couple of seconds then look away.  Its primitive really and I laugh to myself every time it happens.

Explanation: In our culture we are incredibly obsessed with being masculine, even if we are in fact genuinely sweet and kindhearted gentleman that prefer to avoid confrontation . . . we would never allow a complete stranger to believe that we’re a “punk”.  So instead of a polite smile, a head nod, or a cordial “Whats up bruh?” we just MEAN MUG! Makes perfect sense right? I’d rather someone think I’m a stone cold killer than a happy go lucky person that enjoys life and pleasant exchanges with strangers . . . negative.

That’s only one example. The constant need to emasculate ourselves because we don’t actually FEEL like men. Displays of random macho behavior often show just how insecure and obsessed with “looking like more of a man” than we are. Somewhere in our history, the idea of smiling and not being a man became synonymous with one another.  You ever look at facebook or myspace (if you still have a myspace lmao) and see the pictures guys take? Why are we more willing to shoot a bird at the world than smile? You’d rather say “F*CK YOU!!!” to everyone that visits your profile than smile at them? What’s hilarious is the amount of women that buy into this idea of the angry black guy being sexy . . . until he punches them in the face! (which surprisingly isn’t as big of a turn off as it sounds, some of you love that too)

So why is this anger so widely accepted and coveted? Are we actually angry people by nature, angry because of our circumstances or are we simply angry for show?

I would argue that no-one and I mean NO-ONE is angry by nature.  There’s usually a reason, whether it be deep seeded and traumatizing or trivial and overblown, there is a reason.  History tells us that people have tried to pigeon hold black people in specific behavior categories for years and years.  The idea that black people are angry by nature is widely accepted outside of our community and yes, even within. We’ve done well to keep this particular stereotype alive, but what about the others? Why don’t we take a look at all of these stereotypes:

The Brutal Black Buck: This is the angry black guy that this very post is all about. Accused of being uncontrollable, violent and a sexual deviant. Incapable of rational thought, only compelled by primitive desires and cravings. A particular craving, one for white women is supposedly insatiable.

The Uncle Tom: A direct contradiction of The a fore mentioned black buck. Uncle Tom is docile, hard working and kind. Trusted not to harm the hair on anyone’s head.

Sambo/Jim Crow: Silly, lazy and shiftless. Enough said.

The Jezebel: Basically she’s a hoe. But she applies to every single black woman (hints the reason its a stereotype). The belief that black women have an insatiable sexual appetite and show no discrimination is searching for gratification.

The Mammy: She’s overweight and a-sexual. She’d rather take care of someone else s’ home and children than to have her own (once again a direct contradiction of the previously mentioned stereotype)

My conclusion on black stereotypes? Black people are angry, happy, evil, good, tall, short, skinny, fat, lazy, hardworking people (in no particular order). We can’t be placed in any mass category any more easily than another race or group of people. Each of us is unique and based on that individuality may fall into any given category at any given time.

This doesn’t answer my original question . . . why on earth is the angry black man, The Brutal Black Buck, the one that has surely seemed to resiliently stand the test of time? Why is it that we seem to continue to willingly perpetuate this particular notion about ourselves?  It’s not a desirable characteristic to possess.  People don’t like angry, hostile individuals. They usually stray away from them and don’t want to hire them or give them opportunities or friendship.  My personal opinion is that it comes from a lashing out after being oppressed for so long.  Finally standing up and being able to say “No you don’t run me, i’m a grown ass man and if you try me I will most certainly do something about it”. This is understandable, people don’t like to be nor do they deserve to be pushed around as we were for so many years.  But this particular defense-mechanism is often used against one another and ultimately not productive.

The way to dispel these stereotypes, prejudices and hatred not only from outside sources but among ourselves is and always has been LOVE.  Love is the answer, show people your beautiful smile. Show them your kind heart, show them your humanity.

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