This week, I read an article in a local newspaper for the city of Philadelphia about the entertainer and model Rihanna. The writer quoted Rihanna stating that she is interested in a man who she can sit a learn from, that he has to be cultured while not having to have a single degree but he has to be knowledgeable in history, music, and art, and to be able to speak a few languages. Hmm….
In our inner city culture, especially the black culture since it seems to be anonymous with the word “urban”, young black men are taught to tie their self worth into their net worth. Keep in mind that most of the things that they value like clothes, shoes, and accessories are not even items that can be quantified as assets to determine an individuals net worth. Most young black men in our urban villages are willing to sacrifice their life to the prison industrial complex just to take a criminal risk to obtain those material possessions that represent worth and value in the low income black community.
I am certain that the greatest asset for any young black man is the woman that he chooses to love. I want to impress this upon our women in our nation that they have the power to be able to influence the culture of young minority men. When an attractive and famous woman like Rihanna who has one of the biggest social media followings globally says that she the filter by which she screens men that she chooses to be intimate with is the obtainment of cultural capital and not material wealth, she has the potential to cause a seismic shift in the world culture of men.
Even though every woman may not be as famous as Rihanna, every woman that has a man who loves her, values her, is sexually attracted to her, even the little boy on the block that has the puppy love crush on her, she has the potential to positively influence the direction of his life. I just want every woman to be aware of how powerful they are and to use their attraction to encourage men to invest into decorating themselves with intelligence and substance instead of desperately risking their freedom to obtain tangible objects that add no true worth to themselves, their loved ones, and their communities.
Through becoming cultured, boys develop into men who are informed about matters that directly effect and impact their lives locally, nationally, and internationally. A thinking man can improvise and use his intelligence to better himself and his surroundings, he is fit to follow and lead. And, effective leadership and positive dynamic role models is what our young boys need the most in a current society that they witness daily accounts where state officials exterminate their lives or exclude them from their communities for life. Every woman is powerful and I hope that every woman that reads this uses her power to build men and not destroy their potential to be GREAT. Just my thoughts!
Halim A. Flowers