Now in the area of Pittsburgh that I reside, there are a few less yachts and even fewer golf courses adorning the waterfront and the landscape. However, you will see what I see not only on Father’s Day but every single day of the week: brothers carefully balancing cases of “Milwaukee’s Best,” “Keystone Light” or some other generic concoction of barley and hops, upon neatly shaved and shimmering heads. This Father’s Day was special not because of the relevancy of child to father but the NBA Finals were on and what better way to celebrate the machismo of American sports. The Encarta Dictionary defines the word machismo as: ma`chis`mo (noun) as 1). Stereotypical masculinity. 2). An exaggerated sense or display of masculinity emphasizing characteristics that are conventionally regarded as male, usually physical strength and courage, aggressiveness, and lack of emotional response.
One of the principals of the NBA finals this year is of course Miami’s LeBron James, the ex-Cleveland Cavalier star. In 2010, James did a GQ interview on the subject of the absence of his father and his father leaving his mother. He had this to say. “It’s not all anger. I’m not downgrading my father or blasting him. I don’t know what he may have been going through at the time. I’m not one of those to judge without knowing. I was too young to understand.”
Also in the August, 2010 issue of People magazine, James’ longtime girlfriend Savannah Brinson had this to say, “I’ve definitely not put a fire under his ass. We’re really comfortable with the way things are now. And it’s not up to me. When it happens, it happens. If we do it, I want it to be forever.” Also according to the article, James, 25, believes, with or without a wedding ring, Brinson will be there to support him and has all the qualities he’s looking for in a partner. I was always told that regardless of public perception the egg has to always come before the chicken. The word fiancé seems to have been diluted and redefined almost beyond recognition.
“A person like myself always needs a great sidekick and a person you can rely on no matter the circumstances. And she’s that,” James tells the magazine. “She’s got my back, and I love her for that.” When you procreate with a woman, one would think that she would not be indirectly or directly defined as a “sidekick.”
Brinson made a direct statement when she said: “I’ve definitely not put a fire under his ass.” In other words, the paper is flowing. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. It seems to me at least as far as Black families are concerned, there needs to be a few more fires lit under the asses of some of these young parents because there are just too many “sidekick” relationships and not enough marriages. There are too many Black families with three or four children with three or four different surnames and in many ways the children have become “sidekicks.”
Ma`chis`mo (noun) as 1). Stereotypical masculinity. 2). An exaggerated sense or display of masculinity emphasizing characteristics that are conventionally regarded as male.
Oh, I’m sorry; does it appear that I am repeating myself? Well, I’m not. See, there may be more Black machismo females who are feminist centered; where the focus is on female issues as opposed to “womanist” issues, which are centered around the concept of family. The word and definition of “womanist” was coined by English professor Dr. Clenora Hudson-Weems from the University of Missouri. Dr. Weems also wrote the ‘Emmitt Till’ trilogy. According to her all that “I can do bad by myself” has to be replaced by, “if we have to struggle let us struggle together.”
Black men, it is not a true sign of strength that you can balance two cases of Bud Light on your head for six blocks and know all of the stats of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Kevin Durant. Black women, God may have selected you to be the one to take your male child to his midget league football or basketball games but don’t dilute his value just because the choice that you made in regards to the man that fathered him might not have been the optimum one.
Now I have to pose this question to all of you inner-city dads. When the game is over, should you have spent the money for the brew to go watch the game over at your “boys” crib or could that time have been better served watching the game with your children and cracking a few beers after they were put to bed?
I have compiled a list of winners for the NBA finals; the NBA, ESPN, the automakers, KFC, McDonalds and the beer manufacturers. They all make massive loot from your participation. When will you be added to the list?
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