I’m not afraid to say it…I love Black men!

Can I disclaim yet again that what I am about to post is by no means academic, Islamic or particularly articulate?  Just some random thoughts from me…

So, something I have been thinking about after my last post has also been triggered by the lovely Peta Stephenson, who has been researching Indigenous Australians’ interaction with Islam.  I re-read her article in the book “Beyond the Hijab Debates: New Conversations on Gender, Race and Religion” entitled “Recreating Community: Indigenous Women and Islam” and was reminded that I am quoted as saying, in relation to wearing hijab, that:

“I want to be a modest person, and I don’t want men, particularly Aboriginal men, to view me in that way, and this is the line that I’m drawing”

I want to take a moment to explain why I have made this statement as there is no real explanation in the article.  No blame or criticism though, it did not really need an explanation at the time – however, I fear that this may lead others to think that I am somehow casting aspersions about Aboriginal men.  I by no means am saying that I think Aboriginal men are sleazy or whatever, nor am I saying that I do not want to be eventually married to an Aboriginal man and therefore want to be viewed as unavailable to them full stop.  

To clarify, the background to this statement, the context, is that I want Black men (Aboriginal men in my cultural context) to be righteous and upstanding.  I love Black/Aboriginal men as my brothers and therefore I want for them to be the most righteous and the most perfect examples of human beings.  For me, as a Muslim, part of this means being modest in the way that Islam prescribes.  Whilst this might seem harsh, and yes it is definitely not easy, it is an ideal to uphold and to strive for and I want that for my Black brothers just as I want that for myself and for my Black sisters as well (please note:  this is not to the exclusion of non-Blacks, I am just focussing on things within my context).  

I suppose then that I would like to point out two things that I am reminded of as I clarify my position on this.  

One is that great Black leaders such as Malcom X, Lowitja O’Donaghue and more have called Black people to a higher standard of morals and ethics.  Whilst this may be viewed as patronising and unecessary, I want to point out that I also do this from a position of love for my Black people and not for any other reason.  In saying that, people who know me well know that I rarely judge in this regard and that I try (try being the operative word – I still have so so so far to go) to uphold this for myself and usually keep this self-moralising to myself too.  

Two is the awesome song by Jill Scott, entitled “The Fact Is (I Need You)” – youtube clip and lyrics below.  It basically sums up how I feel about Black/Aboriginal men and why I want for them to always strive to be the best…


The Fact Is (I Need You) Lyrics
Jill Scott

I can pay my own light bill baby
pump my own gas in my own car
I can buy my own shoe collection
I’ve been blessed thus far
I can kill the spider above my bed
although it’s hard because I’m scared
I can even stain and polyurethane
But some things just don’t change
I need you
Sometimes so hard to say
I need you
Some things remain
I can buy my own groceries baby
Get my hair tight my nails right
I can floss my own bling bling
Write the the words to the songs I sing
I can even raise the child we’ll make
Make sure he’s loved and knows what God gave
I can teach him how to walk and stand
but he needs you to help him be a man
We need you
so hard to say
we need you
Some things don’t change
I could be a congresswoman or a garbage woman 
or police officer or a carpenter
I could be a doctor and a lawyer
and a mother and a “good God,woman what chu
done to me?” kind of lover I can be
I could be a computer analyst
The queen with the nappy hair raising her fist 
or I could be much more and a myraid of this
Hot as the summer
Sweet as the first kiss
And even though I can do all these things
I need you
And even though I can do all these things
We need you
we need you
we need you


5 thoughts on “I’m not afraid to say it…I love Black men!

  1. Asalaam alaikum Genie,

    I would imagine anyone who knows you (even a little) knows that your wanting you, the Aboriginal people, and anyone to strive for the best, is just who you are and what you stand for. Allah keep you, Sis!

    I witnessed one of my law school classmates, an African American woman, scolding one African American male in a newer class– something about a cell phone. Now, presumably, law students are in law school because they want to be lawyers, so I thought it a little odd and kinda cute that she took on a “mother” role with this guy. When I asked her about it, she said that she did that to every Black male student in the school, because inevitably, it was the Black males who didn’t survive the first year of law school.

    Their academic inadequacies were for any number of reasons, but she was not, if she could help it, going to let these people fail simply because they didn’t take law school seriously enough. Telling the guy to get off his cell and back to the library, and having high expectations of this brother was not condescending, racist, demeaning… but an act of love.

    I admire that.

    1. Walaikum Salaam Debora, thanks for the kind words 🙂

      I guess this is the thing, there is a distinction between doing it for love and having the right attitude about it and not doing it for love and doing things like picking on Black men just because they are Black and you have pre-conceived notions of what they can and can’t achieve.

      Great story 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  2. Great blog entry Genie, I hope your blog page really does take off and generate healthy discussion.

    Firstly I would like to address the ideal you wish aboriginal men to live up to. As a part aboriginal man myself I have my own perspectives on what I want myself, my brothers and my sisters to aspire to. I feel here though that the terms “upstanding” and “righteous” are very open to interpretation, even individual ideas of perfection can differ. I guess I’m a little hung up on semantics because the word “righteous” has been thrown around many times to justify belligerence.

    I’m also of the opinion that as a minority, society (particularly Australian) has not called on but demands of us a stronger work ethic, a higher moral standard and a completely subjective and passive approach to “authority”. I am a strong believer in individualism however mass media with it’s questionable motives has such a strong influence in everybody’s day to day lives it’s generally hard now to separate individual aspirations from what these capitalistic societies dictate are their aspirations. I guess the most stand out feature of the latter is an apathy towards issues effecting humanity.

    You used the term “Moralising” and I get the impression it is being used with a slight negative connotation. Which of course is still very valid considering the plethora of ignorant bigots who push their inflexible, archaic views of morality onto others. However morality and therefore moralising understood from an empathetic, philosophical and scientific perspective I don’t feel is a negative quality to propagate and at every opportunity available I do myself.

    1. Hey Matt – thanks for posting this up here!

      I agree, upstanding and righteous are words that are very open to interpretation and can be used incorrectly. Just like you explain, Australian mainstream society tries to force its standards of upstanding and righteous upon us – just look at the NT Intervention. I feel the NT Intervention is the ultimate expression of how mainstream society (which has largely allowed the Intervention to happen) and the Government feel about Black men (they are kiddy fiddlers, alcoholics, addicted to porn, violent, misogynists, etc.) and then the ultimate example of mainstream society and the Government forcing upon Black people what the standards of upstanding and righteous are.

      I guess here we hit a bit of an underpinning to what I am writing about here. Ultimately this is about myself as a Black person saying what I want for Black people, what standards I want us to live up to – this post just happened to centre around men. Too often, mainstream society tells us that we have to be ‘successful’ which ultimately always equates to ‘materialistic’. The fact that ‘Indigenous Employment’ is a huge area is a constant reminder of this. We are constantly told that we have to be economically contributing, termed ‘contributing to society’ to be viewed as okay by mainstream society. I suppose on some level, although I think having a job is a good thing, this push of a value system that is not our own and that is based largely around materialism rankles me.

      As for my use of the word moralising, when I wrote this piece I felt self-conscious that I am indeed moralising, but that mainstream and religious society often moralises in a way that is negative, that is condescending. So thank you for reminding me that moralising can be a good thing 🙂

      Much Love!

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