Dear Black Men …

Dear Black Men: We love you; we need you. We know that it’s not easy to be a man. It’s not easy to
be a woman, either; to be educated, career focussed, wanting to grow in love; be the other half that
supports a family, supports a home. But we don’t know what it’s like to want to be the provider for
that- to have your whole identity hinged on your ability to provide.

It must be so hard to be want to be a good father; to be a good mate, to be a good son. It must be
hard to want to excel, do your best, represent your family and put forward not just your family
name, but the ethos, philosophy and beliefs that your family inculcated in you and the beliefs that
you want to push forward to your children.

You are beautiful; you are brave, you are strong. I will not coddle you. I will not tell you that you are
majestic when you are not. I will call you out when you’re being an asshole. I will tell you that you
can do better, that you can work harder, that you can achieve more. I will encourage you. I will
support you, uplift you.

Dear Black Men, you are not alone. You are not a villain, or a criminal, or a good- for- nothing. You
are wonderful. You are not what the media says. You are not what patriarchy insists. You are not a
vile, violent beast from which we must recoil, or fear. You are wonderful. You are not dumb. You are
not only good for a fuck. You’re gorgeous. You’re kind. You’re intelligent. You’re driven; you’re
loving. You’re protective. O botlhokwa.

Dear Black Men. We love you; we need you.

Writer: Ngo Chukura          Photography: Khumbelo Makungo

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