"I tried to do the best I could, sometimes I guess my best ain't good..enough, cause when it's over said sh*t done, you sitting by yourself mixed up.. but I tried!" Geto Boys I TRIED
So right out the gate, y'all see who's image is on the blog, the great James Evans Sr. from Good Times.
If there was anything that inspired me about "Good Times", it would be the heart that this man had for his family. Nowadays, I wonder would that be enough to qualify him as not only a man, but a good man!
The quality that I believe we all appreciated was the ferociousness that James Evans displayed as a man. As we often saw, he wasn't to be played with, but he was also a kind dude to all that deserved his kindness. His wife and children obviously loved and appreciated his presence, and in that estimation I'd consider a man like that a king. My question is, would a man who encompassed all of these qualities be respected if he didn't have the finances today!
I believe we are living in a revisionist history period, where we hardly appreciate what came before us, the trials that our elders and ancestors indured so that we can do a little bit better today. In some instances we are doing a hell of a lot better, with many more opportunities than they had.. but honestly it doesn't translate to as much success as it should.
For all the attributes that a character like James Evans possessed, he couldn't seem to be successful in getting his family out of the projects. They'd often struggle with money, they were unable to give their children the extras on most occasions, and even dreams like going to college seemed to not be a reality for them.
Being a man with two children of my own, and always taking pride in being an active presence in their lives, I know what it has felt like to wonder if that presence was enough to qualify me as a good father. That comes from a place of not having a relationship with my own father, and internally promising myself that I wouldn't do the same thing to mine. Although I've been blessed to find the strength to do better than what I knew, and I praise the Most High for them becoming young adults, I still desire to create a life that provides opportunities for them.
Back in the day there was more sympathy and understanding for men that tried hard, but couldn't seem to get a break, but with more opportunity has come more criticism. Women in our community far outpace the men when it comes to corporate structures, college degrees, entrepreneurship, and overall financial success. This has brought resentment in some men, others such as myself appreciate what the sista's have accomplished. I don't necessarily feel threatened, but I am aware that some balance will have to take place for the unity of us to remain.
A sista name Ronnie Brown made the statement recently on Social Proof Podcast, that if a man wants to help women, he needs to help elevate the men! That's not a direct quote, but it's pretty close, and I agree 💯%