From November of 2018 until May of 2019, I worked with a young woman named Alexis Wilson, founder of The Menternship. Through our working relationship, I was introduced to her father, Jason Wilson. Jason Wilson is a pillar in the greater community, and the author of a book titled, “Cry Like A Man.”
Jason tackled a variety of topics in this book, ranging from spirituality to misconstrued masculinity. He also went in-depth about his own struggles as a black man rising toward his own personal breakthrough. Out of the many topics he covers on social media and beyond, he expressed to his male followers that it’s okay to Cry Like A Man.
Here’s an excerpt from his book, “Cry Like A Man:”
“When a man can reflect on his emotions and reset, he will be able to release what’s toxic, preventing future regrets.”
Crying is beneficial in a variety of way. The act of crying:
- Soothes you
- Helps to relieve pain
- Enhances mood
- Releases toxins and relieves stress
- Aids sleep
- Fights bacteria
- Improves vision
I saw an Instagram post the other day where a gentleman said, “Go ahead and go to the bathroom and cry like a woman, just get it done.” This was extremely hard to read because this gentleman is a pillar in the community. My father always said that men and women are different, and this is painstakingly apparent when dealing with emotional stability. While women are taught to express their feelings, men are taught to harbor theirs, not realizing that a hurricane is brewing inside of them, ready to destroy everything.
This idea of black men being “tough,” and not showing emotions is killing us. Black men, specifically black youth end up committing suicide as a result of suppressing their thoughts and feelings. I’ve personally lost two great friends to suicide in the last two years. When women are upset, they call their girlfriends and cry to them and move forward. Why can’t we as black men do the same?
I cry at least 2–3 times a week. Not because of sadness or depression, but because I’m human. Every form of mammal expresses emotion in some way. My son cries because that’s the only way he currently knows how to communicate. It’s important for men to let those emotions out for healing and spiritual purposes, especially black men. With daily targets on our backs, we can’t afford to pull the trigger on ourselves by hiding our emotions. We need to let it out, then pick up the shovel and keep digging through life. From this day forward, let’s look at crying as a form of release, rather than an act of weakness. Let’s reach out if our mind is overwhelmed with thoughts and feelings. Let’s come together so that we won’t have to witness another untimely outpouring of social media support for a fallen black brother.