Soul Fiber: Tell Our Black Men That They Matter

I came to give life with joy and abundance. John 10:10 The Voice

While grocery shopping Wednesday, I would extend my hand to every Black man I saw and say “be encouraged. You are loved, worthy, and smart. Don’t let the system get you down. Live your heart’s desire. We’re praying for you.” Every one of them said “thank you. I appreciate your words of encouragement.” I shared this idea with several of my colleagues one of which said she was going to start doing the same thing. That is what needed – that we all support our Black men with encouragement. Encourage them to wear condoms (you know they are going to have sex), to practice self-love and awareness, to join the military when they cannot find jobs, to know their rights and otherwise keep their mouths shut if stopped by the police. Don’t you know the system is still trying to diminish the esteem of Black people – by any means?

My colleague and friend, Reverend Madison T. Shockley, Pastor of Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad, CA, is a regular commentator for the Huffington Post. We are reposting excerpt from his recently posted article about Ferguson. Please read the article at

PictureI so wanted to believe that this time would be different; that this time a black man would get the benefit of justice. But I was wrong. There would be no indictment of Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown….[Although] Witnesses had testified that Brown was in the act of surrendering. How could the officer not be held accountable? “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” became the mantra of those calling for justice for Mike Brown. It is an expression of the utter futility felt by black people in this country that there is anything like “equal justice under the law….” Some have responded to the ruling with rage. That’s what we see in the burning, looting and rioting in Ferguson. Incredulous commentators, reporters and others ask the perennial yet irrelevant question, “Why do they burn down their own community?” Rage is not rational. Rage only asks, “How do I make you understand the pain that I am feeling?” Rage burns where it lives; it does not travel well. Rage is more a form of self-flagellation than a strategic attack on injustice.”

“I asked my son, Madison III, how he felt about the verdict. He said, “I feel like I’m wearing the jersey of the losing team the day after the Super Bowl.” The jersey, of course, is black skin. A jersey we can never take off.”

We all can also have a tremendous impact by encouraging and telling our black men that they matter.

Please pray for American and Coalition soul’s killed-in-action,

their families and, especially their children.


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