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Sex and Employment: The Value of the Black Man in America
By: Ehimwenma E. Aimiuwu
2006
 

 

I was born tall and proud with a golden spoon in my mouth.  I was one of the privileged Americans, who were raised in the continent of God’s creation - Africa.   My future was always bright and it was written on my forehead.  When I returned to God’s own country, the United States, I noticed two disturbing facts that made me realize that the life a man lives was entirely not his own.  It appeared that one’s life was influenced by some level of external forces, be it God, or the worldly system of man.  I noticed that the African American man was considered and treated as insignificant by the American society, and that their women had no respect for them.  This was a cultural shock to me, because as a man, I was very important where I came from.  The level of importance for men was almost the same all over the world, based on the multi-cultural books I had read and the TV shows that I had watched.  In order to maintain my sanity and value, I had to pretend that I was better than the Africans who grew up in America, irrespective of if they came on the slave ship or by choice.

 

 

 

When I was in college, I realized that many African American women had no faith in marriage, so some started their family early as teenage single mothers.  They claimed that marriage was for their European counterparts, because they had no men of value to marry them.  Instead of building value in character and personality to secure a husbandly mate, it was more beneficial to invest in their career, since they would most likely have to raise their children themselves away from their sperm donors.  Many of them clearly stated that they would never find an African American man on their economical and educational level.  They publicly labeled their men in magazines and conferences, as boys, sperms, big babies, penises, and dogs.  This was degrading for a man.  Despite the fact that I was raised in Nigeria, I am actually an African American man.  I began to observe from my African worldview that there were always two kinds of men – The productive and ambitious men, and the consuming and dependant men. 

 

I soon realized that the African American women were more interested in the consuming men.  These men got all the women and sex they wanted, and helped to reproduce many of the next generation at a very early age.  This blew my mind out of water because I was told growing up that the most productive men got all the women. Why so much value on consumers and dependence?  I then noticed that many of the productive African American boys, were either single or had European, Hispanic, or foreign women of African descent as girlfriends.  This was so disturbing that I had to inquire about it and I found out that the women felt that the productive boys were arrogant and felt that they were all that.  I always thought women looked for men higher than they are, but according to the book “A Calabash Never Sinks”, a lot of our women look for men beneath them.  I was not worried because I knew some day that I would find out why women who claimed that they could not find men on their level where more interested in consuming men that productive men, who were not only on their level, but sometimes higher. 


Soon, I graduated with my MBA and was ready to take on the job world.  I even moved from Ohio to Atlanta, Georgia to make the best out of this fast growing city.  My first job was that of a Business Analyst.  I went to work for a whole month without having any job to do but was receiving a paycheck.  I felt dishonorable and unaccomplished and went to demand some work to do.  They would usually give me some spreadsheet to play with that was of no value to anything.  With much persistence, they finally gave me a project that was far above my head.  The director even wrote me up for not doing the project properly.  Afterwards, she asked the supervisors to show me how it was done.  To God be the glory, not a single soul in the entire department could comprehend the project, including the director.  An outside help had to be requested for a project that was only made up to discourage me. 

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I left that job only to realize that a good job that matched my qualification was hard to come by.  When ever I applied for a descent paying job in my field, expertise, and salary range, I would never get a call.  With time passing by, I would apply for any job with less pay, just to get an interview and ultimately pay the piling bills.  Then, I noticed that I was the most wanted employee in America.  Before I knew what was happening, it seemed that I was beginning to succumb to the culture of “settle for less”.  To have income that allowed me to put my head above water for the main time until something descent came by became a gospel tradition. Nothing descent would come by no matter how I applied.  At the same time, a lot of productive African American men were also frustrated because their sisters and girl friends had multiple good jobs to pick from, but all they had, if any at all, was that same little paying job they settled for the year before.  I eventually got a part-time instructor position at a college, which was pretty descent.  After my first year, which was above satisfactory, I asked for a full-time position.  I was told that they usually required people to belong to a certain church to become full-time.  Before I knew what was happening, an African American woman, who was teaching fewer classes than me, was given double the number of classes I was teaching, despite the fact that she already had a full-time teaching position at another college. 

 

 

 

How come our qualified women get jobs easily?  They also get promoted and get to management positions very fast.  From observation, they are usually in the human resources department.  You would think that they will assist their qualified productive men get into these companies, but in reality, they usually ask the tricky and eliminating questions during the interviews.  It has become obvious that they might be encouraged to play the “tough bad girl” role as part of their job, so that the rest can’t be labeled as “racist”.  After all, they can not find men in their level to marry, so it is wiser for them to protect their career than assist a man who is a social nuisance to them.  It has been said that since slavery days, while the man slave was in the field slaving away for days without food or clothes, the woman slave was in the house with the master’s family, eating and drinking the leftovers.  American has transformed from a physical to a mental and information society, so the African American women now has access to the jobs and the income, while their men are either unemployed out of frustration or settle for incomes below their qualifications.

 

It then dawned on me that after all these years; the American cultural perspective of the Black man now came all together.  The truth is that the productive and ambitious Black man has no place in the American labor force unless he wants to start a business of his own.  Unconsciously, the African American women have long figured this out.  She knows that he is most likely bluffing and isn’t going to get far, unless he can start his own business.  Instead, she caters to the needs of the consuming and dependant partner, who neither has much nor can say much.  She takes care of him, his needs, and his babies, which gives her a feeling of contributing or giving back to her society.  To her, he is her future partner for social value and not necessary her “husband”.  In the American unconscious psyche, the real Black man is a dependent consumer while the productive Black man is an outcast, even to his females at an earlier age.  To the few productive Black men, who make it through the cracks of the labor force to top positions, they are usually powerless and toothless shadows, who are just grateful to be there.  Many know that they do not deserve to be there and they will do nothing about the situation either.