“I Am a Man”: Narrative Essay of a Photograph
I am he who walks the earth, invisible. I am he who gets knocked down for being me. I am defined by the pigmentation of my skin. I am defined as the victimizer, but really the victim. I am he who fights, but never wins. I am a Man. I am a black man, deprived of my manhood. And yet I stand, fighting, predisposed to think that one day I too will be seen as who I really am. A Man. How does one evoke the image of manhood? Or in simpler terms, what is a man? Being a man, in society’s eyes, means to be the head of a household, to earn a salary sufficient enough to support a family, and to have a voice in politics. How does a black man, living in Memphis, Tennessee, consummate these notions set out for me? I do all that I possibly can to make ends meet, but my children still go to bed hungry. Every day I am out looking for a job, but every day I am estranged. And when it comes to politics, the only voice I’m allowed to have is when I am sitting at the bar with other brothers discussing the many issues in society. How do I get to the place of manhood?
“The only way to get through this time is to fight, son. You fight with love and with truth. Ain’t nobody gonna give you nothing in this world. What you get you work hard for. But remember this, there’s only one person who can stop you and that’s you. You fight until the war is won. You fight for me, your children, your grandchildren, and generations to come,” my father was right, to win this war I had to press on and fight. But, am I really capable of such a task? Who will ever listen to me? All I am in this world is an added problem to society. I, myself, wrangle with the exception of, me. I look in the mirror, and I fear the man that I see. His eyes are as dark as death’s eye. They define dander and discomfort. His full, dark, lips are gripped together tightly, hiding any form of happiness that could be found. His nappy textured hair depicts those of slaves. His...
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