The Importance of Co-Created Spaces for Black men to connect with other Black men, and the Impacts on the Women in their lives

“Unlike women, who are encouraged to foster deep platonic intimacy from a young age, American men—with their puffed up chests, fist bumps, and awkward side hugs—grow up believing that they should not only behave like stoic robots in front of other men, but that women are the only people they are allowed to turn to for emotional support—if anyone at all. And as modern relationships continue to put pressure on “the one” to be The Only One (where men cast their wives and girlfriends to play best friend, lover, career advisor, stylist, social secretary, emotional cheerleader, mom—to him, their future kids, or both—and eventually, on-call therapist minus the $200/hour fee), this form of emotional gold digging is not only detrimental to men, it’s exhausting an entire generation of women.”

This article was shared with me by a friend of mine, who mentioned that they saw a connection in the article (Men Have No Friends and Women Bear the Burden); which was talking about the need for men co-creating spaces to talk with other men about various things that they as men maybe navigating in their lives. The article highlighted that a lot of these men do not have other male friends as they grow older in life, or see the need to utilize a therapist to speak about their issues; in turn these men are speaking to the women in their lives about these issues, and this emotional work is exhausting on the women in their lives. This friend of mine, made a connection to the importance of the work that Black Daddies Club is doing through the Sunday Dinners monthly online gatherings for Black men, in giving permission, an invitation for these Black men to be vulnerable with themselves and with each other.

The article resonated with me as someone who is a Black man, a Black father and someone who is going through a four year separation process from a 16 year marriage. I had my three children in my early 20’s, and with each of my sons that were born, my time with my male friends, became less and less, I made this choice so that I could immerse myself into fatherhood as I did not have this kind of relationship with my own father and I wanted a different experience with my sons, with that being said, i would not change a thing. However, I realized that during my separation process, I had no male friends to turn to speak to about all the emotional issues that were coming up for me. I have seen various therapists over the past four years, which has been helpful, however I still had the need to connect with other Black men, and practice how to be vulnerable and honest with these men, and co-create an environment in which other Black men can do the same.

This was one of the reasons why Black Daddies Club, co-created Sunday Dinners for Black men, as my need grew during the COVID-19 pandemic for connection with other Black men and Black fathers who were in similar situations or thought processes. Understanding that Sunday Dinners are disrupting some foundational toxic things that a lot of what was taught about what it meant to be a real man, which is one of the reasons that I do not care to be “man enough” any more. (video link is Justin Baldoni, who wants to start a dialogue with men about redefining masculinity).

The Black Daddies Club co-presents Sunday Dinners, monthly online gathering for Black men, takes place on the last Sunday of every month on the Zoom platform. The Sunday Dinners gatherings are for Black men in all of our entry points; heterosexual, LGBTQ2S+, Living with a disability, etc., if you identify as a Black man, then the Sunday Dinners space welcomes you. The next Sunday Dinners takes place on Sunday, May 30th, from 5pm to 8pm, you can register at Eventbrite to attend this free event.