As Black men we face a thousand micro-aggressions on a daily basis. Whether it’s subtle racism on a job to conflicts with our own women to subtle challenges from other Black men we go through a lot. It’s even a micro-aggression to have to worry about if we are looking at a woman the wrong way. We can even face subtle micro-aggression when we are in a restaurant and we wonder if the bad service we are getting is because the server is bad or is it racial thing. It’s a lot of stress on a man. Black men must build a sanctuary to escape that madness.
A sanctuary is can either be a place or a mindset where a man can go to simply relax and recharge after dealing so much during the day. For some men who are single and childless it’s relatively easy to build a sanctuary. He just needs his own place and the willingness to unplug from social media. Indeed many do that.
Some men, because they have people living with them, cannot simply retreat to their homes. Many men, however, will have a man cave in their homes which everyone else knows is simply off limits. Some men will give their wife and kids money to go out and do whatever. It’s important that any Black man has at least a few moments of peace.
Sometimes men may leave the home and go to the Black men’s country club, the barbershop. Unfortunately many barbershops are sharing space with hair salons so that type is sanctuary is disappearing.
One type of sanctuary is when a man gets out of a long term relationship. Some men may try to find another woman right away but I would advise against that. Once a man leaves a relationship he needs to spend a few months by himself just to reflect and figure out his direction in life. I’ve done that twice and found the time alone to be very beneficial. I was able to make great strides which brings me to another point.
The main issue with the micro-aggressions that Black men face on a daily basis is that they are very distracting. As a man you’re supposed to focus on your purpose and building your empire and the server is slow with bringing your food. You’re trying to think about a business idea and a Black woman doesn’t say thank you after you hold a door for her. You’re thinking about a community project and the manager of the coffee shop you’re in is dialing the police. You’re mind isn’t free to do what it’s supposed to do.
The thing is that the micro-aggressions won’t stop anytime soon. Indeed in this current political environment they will likely increase. In many cases Black men will have to develop tough skin for the little stuff and be prepared to respond to the bigger stuff with force if necessary. It is what it is. Whatever the case men are going to have find time for themselves.
I spoke of physical sanctuaries but there are also mental ones as well. For at least fifteen minutes a day Black men need to just find someplace and meditate. Just tune out everybody. Sometimes this can be done in the home. Sometimes this can be done while on the job. For example when I had a more corporate existence I would stay to myself during lunch breaks. On the way home from work I would find one of the numerous parks in downtown DC and just sit and watch the squirrels and pigeons get their hustle on for scraps of food. Sometimes I would just walk around oblivious to everything.
To all Black men reading this find that sanctuary.