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THRIVE Executive Director's Advice For Black Liberation

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The Black community has a long history of fighting for its rights and achieving upward mobility. However, to truly impact the larger goal of true Black solidarity, it is important for us to center community building and alliance between straight-identified and queer/same-gender-loving (SGL) Black men.

Historically, SGL and straight Black men have been pitted against each other in a battle for acceptance and recognition within the Black community. This division has hindered our collective progress and weakened us as a whole. It is time for us to recognize the power of community building and alliance in achieving liberation for all Black people.

One of the first steps towards building community cohesion is acknowledging and addressing the issues that have caused the division between straight and SGL Black men. Homophobia and transphobia are prevalent within the Black community, and they have contributed to the marginalization and even murder of queer and trans individuals. By acknowledging and addressing these issues, we can create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for the diverse tapestry of Black folx.

Another crucial step towards achieving unity and alliance is fostering open and honest communication. We must create brave spaces where Black men can come together to share their experiences, concerns, and perspectives. Through dialogue and understanding, we can build bridges of solidarity and work towards a common goal of upward mobility for all Black individuals.

It is also important to recognize the unique struggles that straight and queer Black men face. While we share many of the same challenges, there are also specific issues that affect each group differently. For example, straight-identified Black men are disproportionately affected by police brutality, while queer Black men are more likely to experience homelessness and discrimination in the workplace. By recognizing and addressing these differences, we can create more targeted and effective solutions to disrupt these atrocities.

Finally, we must also recognize and celebrate the diversity within our beautiful community. Blackness encompasses a range of identities, experiences, and perspectives. By embracing this diversity and creating space for all individuals to thrive, we can build a stronger, more inclusive, and resilient community.

Building community and alliance between Black SGL and straight-identified men is essential to achieving racial equity and autonomy for all Black people. By acknowledging and addressing the issues that have caused division, fostering open communication, recognizing unique struggles, and celebrating diversity, we can create the healing that is required for a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our community. It is time for us to come together and work towards a common goal of liberation and progress for Blackness as a whole.

Larry L. Scott-Walker
Larry L. Scott-Walker

Larry L. Scott-Walker is the Executive Director and co-founder of THRIVE SS Inc. The company seeks to provide support for Black same gender loving men living with HIV in the Metropolitan Atlanta area by serving as a platform to build community and to share pertinent, lifesaving information, thus creating a pathway to improving health equity.


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