The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Poet stresses love as key to manhood

By Matthew McConathy/reporter

The greatest strength in manhood is to show love, a guest speaker said at the Men of Color mentoring kick-off event on TR Campus. 

Students and faculty attended the Feb. 2 event for the program that offers mentorship to students to succeed in college and have life direction.

Omari “King Wise” Barksdale, a Detroit poet and artist, shared with students the main conceptions of manhood and toxic masculinity. He began by explaining what society believes masculinity should be — showing strength and no weakness, not showing emotion or empathy and having an “alpha male complex.”

People in today’s society of male dominance, which controls the media, corporations, education and politics, exclude women, Barksdale said.

“We live on the same planet, but we act like we are in different universes,” he said.

Toxic masculinity causes men to degrade, talk down to, separate and treat others unjustly, Barksdale said.

“The one thing that connects us to humanity is empathy,” he said.

To begin, men should instead build a foundation of treating women with respect, having a foundation of understanding, having bystander awareness to not let violence continue against women and halting it when it takes place, Barksdale said. Also men should put themselves in a position to brighten the future for children with truth and empowerment, he said.

“The desire to build instead of destroy and compliment rather than control and have empathy instead of injustice,” he said.

The more empathy men have, the more understanding they have for women. They should not try to control them or treat them like objects, Barksdale said.

“The idea is that one can be proud of masculinity without having a negative effect on women,” said TR student Daisy Dillmann. “Let’s have morality.”

Barksdale hoped that his message would change the attitude of students.

“There’s nothing more to manhood than embracing love,” he said.

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