This evening I went on Tumblr as I waited for my friend to get off of the phone and I came across a picture of the rapper, Nas with his arms around a man. Without reading the supporting text, I guessed that the man was his father. There was something about the way he held the older man. After I read the text, it was confirmed. The text that reads across the image says, “Love Comes in Every Shade.”
There is a major crisis in America today. The average family does not include both biological parents in one household. As a result, children are raised by one parent or have a step parent. This is especially common in minority communities.
In the media, your average black kid is raised solely by his mother who is working several jobs to take care of the entire family alone. The father is either unknown or wants no part in the child’s life. This situation is very common in reality, but it does not represent every minority family.
I am a minority and I was raised by both of my parents. My parents are still together, they both work, and both play major roles in my life. I have plenty of other friends where this is also the situation. It is sad that minority families rarely are represented in this way.
I appreciate that Nas posed for this Gap poster. As a rapper, there is a desire to prove manhood. But through lyrics, manhood is described with violence, abuse, and power. These lyrics have transpired throughout different mediums as well.
Men typically are not shown showing affection to others, especially other men. It is seen as weak or feminine. It is as if loving others is a bad thing. Love is not feminine. A man who loves his child is a real man. A man who takes care of his family is a real man. By Nas posing for this, he is showing that his father was a real man. All the stuff that people think makes a man has nothing to do with it.
Men can love. Men do love. Not just white men. Any man of any race, creed, or color can love.