Yes, you have read the title correctly: Let’s talk about sex. No, not in the extremely fun and wild way. No, not in the extremely boring high-school sex-education way, either. I want to share some views on sex that really get you to think logically and critically.
I would like to talk about sex in a way that will really get you to think about what is going on in the people area of sex for the Black community. So, this is not about the birds and the bees. However, this may give you wings to go to new heights and may sting a bit in the process.
In the past month of October we have had a few stories that involved Black folks in a very interesting and discouraging way. Two stories were local and gained national attention. Another one came out of Florida, which in the past two years has been ripe with discouraging news in regards to Black people.
The two stories that hit close to home were the unfortunate death of star NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP) running back Adrian Peterson’s son and the nine-year-old boy who ran away to Las Vegas by managing to board an airplane.
The other story was one that you may have heard about from Florida, where Devion Only, a 15-year-old Black male, attended church on a Sunday and begged the congregation (or anyone) to adopt him.
Now, what do an MVP football star, a nine-year-old runaway, and a 15-year-old orphan have in common? The main common denominator is sex — more specifically, when sex is used for recreation. When we play with it, the joke is on the children.
In some areas on the continent of Africa, many natives historically greeted one another by saying, “Casserian engeri?” which translates into English as “How are the children?” This acknowledged the high value placed on the children’s well-being.
The priorities of protecting the young and the powerless are essential. This greeting is a consistent reminder among those people not to forget their reason for being, their proper function, and their eternal responsibilities.
Sadly, if we go by the news headlines and common stories we hear and see on a daily basis, my answer to this question would have to be, “Not well.” Our children are in danger from many angles. We must be more mindful of with whom, why and how we are having sex.
Are we having sex to cope with unaddressed issues? Are we having sex due to status and access? Are we having sex without the intent of having children and ending up with them anyway?
These are questions we must address on an individual and communal level. If we do not, we will continue to see unfortunate and discouraging stories like those we have been subjected to in this last month of October.
In the great words of Dr. Frances Cress-Welsing, “When we play with sex, the joke is on the offspring!” These past few weeks highlighted this notion. As a collective, our future as a community is being compromised daily with our carelessness in producing children. Sex is great, fun and necessary. However, when we engage in it we must be intentional in protecting ourselves from unwanted outcomes.
When engaging in sex (amongst other things), we must begin to be proactive instead of reactive. As Black folks, if we want to claim we are a community, if we believe we have a future, we must begin to think and act critically around the issue of sex. As a collective our children are not well. Black children are in danger!
Brandon Jones M.A. is a mental health practitioner. He welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on twitter@UniversalJones.