Home Grown Black Males

Harnessing the power of pressure by Wesley Agee

Like a diamond formed by the weight of the Earth, I feel an immense pressure to perform as a student, a son, a father, a husband-to-be, and a young black man. The pressure of these roles could make or break a man and reveal to the world his true character – especially during the most desperate of times. I find it quite ironic that the most intense pressure has the power to create diamonds – a substance we hold so dear we buy them for our partners as a symbol of our love.

I learned from my parents to embrace hard times. My mother raised four children – mostly by herself and usually with her own philosophy: “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” It’s difficult to fathom how single mothers are able to consistently keep the lights on and the water hot. She taught me resilience and ingenuity.

More recently, my family has been dealing with a substantial amount of pressure. My oldest brother was involved in a near-fatal car accident this February that left him paralyzed from the chest down. Now paraplegic, he has been subjected to a wheelchair. This has taken a toll on us all – effectively redefining roles of every single family member to part-time caregivers. It has made my family assume roles that we never imagined. This is something we have all embraced head-on, including my brother. His dedication to physical therapy comes from his aspirations of walking and gaining independence. This misfortune merely serves as motivation – an indication of the power in pressure. Read more here.

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