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New Website Aims to Empower Men of Color

adult-1853494_960_720There are nearly 4.5 billion web pages on the Internet today, but only one is casting a spotlight on the real lives of black men in the United States. Jason Rosario’s new online platform, The Lives of Men, aims to open up a dialogue on topics that are rarely discussed amongst men of color, including homosexuality, mental health, and self-image.

“It’s really a platform where men of all backgrounds can come and engage and interact on issues that are most relevant to them,” said Rosario. “And if possible, gain inspiration and a sense of brotherhood as they navigate their life.”

The website was only launched this past Thursday and is still in its early infancy. However, it already features some powerful content, including an emotional video tribute to President Barack Obama, a man who, according to Rosario, embodies all of The Lives of Men’s values.

Rosario was inspired to create his online platform by recent incidents of police brutality around the country. Studies show that people determine another individual’s trustworthiness in about a tenth of a second, and these kinds of rash judgments have led to tragedy in some recent high-profile police shootings. In recent years, the
deaths of innocent African American men at the hands of law enforcement has sparked a nationwide protest movement.

“Terence Crutcher was referred to by a cop from a helicopter 100 feet in the air as looking like a ‘bad’ dude,” Rosario told the Huffington Post. “It gives me pause when I hear people say things like that. I’m 6’4”, I’m over 200 pounds. It makes me feel uncomfortable when I’m walking down the street and people give me looks like I’m a bad dude … we are not being portrayed in a way that’s positive and empowering and inspiring.”

For this and a number of related reasons, Rosario felt compelled to create a safe space for men of color to communicate, share their stories, and show support for each other. He hopes that The Lives of Men will eventually expand beyond the digital world and become a resource for both men and women.

9092942_20170119_2276810“A lot of people have an understanding that the government isn’t going to take care of the black and brown communities,” he said. “We need to do it ourselves.”

Over 100 billion inquiries are made on search engines each month, and — in today’s political climate — many of the search results lead to narratives portraying the black community in a negative light. Make your next Google search for Rosario’s website or click on the link here: The Lives of Men. Read, share, and do your part to rewrite the narrative and help give communities of color the voices they deserve.

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