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Can Black Men Ever Cry in Peace?

By on May 28, 2012
chris bosh

Is it ever okay for a guy to cry? How about a grown man who’s in the NBA? What about black men specifically? Many women will say they want their men to be sensitive but not a “punk.” What’s the “sweet spot for brothers? Feelings are meant to be expressed in a healthy way, right?

During last seasons NBA Finals, the Dallas Mavericks put away the Miami Heat and the loss was an emotional one for Chris Bosh. He cried. He has been disturbingly mocked since by the media and the public. Even Nicki Minaj took a jab in a rap song. Now he’s speaking out why he thinks the criticism is out of bounds.

NBA player Chris Bosh recently commented on his emotional breakdown and those who criticized it, saying “To people who made fun of it, I thought it was messed up,” Bosh said. “It [NBA Championship] meant that much to me.”

Crying may be taboo for some but it has real health benefits, like reducing stress. Stress has been linked to a number of health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes and obesity. According to the Minnesota study, crying can help to wash chemicals linked to stress out of our body, one of the reasons we feel much better after a good cry. Higher levels of adrenocorticotrophic (ACTH) have been found in emotional tears (compared to reflex tears).

Removing this chemical from the body is beneficial because it triggers cortisol, the stress hormone – too much of which can lead to health problems associated with stress. Also, it’s apparent that there are likely racial and cultural landmines that seem to excuse crying when its a man of European descent versus African American men. What does it mean for the health and well being of black men when showing emotion is readily mocked?

Health disparity statistics infer that African American males are simply subjected to more stress compared to white males. And sometimes you just have to let it out. So brothers go ahead and cry. It’s healthy. But just in case you or someone you know needs emotional support dial the National Alliance on Mental Illness at (888) 999-6264. 


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