Dear Black Man, I See You

book by Tonza Ruffin

Today I am continuing my quest to put positive energy and love out in the universe!

One of my cousins who has been married for over 20 years told me about how her husband has never said one word in all of the years they have been together about… (I respect that the details are not mine to share, and the details really don’t matter). When I am in their presence, I can feel the love and connection.

A couple of years ago, I went to an 80 plus birthday celebration for another cousin. His wife talked about all of the love he had shown her over the many years they had been together. When I watched her, I could feel her sense of peace and happiness. When I watched them, I could feel the love and connection.

Then there is my cousin who, not too many years ago, beat breast cancer. Her husband did everything as she focused on healing from her bilateral mastectomy and radiation. I mean everything – he combed her hair, got her dressed, fed her, lifted her, took her to the doctor, cleaned their home, everything. The fact that her husband did everything came as no surprise to anyone in our family. The presence of love and connection was there well before this life challenge. When I asked my cousin how long they had been married, she told me 31 years. What blew my mind was when my cousin told me they went on their first date on July 8, 1988! She actually remembered their first date! And, to this day describes her husband as AMAZING!

I also often think about my feisty cousin and her husband. He was definitely the yin to her yang, never trying to get her to alter any part of her outgoing, opinionated, expressive personality. I always loved to be in their presence because I knew they were some of the lucky ones—the ones who found the person meant to be their life companion. My cousin and her husband were married for 71 years (March 5, 1943), and during that 71 years, they built a wonderful life together that included parenting three beautiful children!

Kathyrn and St. Paul Epps
Kathyrn and St. Paul Epps

These are just a few examples of all of the Black Men in my family that have, and do, “show up” for the women they love. Thinking about all of the men I could point to made me start thinking about ALL of the BLACK MEN that “show up” for the women they love. This led to DEAR BLACK MAN, I SEE YOU. I initially called it a small book of affirmations for the Black Men that “show up” for the women they love, but that is not accurate. 

DEAR BLACK MAN, I SEE YOU is a simple acknowledgement. An acknowledgement that good Black Men EXIST, are APPRECIATED, and are SEEN. 

There is enough attention being spent on the men that we need to stay away from. I want to spend more time focusing on the men we need to keep close.

Much Love,


P.S. The best part of Dear Black Man, I See You is I left several pages blank at the end for you to acknowledge that man in your life as you see fit!

Published by Tonza D. Ruffin

Perfectly Imperfect but VERY PROUD WOMAN, MOM, LAWYER, and AUTHOR, but most importantly...LIFE LOVER! I laugh loud, I work hard, I play hard, I am adventurous, I am curious, I am driven, I have moments of deep insecurity, I am loving, I am vulnerable, I am explosive (not one of my finer qualities), I dance around my house alone, I am an awful perfectionist which makes my insecurity worse, I sing out loud in my car without any concern for whose watching, I have trust issues, I do not live through my children, I no longer try to force my children into the mold that I created so that I could feel validated as a mother, I am a risk-taker, I am guarded in my personal life, I am kind, I am grateful. I am so excited about the rest of my life!

2 thoughts on “Dear Black Man, I See You

  1. Thanks Cuz for recognizing that there are some truly good Black Men out here who love their wives children and other in there families. As always keep doing the good work for those who can’t or who are afraid to speak up for themselves love you much ❤❤❤

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