89.1 WEMU

Awareness Of A Different Mindset To Improve The Lives Of African American Men

Feb 6, 2020

(From L to R) Nate Frazier and Keyon Purite at the WEMU studio.
Credit Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU
An Ypsilanti Township event intended to help African American men feel comfortable with their emotions and communication has become more popular than expected.  WEMU’s Lisa Barry talks with Nate Frazier and Keyon Purite in a conversation that touches on many important topics including how emotions impact your overall life experience and what that life experience is like for a black man in 2020.


(From L to R) Keyon Purite, Lisa Barry, and Nate Frazier at the WEMU studio.
Credit Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

Nate Frazier and Keyon Purite believe when you hold your emotions inside, it leads to other things like violence, abuse, and mental anguish.  They host a podcast to address issues along those lines hoping to make a difference in the lives of the African American male, they say, who is taught to keep his emotions inside.  They plan to sit down with people and be open honest and transparent with each other and deal with emotions at their upcoming community summit.  They say one of the goals is to get rid of the stigma of “ being another weak Black man by showing emotions.”

Frazier and Purite say they want to share a different perspective and outlook and to tell people “what you've been through and the way you look at your life and find yourself is the key to success and having a great life.”  Frazier suggests meditation and education as ways to find out who you are to change your mindset.

Frazier adds, “What you think and how you feel affect your emotions and impacts how you look at life and how you live day by day.”  He says, “We act based on our emotions and feelings, and if they're not OK, it leads to destruction.”

The event is taking place during Black History Month, but Frazier says that is more of a coincidence than a planned effort.  When asked to share the state of the Black man in 2020, Frazier said, “We've come a long way, but we've got a long way to go," adding, "The person most looked down in the world is the Black man.”

Purite says their goal is to get Black men to understand who they are as men and that they can be successful in anything they want to do, but he says it comes through work and identifying who they are.  Ultimately, both men want those attending the summit to leave “becoming the messenger and sharing the lessons.”

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu