The SonRise Project creator Kelli Richardson Lawson introduces her guest Maliek Blade. He is CEO of Whole Brother Mission, a nonprofit organization devoted to helping men become healthy and whole in every area of their lives. He’s also the author of The Whole Brother: Debunking the Myths that Break the Black Family. In this episode Maliek illuminates a myriad of challenges facing black families including: systemic racism, mental-health, addiction issues, toxic masculinity, absent fathers and the plight of single mothers. Maliek challenges men to unlearn and rethink what it means to be a man and a father. Statements like “boys don’t cry,” or “man up” rob men of their opportunity to express their emotions and to be fully human. He says we’ve mistakenly embraced the idea that emotions are inherently feminine. Maliek presents what a healthy view of what black manhood and masculinity should look like.