Uplifting brothers through the 'Chronicles of a Black Man'
At a time when many question whether or not some of the men in our society have failed to stand up and be counted, one man is ensuring that he plays his part in empowering his fellow brothers through poetic writings.
Martin Matthews, born and raised in the Mike Town District in the parish, knew from an early age that his life would never be average and that with his skills and talents, he needed to effect change.
Having studied at The Mico Teachers' College, Matthews soon migrated to Florida, where he now holds the position of operations manager at Sysco Food Services, the largest food distributor in North America.
But with all that he has accomplished, nothing compares to creatively putting thoughts on paper, hence his book, Chronicles of a Black Man.
"In Jamaica today, we see some males expressing themselves in ways that are not conducive to behaviours that depict individuals worthy of emulating. Too often, we see violence and aggression towards women as mediums for the male expression. The poems included in the Chronicles of a Black Man use intellect and creative use of language to express oneself, not only in the area of love or positive feelings, but also neglect, rejection and feelings that are not easily expressed."
According to Matthews, "The Chronicles of a Black Man gives men a voice to express emotions in a positive way that are usually not expressed at all or expressed in ways that infringe upon the rights of women. The book provides the framework within which men can identify situations they are dealing with and more productive ways to process them."
Matthews explained that while men share certain universal norms, the purpose of the book is to take those norms and recreate them in such a way as to provide insight and guidance to other men.
"It also provides an orientation for females as to the dynamics of a productive and sustainable relationship between a male and a female. Being a man is not a title ascribed based on age: it is a destination arrived at after certain developmental hurdles have been overcome. To achieve this, both boys and girls alike require the guidance of a positive male figure to add perspective to their role in society."
Having recently remarried, Matthew says his wife is also a major inspiration behind some of the work included here, "not only in the sense of being written to her, but as an exploration of the heart and various waves of emotions one goes through when starting over and rediscovering love after heartbreak."
He added, "A female needs to have an idea as to how she is to be treated by a man. A boy needs to have an understanding as to how to treat a woman. Positive male role models can give individuals introduction to love, regret, anxiety, dealing with stress and also sensitise them about their roles and responsibilities."
Chronicles of a Black Man can be found at Fontana Pharmacy, Mandeville; Christiana Pharmacy in Manchester; MoBay Arts in Orlando, Florida; and Amazon.com; or by contacting Jamaican distributor, Jason Bell @ 876-371-2333 firstname.lastname@example.org or International Distributor, Martin Matthews@4079148436 email@example.com for further clarification or purchase.