“The Silence Ends Now: A.B. Bracewell’s Urgent Call to Address Sexual Miseducation of Black Men in America”

For over the past 12 years, A.B. Bracewell has dedicated his life to helping families, couples, and singles with building healthy relationships through his work as a family-based therapist, school-based clinician, psychotherapist, and clinical supervisor in the mental health field. 

A.B. Bracewell has taken his dedication to helping to another level by writing “THE SEXUAL MISEDUCATION OF BLACK MEN IN AMERICA”  

Shelly Shell:  What are some of the highlights of your THE SEXUAL MISEDUCATION OF BLACK MEN IN AMERICA book launch event? 

Adam B. Bracewell:  The book was officially released on March 18th. At the launch, we had an all-male panel speaking about the how, what, when, and who taught them about sex growing up. They discussed their sexual miseducation influences and how their conditioning impacted their view on sex, relationships, and themselves. We also had the brothers from Omega Si Phi Incorporated, and young men from Greater Exodus Mime ministry perform at the book launch.

Shelly Shell:  What inspired you to write The Sexual Miseducation of Black Men in America? Can you share a little about your personal journey in understanding and addressing the issue of sexual conditioning in the Black community?

Adam B. Bracewell:  I believe that much of what we have been taught about sex has been completely wrong, toxic, and destructive to our communities, our female counterparts, our children, and ourselves. I wanted to explore and explain the psychological, emotional, behavioral, and relational impact that sexual conditioning has had on us as Black men. This book is designed to break the cycle of unhealthy sexual patterns for future and current generations.

My parents never talked to me about sex during my childhood. I never had a responsible and reliable man teach me about sexuality.  My first exposure to and lessons about sex came from watching pornographic movies, finding X-rated magazines, listening to older boys in my neighborhood, and music and music videos. None of these teachers were qualified to teach me about sex, relationships, or women.  In order to address the issue, I first had to explore the effects that my sexual miseducation has had on my understanding of manhood. I had to study how it reflects on my self-esteem. I examined the pain that my sexual miseducation has caused inside of me, as well as the pain it has made me create in the lives of others.

Shelly Shell:  How do you define “sexual miseducation,” and what are some of the most harmful myths and stereotypes that Black men are taught about sex and relationships?

Adam B. Bracewell:  I define sexual miseducation as the unhealthy and destructive lessons that we learned about sex. The lessons we are taught contribute to the toxification of our community. Whether it is fatherless homes, a decrease in the birth rate in the black community, supplying the school-to-prison pipeline, the misuse of women, or the abandonment of our children, the sexual miseducation system plays a part in all of it.  From a young age, we are taught that sex is casual and meaningless, sowing our wild oats. It is created just to satisfy our hominess, put on a performance,  and establish our manhood. We are never taught to care about how these behaviors impact others and ourselves in a negative way.

Shelly Shell:  What do you hope readers will take away from your book? How do you envision it contributing to a larger conversation around healthy sexuality and relationships in the Black community?

Adam B. Bracewell:  I hope that readers will explore the impact that their sexual miseducation has had on every aspect of their lives as Black men.  I want to re-educate the next generation of men on how to value themselves by teaching them real ways to measure their manhood and combating the notion that manhood is based on the number of women that they sleep with or how well they perform in the bedroom.  I hope this will help parents of our community understand what it will take to grow their prince into that position of king.  I also hope that this book will assist Black men with overcoming one of our biggest struggles, the temptation of casual and meaningless sex. I believe that this alone has stopped millions of us from living up to our full potential.  

 Shelly Shell:  In your opinion, what are some of the biggest challenges facing Black men in their efforts to unlearn negative sexual conditioning and build fulfilling relationships?

Adam B. Bracewell:  The biggest challenge is that negative sexual conditioning has been ingrained in us for so long. There is not a race or ethnic group that has had an experience that even comes close to what Black men in America have been entangled with. There are no other groups of men that have had the type of sexual history tied to the land. There is no record of any other men who have experienced the mental, physical, and systematic castration that Black men have experienced in America. Unlearning these behaviors and counter-conditioning our mindset is a huge task that I am willing to take on.

Shelly Shell:  You mention the importance of re-educating the next generation of Black men. What advice do you have for parents or mentors who want to support young men in developing healthy attitudes toward sex and relationships?

Adam B. Bracewell:  First, open up the lines of communication. Seek to understand what your boys are experiencing.  Gone are the days of telling boys to “leave those fast girls alone,” “wrap it up,” or “don’t bring no babies in this house.”  Real conversations about sex in Black homes are still very taboo. Also, we must educate ourselves and practice the proper ways of managing our sexuality before we can re-educate the next generation of men.  This book will be a great resource for getting that conversation started.

Shelly Shell:  Can you speak to the ways in which toxic masculinity and patriarchal norms intersect with sexual miseducation in the Black community? How can we begin to dismantle these harmful ideologies?

Adam B. Bracewell:  Our sexual miseducation helps to intoxicate masculinity by teaching Black boys and men false ways to measure their manhood.  It conditions men to believe that their value, status, and existence are based on the size of their genitals, how many women they can sleep with, and how well they perform in the bedroom.  When we combine that dysfunctional way of viewing manhood with the mismanagement of the privilege of being male, we often find ourselves taking advantage of others. The only way to dismantle this ideology is to begin to teach boys real measurements of manhood, with things like honesty, character, integrity, protection, family, and righteousness.

Shelly Shell:  Finally, what’s next for you and your work in addressing sexual miseducation and promoting healthy masculinity in the Black community? Are there any upcoming projects or initiatives that you’re excited about?

Adam B. Bracewell:  My mentorship program is in the grassroots stage. It is called S.M.O.B.M., which stands for Supporting the Maturation Of Black Boys to Manhood. The book was released in March, and the goal is to get the book and its messages to the masses. 

For more information, go to https://www.ready4relationship.com/