Jay Simpson, a former Champaign Central High School and Purdue basketball standout, writes for The News-Gazette. He can be reached at

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Being Black is beautiful and scary at the same time.

Every time we step foot outside of our homes. we are taking a risk. People may not look at it this deep, but I always do, because I understand the severity of it.

As Black men, we have to understand that we are the most loved and the most hated people in America.

If you have an outstanding athletic ability or can make a good song, they will love you until you fall off.

Let me rephrase that: They never really love us; they just love what we can do.

Once we stop being beneficial, then we aren’t important and are back to being seen as a threat.

People are intimidated by us before they even get to know us, and it isn’t fair.

Just because we do things differently does not make us bad or dangerous.

We are humans with families just like every other race, and we deserve a fair chance.

Black men are born with everything stacked against us.

We should be more appreciated whenever we do succeed at things other than sports or music, because that is what they expect of us already.

We are more than just that.

Black men are powerful, we are loving, and most of all, we are human.

Jay Simpson writes for The News-Gazette. His column appears Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. He can be reached at

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