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1Xtra Talks: Brave Conversations - Week 4: Brotherhood

Richie Brave, Presenter of the 1Xtra Talks Presents... Brave Conversations podcast.

I often think about what it is to be a Black man in Britain and I have never come up with the same answer.

I keep being led to complex identities that never quite fit into any specific box. Some years ago I wrote: “I put it to you that not all black men are traditionally ‘masculine’, neither do they want to be and neither should they be. They should be free to grow in a way that is restricted only by the borders of their own self love”.

I think that rings true now more than ever.

There is almost an induction into masculinity and manhood that can feel very violent. It's as if the gentleness and emotion is forcefully choked out of us in order to survive. You can feel it on the streets, in school, at home, in music, and on the television to name a few sources. It penetrates every part of you. The stage has been set and you are expected to perform.

It’s a very restrictive view of our experience that never hits the mark and robs us of a lot. It ignores the beauty of brotherhood, the magic of Black boyhood, the strength in our vulnerability, the importance of our emotional needs and the hope of our futures. In losing loved ones and seeing the impact these restrictions had on Black boys and men like myself, I made a point of trying to disturb that narrative.

This episode is important to me as it mirrors a lot of what I needed to hear when I was young. I always felt like a bit of an outsider and only found my tribe as an adult. It also references everything that I’ve mentioned in this piece. It demonstrates brotherhood perfectly; who we are in all our greatness and all it’s taken to for us to get there.

The time is now for a series of truly honest and reflective programmes, which explore the Black experience in the UK. Hosted by Richie Brave, 1Xtra Talks Presents... Brave Conversations gathers real voices from around the country to turn the mirror on themselves. To tell their stories and discuss the tough questions faced by the Black community. Identity, "the system", and what's next for Black Britain. This series is set to tackle a lot of difficult issues. Subscribe on BBC Sounds to make sure you don't miss a single episode.

The conversation so far...

Week 1: Can You Be Black And British?

‘Black British’ is a term that many of us use to describe ourselves - but what exactly does it mean?

Week 2: The System

Every nation lives in and around systems - but how do they intersect with other parts of our identity?

Week 3: The Black Womxn Experience

As mothers, sisters, academics, artists, activists, teachers, doctors, and much more... Black women and girls are at the heart of the Black Experience.

Week 4: Brotherhood

"The stage has been set and you are expected to perform."

Week 5: The Mirror on Ourselves

"As the host of a podcast called “Brave Conversations” it is important I do just that..."

Week 6: The NextGen

"I want this episode to be a bridge. I want to pass on the baton." What next for the Black community in Britain?