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North Jersey Pastor: Weeping Over Kobe Is Uniting People, Breaking Stereotypes of Black Men


photo: Rev. Eric Brewer and his daughter, Elana Joy

By Rev. Eric Brewer, M. Div.

“Jesus wept!” I have been crying every day since Sunday.

It seems the older you get the more you cry about things that really matter. The premature death of people, the presence of God, the breath taking moments, and those special and unforgettable life events shared with love ones that brands everlasting memories in your heart causes tears!

I’m so moved by the diversity of people posting, expressing their grief, and emotions behind the tragic deaths of Kobe Bryant, GiGi, and the seven other beautiful people. Our country needs major healing and there are common experiences everyone can relate to such as love, death, and pain! For years, the false persona of African-American Masculinity was fearless, anger, hard, and emotionless, only to find out that black men cry and feel pain like any other human being.

This week I have seen more public display of Black men crying than any other time I can remember. Shaq sobbing on national TV along with his anchor brothers touched everyone who witnessed this open display of love for Kobe and the regret of not spending more quality time with people he loves.

I believe Kobe exemplified the victorious warrior on the court that feeds that competitive hunger in the spectator; however, in retirement, he exemplified the girl-dad relationship every father should display towards their daughter. As negative stereotypes try to depict negative images of Black men, there are millions of girl-dads that take their roles seriously! My heart and prayers goes out to all the girl-dads that cried this week as Jesus cried for his friend Lazarus. Tears are good! You can’t say, “I love you” enough! Keep every relationship current and love your family! If no one told you that you are loved, I love You! Better days are coming!

Rev. Eric Brewer, M. Div., is the senior pastor of Rhema Worship Center Interntional.