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How DeVon Franklin and Charlamagne Tha God are redefining Black masculinity

Pastor Charles Jenkins, DeVon Franklin, Charlamange Tha God and Xavier Ramey at Chicago Ideas panel. (Photo credit: Eddy “Precise” Lamarre)

DeVon Franklin and Charlamagne Tha God were recently in Chicago with Xavier Ramey and Pastor Charles Jenkins to discuss “The Meaning of Manhood and the Evolution of Black Masculinity” at an event hosted by Chicago Ideas.

Chicago Ideas is a platform that encourages the sharing of bold ideas to help change the world. The historic Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church on the South Side of Chicago was filled with Black faces on a cold Wednesday night to hear a candid discussion that is necessary at the peak of the #MeToo movement.

Ramey, founder and CEO of Justice Informed, kicked off the discussion sharing stories of breaking from the chains of the traditional idea of masculinity. “We can no longer be what fear has forced us to become. We have to be love,” he said.

The evening continued with Ramey interviewing Charlamagne, who discussed his new book, Shook Ones, which explores the trappings of mental illness and how it is possible to get better.

DeVon Franklin at Chicago Ideas  (Photo credit: Eddy “Precise” Lamarre)

Franklin shared musings from his book The Truth About Men and how a picture of his mother, father and the family member his father cheated with sparked his desire to be a better man.

“I believe that men have created too much pain in the lives of women,” said Franklin. He also offered a solution for how men can fight the lustful desires that drive them. “When we put love in control of lust, this is when we can become the men we were created to be,” he said.

Charlamagne Tha God at Chicago Ideas  (Photo credit: Eddy “Precise” Lamarre)

The evening ended with a panel discussion moderated by Jenkins. Each speaker took time to address questions posed by the pastor. When asked what kind of men they are inspired by, Charlamagne answered, “The type of men I admire are those who made mistakes but evolved into something greater.”

Attendee Serita Love said she thought the evening’s discussion was an important one to have. “Times are rapidly changing,” she said. “We need to adjust how we fully interpret manhood for the group of men who are silenced yet need to be authentically heard the most.”

Take a look at a few pictures from the enlightening event below.