As Chris Brown took the stage at Good Morning America last week, I held my breath. I was rooting for him, waiting to see him return to grace and reignite the magical flame that had previously put him in the tradition of great R&B artists.

Brown’s up-and-down behavior has been at the forefront of a media circus which developed after pictures of Rihanna appeared on the Internet the night before the 2009 Grammy Awards, displaying eyelids which had been swollen shut, a fat lip, and bruises all over her face.

As the story behind Brown’s assault on his girlfriend developed further, we were inundated with daily updates on how Brown nearly killed the singer–choking her until she passed out.

Brown has endured a long and tumultuous two-year battle to reclaim the unparalleled fame he had previously achieved during the promotion of his first two albums. After the success of Top 40 hits “Kiss,” “Run It,” and “With You,” Brown had positioned himself alongside Beyoncé, Usher and Alicia Keys–becoming a part of R & B’s royal family.

However, he relinquished his space at the top of the music industry with his actions after attending Clive Davis’ 2009 Pre-Grammy Bash in Beverly Hills–he pulled his rented Lamborghini to the side of the road and pummeled his girlfriend’s face and body in one of the most grueling episodes in modern pop history.

It didn’t make his case any better that his victim, Rihanna, had established herself as one of the most successful female musicians in the industry. As the photos of her battered face appeared in various media outlets, the Black community took sides.

Some of us felt that Rihanna had become the latest member of the battered-stars club, which had previously seen legendary singers Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, and Mary J. Blige become the victims of domestic violence. Yet, many within the Hip Hop Generation felt Rihanna had most likely provoked a fight with Brown, and that issues like this should be kept within the confines of their relationship–so as not to meddle with his ability to create some of the best booty-shaking grooves on the radio.

Be that as it may, Brown went on a two-year spree of flaccidly apologizing via Twitter, on national television outlets and urban radio. The sincerest apology seemed to come after an emotional tribute performance to his idol, Michael Jackson, at the 2010 BET Awards. Brown wept on stage, as if he were reaching out for us to love him once again–and we did, moving forward through the process of fully forgiving him for mauling Rihanna’s face.

Fast forward to March 22, 2011, where reports were released that Brown had trashed one of the green rooms on the Good Morning America set, and it seemed like his same old antics were playing out again. Brown allegedly destroyed several items, including shattering one of the windows in an embittered response to Robin Roberts asking him questions regarding his 2009 arrest. Brown hurriedly left the scene shirtless and visibly upset after his green room eruption.

Yet, even after his apparent violent outburst in the green room and another hasty apology on BET’s 106th & Park, the Black community remains divided on the issue of Chris Brown’s continuous aggressive acts. This split begs us to look at how we feed into the behaviors of our entertainers, when we choose to ignore their belligerent conduct.

One thing is clear: Chris Brown must grow up.

Although Brown is a brilliant singer and top-tier dancer, his violent outbursts are unacceptable–even if he does have an army of loyal young “Tweeters” who are willing to make excuses for his public conduct. If he is going to re-emerge with a respectable career, he must learn to answer the inevitable interview questions about the 2009 assault without destroying property. He will have to learn quickly that two years is not enough time for the world to forget his actions which, some believe, victimized an entire generation of young Black girls.

While the fact remains that Brown cannot retract his behavior at Good Morning America, there is still hope that he will one day return to us fully healed and ready to spark the magical flame that made us fall in love with his artistry in the first place.