Here, you see one of my older cousins speaking to one of my younger cousins, his nephew. Phil, my older cousin, is a successful businessman, an entrepreneur continuing to grow his brand. He has a vast amount of knowledge to share with anyone willing to listen and I watched him as he spoke to my cousin Alex, giving him pointers on what to do in life with his talents in order to have his dreams come true and in turn, work for him.
I sat there amazed by the exchange. As you can see, Alex is listening intently. He is focused. This is nothing new to Phil, regularly, he speaks to hundreds of people who have aspirations of being self-employed and successful in the fields of realty and investments. One of my brothers started his own clothing line, S.T.T.Y. (Stay True To Yourself) and a number of our family members have jumped on the bandwagon and are supporting the Kid by purchasing his creations. The first person I told my brother to reach out to was our cousin.
Young, African-American men need this. They are often hanging by the seat of their pants, struggling because they don’t know the way and they have no idea which path to choose. I am investing in my brother’s company. I believe in his dream. I tell him how exceptionally proud I am of him and I make it a point to rejoice with him when things go well and genuinely empathize when there are hiccups along the way.
I want what is best for these young men in my life, for them to reach out and pull back a star. For them to jump up and shoot to the moon. They cannot do it alone. The village is still needed regardless of what some people believe. If we are not willing to get our hands dirty in the mix of catapulting our young ones to a height they’ve never experienced, who will? We must give them something they believe, show them that there is more beyond fast money and slow thinking. The future needs to be filled with a plethora of them paving the way for more and more and more little black boys who will yearn to be for and work for themselves.
If they’re dreaming, don’t crush it. Help build it up. Nurture it. Water it. Speak life over it. KEEP THEM OFF OF THE STREETS! The kind of money out there is the kind that’ll leave them wanting more or send them to an early grave. Our intention should be to watch them live, watch them soar.
If they’re flying high, they won’t have time to come down. Build a young black man up today. He needs that.
I have forgiven you,
you no longer threaten my growth.
I know that in order to flourish,
in order to bloom, I had to give you
the sunshine you needed and acquire my own.
It is your decision to stay bound,
connected, linked–desperately clinging to
another who only lip-services you and does not
honor your heart.
I do not want that for my own,
so I chose a place for me, for my heart
where both of us can be loved accordingly
and fully without shame.
I hear my heart more now.
It has been s h o u t i n g
and I have ignored it, but now–
now I know what it needs
and that is not you.
A lie would be to say that
I don’t miss being a thought of yours,
that I don’t still dream of you,
that on occasion, I don’t get teary-eyed.
But, I am choosing me.
I know I will not let me down.
This is my letter of amends to you,
my offering–to give you what you have
been wanting, freedom from commitment. freedom from love.
Even the most subtle hint of creating change can bring out the beasts of the world. An army can obliterate them. The problem is, we don’t have enough people willing to don his or her armor to fight for what’s right in the open when the light is perfectly set. Fear is a mongrel, steadfast when it has a target. “Stand up for something or fall for anything.”