One thing that does my heart good is that I’m seeing more and more Black men focused on getting their paper. For those not familiar with urban vernacular, I’m saying that I’m seeing more Black men focused on getting their careers and businesses together. There is so much news about what Black men are not doing in their communities in general and in their lives in particular. We always hear about the criminals, the deadbeats, and the underachievers. We don’t hear about the ones doing anything with their lives unless they are celebrities. Good thing I pay attention to what’s happening in the real world.
The position I’m in as an author, YouTube personality, and business owner, allows me to interact with several people, especially Black men on a daily basis. Yeah I see the knuckleheads but what I really see the most are regular Black men working like everyone else to keep a roof over their heads and food in their bellies. Then you have the brothas who strive to do more. The ones striving for success at myriad levels.
There are Black men rising to the top in their professions working for various top corporations. They did the work in college and grad school and are now using their talents to contribute to and make money with some of the top businesses in the world. What’s really encouraging to me is that these are young men. Millennials who are supposedly apathetic and have trouble finding jobs. That may indeed be the case with many in that social group but with many Millennial Black men they are working to have an impact in the world. What strikes me about these young men is that they have no excuses. They’re not complaining about racism holding them back. They know that with hard work anything is possible.
As much as I respect the young men and even older ones who are making their mark in the corporate world I’m really encouraged by the entrepreneurs. As we all know there’s always talk about Black men not having jobs. Years ago a term was coined, “BMW” which meant, “Black Men Working.” Historically Black men have tended to be the last hired and first fired. Indeed Black men had adopted many strategies to adapt to this dynamic. In recent years however, I’ve encountered literally hundreds of Black men, young and old, who have said, “%$#* that!” These men have forged ahead and started their own businesses.
These Black men have started businesses ranging from cutting grass to multi-million dollar tech companies. Educational level, family and class background, intelligence level, and even finances were not the major factor shared by these men. The major factor uniting these men was simply the drive to have some control over their own lives. I remember years ago these was a young brotha who used to detail cars in the parking lot of a flea market. He didn’t seem like the type who would be able to get an advanced degree. Regardless he had the drive to get his own brick and mortar shop. That drive piece is very important to all of this.
Black men famous or infamous, depending on one’s perspective, for the pursuit of sex. If nothing else Black men are known for their sex drive. Some commentators have suggested that if Black men used that same drive to get sex from women to succeed in life nothing could stop them. I believe that is what we are seeing. Black men, especially younger ones, are using that innate drive to succeed in life on their own terms. They are rising in corporations, they are building businesses. They are striving for real success in life.
It’s a great time to be alive for Black men.