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June 19, 2020

Celebrating Juneteenth: 19 Black Men who are Making the World a Better Place.

 

For some more inspiration: Beyoncé’s Surprise New Song “Black Parade” is the Revolution Anthem we need Right Now. {Music video}

In my years on this earth, I have had the privilege of knowing some amazing people from all walks of life.

People of various genders, ethnicity, race, creed, countries, and such.

I love meeting people. I love to hear people’s life stories. I ask lots of questions, for I want to know them inside and out. I love figuring people out. I have made many great friends and a couple of enemies. For the most part, I am blessed in my relationships.

Many people have inspired me, but today, in recognition of June 19th (Juneteenth), I want to write about 19 Black men who inspire, amaze, influence, and impress me.

This is my tribute to those 19 incredible Black men:

1. The first man is special.

He is hardworking. He is a man of absolute integrity. He is a Godly man. He will not do anything, publicly or privately, to dishonor God. He has a pure heart, he does not need praise from others, and is kind to all he encounters. He loves his family, treasures his wife, and treats her like a queen. He has high respect for her and is an amazing husband (he should write a book).

He is well-built and handsome. He is beautiful inside and out. He has a solid career, he is an Ivy League graduate, but you would never know it because he’s not the one to brag. He has won his company’s prestigious President’s Award in leadership.

He makes the world a better place just by being in it. I know and love this man.

He is my husband. He is my #1.

2. Coming in at a close second is a man who met a woman in her early pregnancy by another man.

He dated her, was there when her daughter was born and claimed that daughter as his own. He gave up his wild lifestyle to be a better father. Shortly after, his relationship ended, but he kept his daughter, raised her, and put her in the best private schools, provided everything a father does, and raised her to be a smart young lady.

He had also quit college in his final year and started working to take care of his sister who was having a hard time. His brilliance, leadership, and people skills quickly made him “the guy.” He made about a quarter of a million a year, but has little money saved because he pays rent for a bunch of people, has more people on his phone plan than you’d consider normal, and generously donates money to charity.

He is kind, hilariously funny, giving to a fault, a servant to all—an all-around good guy.

I am honored to know this man #2.

3. I know well the chairman of the group to which I belong.

He loves his wife and two children. He empowers women in every meeting. He often calls on women to pray for the meeting, something I rarely see elsewhere in a mixed-gender meeting. He is unapologetically awesome. He loves to do things that engage and empower single men and women. He always hears your point of view.

I am glad to know this man #3.

4. There is a young Black man whose mother died, his father aloof, but he is determined to be a pilot one day.

He graduated high school with honors and is heading to college soon. He works hard to take care of his grandmother, is up early, and studies diligently. He taught himself calculus from online videos. He is smart, and he is beautiful. He will make a mark on this world. I am watching him in anticipation of greatness.

I know this soon-to-be man #4.

5. Another young, single Black man with two children.

He works hard every day and is saving money to buy a house for his family. He is a people person. He is kind and gentle. He never utters a negative word. He is beautiful to view and I adore him.

I know this man who I still view as a young boy #5.

6. I am on a committee with a Black man.

He is by far the most humble person I have known. I saw him sit in the seat of honor, but was not proud. He listens intently to everyone’s ideas and makes them feel valued. He has a passion to help the poor, the orphans, the widows, the homeless—anyone in need.

I know and admire this man #6.

7. to 11. What can I say about my five Black male residents in training?

They are five of the physically best-looking men you will ever see. One is brilliant, well versed in everything, has educated me on the history of People of Color and systemic racism, and fights for the rights of the underserved and marginalized. He also makes me laugh.

Another started his career as a pharmacist, then chose to become a family physician, and now wants to mentor others. His maturity and wisdom are far beyond his young life. At first look, he is all so serious, but once he speaks, you fall in love with his kind heart.

The third one grew up in a home frequented with drugs and family incarceration. Yet, when he was three years old, he walked out of his home trying to find his way to school because he loved learning. He made it to the corner but had to turn back because he didn’t know which direction to go. He is the shoulder to cry on if you ever need one, he takes care of his wife and child, and is a gentle giant.

The fourth one is the kindest, sweetest one, will never say anything to hurt your feelings type of guy. He feels your pain and empathizes with you. He is a happy Black man.

The fifth is super-smart, caring to a fault. Always gives people the benefit of the doubt and willing helps anyone in need.

I know these amazing men #7, 8, 9, 10 & 11.

12. This one guy lives outside the United States; he is a single man, helps lead a church, and is humble in his heart.

He knows royalty, he knows millionaires, but you’ll never hear him boast. He spends his time teaching people the Bible and organizing youth empowerment programs. He is passionate and loves to be challenged. He is not afraid of a strong Black woman and welcomes intensity, especially from me. Great things are in his future.

I am blessed to know this man #12.

13. I saw this strong Black man jump in the air, and like Superman, for a few seconds, I was sure he was flying.

He is a football demigod at his alma mater. If you leaned against him, like with Hercules, you would encounter pure steel on the outside. But on the inside, his heart is ever so tender. He feeds the homeless, spends his Saturdays reading to underprivileged children, and has been known to give the last five dollars in his pocket to a poor fellow. If you decide to engage him in conversation, bring a dictionary, he has a thesaurus-like vocabulary. He is side-splitting funny. Good luck follows him.

It is my pleasure to know this man #13.

14. This Black man is a brilliant regional salesman for a Fortune-500 company.

He will sell you your own shoes and you won’t realize it until you are walking away barefoot with your own shoes in your hands while relishing the great bargain you just got. He makes a six-figure salary, was a military man as fearless as one can be, but a snake can send him running. He once drove three hours to pick me up and take me to a meeting because he just wanted to serve.

He wears his heart on his sleeve and he is not afraid to let you see him cry. He always remembers my birthday and any important event in my life. He has a soft, caring heart. He once spent a weekend in prison caring for incarcerated men because one of his potential clients challenged him to do it with him if he wanted to get the account. He is fierce in his work ethics.

I know this good man #14.

15. This Black man was a pilot trained in Tuskegee.

He was one of the few first Black firefighters. He is a community activist. He has more stories than can be written down. He is 86 years old and still organizes events for the Veterans. He has unofficially adopted and raised more children than I am able to count. He is a generous man.

I know this inspiring man #15.

16. I went to Zambia, and during my time there one Black man helped teach a class to a group of youth.

He taught young boys on genital care and he taught on abstinence. He answered questions on rape, abuse, and sexuality with poise and ease.

I know this man #16.

17. I know a Black man who is a ballet dancer.

He owns his own fitness center, is faithfully married to an amazing woman, and raising two children with her. He loves to teach the Bible, cares deeply about others, and empowers Black women.

I know this man #17.

18. One friend is a talented singer and a dynamic motivational speaker.

He loves his wife and takes good care of his two children. He is an entrepreneur, innovator, inventor, and works hard to have multiple incomes. He mentors many young people. He is absolutely the funniest person ever—there is never a dull moment around him. He is a loyal friend and has a deep conviction about breaking bad family patterns.

I am happy to know this man #18.

19. I know a man who raised an insecure Black girl to become an amazing confident woman.

He taught her she was valuable, powerful, beautiful, and the smartest person in any room. He forced her to always speak her mind and to stand up to bullying. He taught her a 99 was not okay on an exam if you had the potential to get a 100. He grew up in the racially segregated South in an oppressive environment but overcame all obstacles to be a man worth millions.

He did not have financial debt. He served in the military in many wars beginning with Vietnam. He was a community activist. He was one of the few Black firemen in his time. He was the strongest person ever. During a fire, with a family trapped in a room, he broke down a cement door with his hands because the other firemen were taking too long with an ax.

He was never late to an event, and lived by the conviction that “If you were not half an hour early to an appointment, you were late.” His life was cut short by a 911 related illness.

He was not perfect, but he was my superhero. I called him daddy.

I knew this man #19.

There are many more I want to tell you about, but there isn’t time nor space to write about the numerous fabulous Black men all around. The man who is my favorite preacher; the man who will give you the shirt off his back; the man who grew up in the “hood” but refused to leave and stayed to helps his community; the man who flew across the country to sing at my dad’s funeral (forever winning him a place in my heart); the man who is an FBI agent; and the man who was a great Chief Resident.

My encouragement to you is this, acknowledge some amazing Black men. Speak of them to your children—it will help change the world a little.

~

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