Dear Little Black Boy and Girl; You’re Perfect Just the Way You Are

o-BLACK-CHILDREN-facebook Dear Little Black Boy and Girl; You’re Perfect Just the Way You Are
I read this week about a prominent teacher in Chicago telling little black boys they had a greater chance at success in life if they conformed. Cut their hair, have names that are more pronounceable, be more humble. If you do these things you’ll get people to like you more; give you more opportunities. You know what I’ve learned, stop asking people for opportunities and start taking them.

I grew up going to the largest African American school district in the country. North Forest ISD located on the Northeast side of Houston, TX. All my teachers were black, the parents, the students, the coaches. Demez felt like a normal name. It wasn’t until I started applying for colleges that I realized it wasn’t so normal. It wasn’t until my first summer interning for an engineering company and everyone wanted to call me D that I started to notice, “maybe my name is different.”

There isn’t one meeting I walk into or one email I send where someone doesn’t ask how to pronounce my name. Even though we live in a global society where Africans, Asians, Hispanics all have names that aren’t “traditional American.” Though yet and still my name is “unique.”

I learned early on something that has stayed with me every day since. People will look for reasons not to like you, not to give you the job, not to want to be impressed by you. I don’t care if you cut your dreads or change Demez White to D. White. I don’t care if you come to work on time every day and never make a mistake. You can’t conform or blend in enough. The only way they respect you is to be impressive. Is for you to wear your confidence, to know what you’re doing. To be professional and to not back down from ignorance but to face it head on.

The first time I sent my novel to a publisher they told me it was really good. In the next paragraph they told me that if I changed writing name to D. White or David White I could get more of a readership. At that moment I thought, “I’m going to have a son one day and I want to take his little hand and take him to Barnes and Noble or sit him on my lap while we’re online. I want to show him the books his father wrote and I don’t want to have to explain to him why my name isn’t on those books.” Our little black boys and girls are different from how we were but different styles, different lingo, it shouldn’t take away from how amazing they are. If only we nurture them and stop trying to teach them to fall in line.

You can be whoever you want to be. No matter your size, height, color, hair style or financial upbringing. You can get into the college you want to get into no matter your name, no matter your hairstyle, you just have to want to work for it. There are going to be people that look like you and people that look like complete strangers that will tell you otherwise. Don’t listen to them. Let your creativity flourish and let it mold you to be everything I believe you can be.

I thought I was a bright child. I never got in trouble, made great grades. When I was in the 9th grade I remember staying up late watching a Chris Rock stand up special. I’ll never forget what he said in a joke, “If you have a name where people have to double take to ask you how to pronounce it, you’re ghetto. If you call your grandma mama, you’re ghetto. If you can’t call your daddy on the phone because you don’t know his number, you’re ghetto.” I remembered laughing and then I remembered I fell into all three of those categories. I didn’t feel ghetto, I didn’t feel like I didn’t belong but in that moment I felt sad that I didn’t have a regular name. That I didn’t go on summer vacations with my mom and dad.

My name is Demez, I’m the product of an 18 year old mother, no father. I was raised by my grandparents and went to one of the worst high schools in the State of Texas. I failed out of college my first year and almost failed out of Community College. I allowed people to call me D when I first started working because I thought Demez was ghetto. I didn’t have a bank account until I was 21 and my credit was in ruins by the time I was 24. I didn’t remotely get my life together or start being proud of where I came from or who I am until I was almost 30. I tell you this because if I can’t make the mistakes I made and come from where I came from at this age. Then I know you can at 15, 16, 18. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that your name or hairstyle or origins make you less than. Don’t ever believe that you’ve messed up so much, that you can’t come back from that. I promise you; you can.

Demez White

How to Discredit A Black Man? Just Call Him Angry

Kanye West and Eddie Murphy

Kanye West and Eddie Murphy

This morning Kanye West gave an interview on the popular morning radio show the Breakfast Club and almost immediately the reactions started to pour in. Everything from he supports child molesters and slut shaming to he’s crazy for loving his wife. Now to be fair you also had the “he’s a genius crowd,” which is also understandable.

Let’s talk for a minute about what Kanye is. He’s a man that’s pretty open about his faith, one of his biggest hits was “Jesus Walks.” He’s a man that dropped out of college to literally become one of the biggest musical stars in the world. Something we praise Mark Zuckerburg and Steve Jobs for. He’s never been in prison or fathered a bunch of children. He’s never glorified the selling of drugs of pimping and killing of women or children. Everyone that works with him talks about his work ethic and passion.

Let’s talk about who Eddie Murphy is. This is a man that at 19 saved Saturday Night Live. A writer, actor and director that has always hired black people not just in front of the camera but behind the camera. Everyone he’s worked with raves about his loyalty and comedic timing.

Both are proud and talented men who’ve recently been given the “angry” label. Eddie Murphy chose not to make fun and mock a man he’s looked up to for all his life so he’s “angry.” Kanye talks about his love for his wife, defends his best friends wife, makes a song dedicated to his daughter and late mom. He isn’t passionate or a standup guy he’s angry and emotional.

We diminish black men’s thoughts and concerns by reducing them to temper tantrums. We allow the media and trolls to highlight a sentence here or quote there and turn a valid point into a catchy punch line.

I’ve often been accused of being too serious but the world lacks serious men. Everything can’t be about getting a laugh or fitting in. You have to stand for something. And if you decide to stand for something and have a voice people will try and silence that voice.

If You Dont Love Yourself; Who Will?

So I’m going to leave the sexy stuff alone for today, I want to talk about something else. Something that’s just as important if not more important than being sexually fulfilled. What is that you ask?

I want to talk about loving yourself, it’s a phrase that most of us take for granted, including myself. I mean, who doesn’t love themselves is what most of you are saying but I want you to take two and a half seconds and think about it.

1001

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Okay, stop thinking and read!

Every single person that is reading my words right now, you want to know a secret? Look at the screen very carefully.

YOU ARE SPECIAL! GOD CREATED YOU FOR A PURPOSE AND THAT PURPOSE WAS NOT TO BE SAD OR USED OR ABUSED OR PLAYED! YOU ARE A MIRACLE AND YOUR LIFE IS TO BE CHERISHED AND FRUITFUL AND PRODUCTIVE!

I’m not bible scholar but I did grow up in the church and one of my favorite scriptures is, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” There will always be people that are just negative, I don’t think they’re haters or mean spirited; I just think somewhere in their lives they were hurt to the point of no return. So when they see you trying to climb out of a hole, they don’t know how to reach down and help you… They only know how to walk away or tell you why you should stay in the hole.

LIFE CAN BE HARD! IT CAN BE STRESSFUL! IT CAN MAKE YOU CRY!

But there’s always redemption if you love yourself because you know that you have YOUR best interest at heart!

Part of loving yourself is knowing who you can and can’t be around, knowing who’s negative just because and who’s giving you constructive criticism. Words are my babies so I know the power they have, the power they have to cut, to burn, to choke! You can’t love yourself if you surround yourself with negativity. It’s like trying to stay dry with no umbrella in a rainstorm.

WE’RE ALL BEAUTIFUL TO SOMEONE!

WE’RE ALL ADORED BY SOMEONE!

WE’RE ALL LOVED BY SOMEONE!

I have met women that were perfect for me in the physical sense but horrible for me in the spiritual and emotional sense. I’ve had friends that were my dogs, ride or die but they were not the sort of men I wanted to be Godparents to my children. In learning to love myself I had to learn to accept that not everyone is meant to be in my circle, not everyone is meant to partake in the love I have for myself and for them.

DON’T EVER FORGET THAT THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN YOUR LIFE IS YOU! MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR MATE, YOUR CHILD, YOUR PARENTS! WHY…

Because if you’re not happy, it’s going to be hard as hell to make the people around you happy.

It’s sounds amazingly romantic to say, “I’m losing myself in love.” But when you make that decision to lose yourself in someone, you’re making a decision to lose your identity. To sacrifice the natural love you have for yourself and project all of you on someone else. I’m not saying you shouldn’t give your all but what I am saying is, don’t forgot that the only way you can love anyone is to love yourself.

So tonight…

SMILE!

TREAT YOURSELF TO A CUPCAKE, A DRINK, DINNER!

We’re human, we’re not meant to be alone but we’re also not meant to give up and settle. Life is too short not to know how special you are.

My name is Demez F. White and I believe in you. I believe that you have the ability to do whatever you want in this life if you’re willing to work at it.

Enjoy this beautiful Sunday night and I hope each and everyone of you have a great Monday morning!