I Can’t Wait To Teach You How To Be A Proud Black Man

Dear Lennox,

I Can’t Wait To Teach You How To Be A Proud Black Man

Since your mother walked into the kitchen on that January evening and told me about you I’ve been thinking of what I wanted for you, of how long I’ve been waiting on you to get here. This world, this world you’re about to be born into isn’t the kindest of places to little black boys that will grow up to be black men. We will do our best to protect you and shield you from that ugliness but that will be a time when we aren’t there. When you become aware of your skin tone, of the way you’re perceived.

It will be in that moment that you still hold your head up high, that you don’t respond with anger or violence or fear but respond with the confidence of knowing where you come from, who you come from and who you are.

Text books will tell you that slavery never existed.

Schools will tell you that the Civil War was over States Rights.

Teachers will want to silence you if you ask too many questions.

Slavery did exist.

The Civil War happened because they wanted to keep us in chains.

Ask all the questions you want and I will have your back.

I want you to grow up watching your mother laugh, watching us be affectionate. I want you to know that it’s cool to love a woman, to need a woman, that they are not easily replaced. I don’t want you to sexualize them before you even know what sex should be. I won’t tell you it’s cute when you grab a woman on her ass. I won’t smile when you sing words to songs you shouldn’t be listening to. I want you to understand that love is an amazing feeling and has nothing to do with your hormones.

I’ll never be your friend but I’ll always be someone that you can come to and talk to about any and everything. I won’t judge you or curse you out but I will tell you when you’re wrong. I will tell you when you have to live with the consequences of your actions. And then I’ll hug you, I’ll hug you because my father never hugged me and I grew up thinking that made me tough.

There’s nothing tough about hiding your emotions. Nothing tough about needing to cry, about wanting to cry but holding it in because you don’t want to be seen as weak. There’s nothing soft about hugging your mother or calling her when you’ve had a bad day. You won’t know what it feels like to have to do it on your own blindly. To have to search for answers. We will be here to give you the blueprint so that when you go into this world you won’t be blindsided the cruelty of it.

I’ve been a lot of places. Traveled and enjoyed their cultures, their food, their music but I’ve also collected books in each of these places. Books to teach you, books to make you want to explore the world one day. I read to you while you’re in there baking, I rub her stomach and tell you about the beaches of Belize. I kiss her belly and tell you about where Langston Hughes studied in Paris and where Eddie Murphy ate steak off a models back. I talk to you because I want you to know the sound of peace when you hear your father’s voice.

Your biggest responsibility as my son will be being yourself. I’d love for you to love reading and writing and boxing. But if you end up loving dance and painting, I’m going to support you.

The first time your mother heard your heartbeat on a monitor she cried. Not like one of those sweet teary eyed cries but an actual ugly cry. I didn’t cry, I didn’t shed a tear. I just closed my eyes and said a prayer that you make it into this world okay.

We Aren’t Our Grandparents; Not Sure If That’s A Good or Bad Thing

When I was growing up my bedroom was right next to the living room and there were so many nights I would hear my grandmother and grandfather sitting in the living room talking. It was their routine. My grandmother would sit and read her bible and my grandfather would wait until the news went off and join her while she fixed him something sweet to eat.

Most nights I’m not sure what they talked about but I know they had very few secrets if any and they were each other’s sounding board. The thing about their generation is that they understood at some point your family evolved. Your immediate family went from your mom and dad and brothers and sisters to your husband or wife and your children. Your secrets and concerns stopped being between bestfriends and siblings and started being with your husband or wife.

Our generation has moved away from that and I can’t tell anyone reading this whether or not that’s good or bad, what works for you and your relationship works for you and your relationship but I can tell you that it can’t help that we don’t have that same sense of closeness and loyalty anymore.

It also works on the opposite in. My grandparents and that generation, the women didn’t ask a lot of questions and in a lot of cases, they didn’t have a lot of options. If they found a man that had a good job and was a good provider they didn’t divorce him no matter his flaws. Our women are different, they have jobs and careers and in a lot of cases are more financially stable then the men they’re with. There isn’t that same sense of accepting whatever he brings.

How cannot that not be a good thing?

I wish I could work and not worry about my wife working but we don’t live in that world anymore. You need two incomes and when your woman has to work how often can you come home to a homecooked meal? It’s the last day of 2017 and I haven’t one time this year.

Like I mentioned in the beginning, there’s no right or wrong answer but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a happy medium.

In case I get the feeling to write at 10:00pm on my cell phone this will more than likely be my last blog of 2017. So let me leave anyone reading with this thought.

Generations may change, cost of living and eras may change but the bond that a man and woman share will never change. If you find yourself questioning the priorities you share with a person you need to talk to them, make sure you’re on the same page. Often times we spend so much time analyzing that we forget to put down the cell phones and laptops and talk.

Do more of that in 2018.DSC_0341(1)

You Can’t Appreciate What You Have If You Can’t Let Go of What You Had

11692773_10100181132452095_3114012952436566252_n

Author Demez F. White

Memories are incredibly dope. You can be sitting at work watching a screen and a memory can flash before your eyes like a bolt of lightning. You didn’t ask for the memory, weren’t thinking about the memory but low and behold it happened. A brief moment in an otherwise uneventful day. You look up from your desk and ask yourself the question, “Where the hell did that come from?”

And just as soon as it was there, it’s now gone. After lunch and a phone call you don’t even think about it anymore. We’re all human and we all have thoughts we can’t control. Thoughts that could mean everything and thoughts that could mean nothing. That’s really up to you, it’s up to any of us what we give our time, effort and energy to.

This is the thing though, if you stay in the past, stay living in memories. It’s impossible to appreciate your present. Not fully. Not whole heartedly. How can you when stories and moments of times gone by are still playing like trailers on a movie screen in your head.

This week I made the decision to sell something that was a huge part of my past. I found myself holding on to it because it belonged to people that were very special to me. I’ve started a business, I need capital. I could hold on to something that gives me a good memory every now and again or I can let it go and use it to build on my present and future. Go into debt or make new memories with my old memories as a foundation. It’s an easy choice.

We can use a million different excuses as to why we want to live in the past but the simple truth is it’s an easy choice to make or not make. When you see someone making the decision to walk through old doors, to give time and attention to old memories. You have a choice to make. You talk to them and let them know or you give them room to embrace those old memories.

By Fate or By Choice

pr

Last Night In Paradise

I struggle every day with being a good man.

I struggle with my demons.

The fear that I won’t be able to live to to the man so many people expect me to be. Is it a mirage, is it a figment of my imagination?

I’ve spent so much of my life trying to be better than the man I see in the mirror that I wonder if it’s eating at my existence?

Am I a good man? I often want to ask people that are close to me. The people that know me intimately and personally. Have I done right by those that have loved me, depended on me? Have I done right by those that saw the best in me?

At night or in the early mornings I wonder if I’m where I’m supposed to be. I wonder if my life has been shaped by fate or by choice?

You’re Worth It

If I tell you you’re worth it; know I mean every word of it.

If I tell you you’re worth it; know I have crossed every mountain and sailed every sea making sure there is not a woman on this earth that is comparable to you.

If I tell you you’re worth it, it means I need you, I want you and I crave you. Not for everything you are but for everything you have the potential to be because your greatness is only going to grow.

You are worth my words, you are worth my soul, you are worth the energy and love that seeps from my pores every time I see you. Every time our bodies are within inches of each other.

You are the novel I can’t finish because every word has to be perfect.

You are the drink that’s too strong and with every sip you go to my head and dull my senses.

You are worth every ounce of my soul.

You are my life.

 

 

Drowning in the Darkness

20140803-095704.jpg Being positive is what I often encourage people to be. Have faith that if you do things the right way then you’ll eventually get the outcome you want. I’m good at talking to people, at seeing the big picture. What happens though when I can’t see the big picture for myself?

When no matter how hard I try and see the shore all I feel like I’m doing is drowning.

It scares me, not being able to breathe, not being able to just catch my breath.

It scares me knowing that no matter how hard I try I just can’t get my head above water.

I hate retreating to this dark place because I’m no good to anyone this way. The weight of the expectations I place on myself feel like a dozen cement blocks weighing me down.

As I type this I’m in my office at work alone. It’s a Holiday so no one else is here but I am, writing, working. Always writing, always working but never feel like I see the fruits of my labor. I put out a new book last night, the first one in 3 years. You know how many people bought it? One.

I’m just tired of trying to see the shore, tired of trying to swim. A part of me just wants to allow the waves to take me under.

I need to hurry and find some form of happiness before it becomes too late for me.

~ Demez

Four Tips to Being A Better Public Speaker

Demez F. White

Demez F. White

Often times we think of public speaking as talking to big groups but public speaking applies anytime you’re talking to anyone other than yourself. It can be a conference meeting, a casual mixer or happy hour. It can be you in the office with your boss and a co-worker. Whenever you are speaking in front of people you want to be clear, confident, knowledgeable and focused on what you want to project.

There’s a line Don Draper used to say on Mad Men. “If you don’t like the way the conversation is going, change it.” Here are a couple tips and for more exclusive consulting email me so we can set something up.

One- Don’t try and outthink the room when you’re speaking. No need to use words that you wouldn’t normally use or talk about topics you aren’t familiar with. Research, read, know your audience and get on their level. Mold your conversation and speech to them, not the other way around.

Two- Keep it short and to the point, leave them wanting more. How many times have we been in a meeting and it feels like it’s dragging? It may have only been ten minutes but you swear you were in there three hours. Don’t be that person that’s putting people to sleep. We live in a generation where people have short attention spans.

Three- Dress the part. If you know you’re going to be speaking look like you own that room. If you’re wearing a tie wear power colors, red, navy blue, deep purple. Don’t give them anything to be distracted by. A wrinkled shirt, colors that are too bright. It’s the same with women, don’t flaunt your sexuality but don’t hide it either. The same way a nice tailored suit says a lot about a man, a nice tailored business suit on a woman says the same thing. Smile, be welcoming. Know your setting and thrive in it.

Four- Talking points! Talking points! Talking points! Know what you’re going to talk about from A-Z before you get up that morning. Write a speech but don’t memorize it because if it’s not something you do daily you’ll fumble trying to remember it. Take key talking points from each paragraph and expound on what you already know. Don’t give a speech as much as you’re having a conversation with the room.

These are just a couple tips and remember, greatness is in all of us.

~ Demez F. White