Today, as I was wrapping up my morning workout at the local gym, I ran into an old acquaintance of mine. This lady was actually one of the first people I met when I moved here to Houston. Like myself, she was forced to relocate due to the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. She is from New Orleans, LA, and I’m a transplant from Gulfport, MS. So I guess that made us neighbors.
One day while engaging in a friendly conversation with the lady, she revealed to me that she had a son that was attending college. Whenever I hear of a young brotha going to college, I instantly get excited. Maybe that’s the educator in me. Anyway, whenever I would see the lady, I would always ask about her son and his progress in school, and she would gladly fill me in.
I don’t know what is was. Maybe it was busy schedules or just the everyday grind of life, but a long period of time had passed before I saw the lady again. Upon seeing her again, in the mist of our brief conversation, she informed me that her son had now graduated from college. As I mentioned earlier, I get excited whenever I hear about a young brotha going to college. Now imagine how I felt when she told me her son was now a college graduate.
The lady went on to tell me that her son was relocating back to New Orleans, because he could not find a job here in Houston. He felt his networking opportunities would be better back home. What really tugged on my heart string, was when she told me that her son was not looking for a high powered position with a Fortune 500 company. He was simply looking for a starting point in which to put his degree to use, which by the way is in Architectural Engineering. From talking to this young brotha’s mom, he was looking to get his foot in door and willing to work for next to nothing to make that possibility a reality.
Now this story, I guess is my round about way of saying, for those that don’t know, not all black men are buffoons and that there are some black men out there who are willing to shake the “entitlement label” and work from the bottom up in order to reach their goals.
Society wants us to believe that all black men want to do is sit on the block, drink alcohol, smoke weed, and listen to Lil Wayne records. Society also paints the picture that the black man would rather rob and steal rather than earn the ticket that would allow him to obtain the often elusive “American Dream.”
Now if we thought hard enough, for every brotha that is out there sitting on the block or even committing crimes, we could think of a brotha that is out there grinding to make his way in the world. We can also think of a brotha that has made that grind pay off for him. The problem is, there are not enough mediums out there to counter the mediums that shine a negative light on our young brothas.
The other day, I was having sort of a round table discussion with a few brothas one day, and we were talking about issues that affect the black man. One of the things that we agreed upon is; often times brothas don’t help each other as much as we should. There seems to be a disconnect between the grinders and the brothas that made the grind pay off for them.
What do I mean? I mean there are brothas out there who refuse to help another brotha, because he doesn’t want that brotha to pose a threat to his position. There are also brothas in hiring positions who feel that the black man’s counterpart is more capable of completing certain tasks. And let’s be real! There are some brotha’s out there who just simply look down on another brotha.
Now I’m no economist. As matter a fact, I am probably as far from one as a person could be, but I believe that if we could fix the disconnect between the grinders and the brothas that made the grind pay off, we could put a dent in the staggering black man’s unemployment percentage.
To the brotha that has clout in his company, if you can get that brotha that is on the grind an interview, DO IT! To that brotha that owns his own company. Give that brotha on the grind a second look! You never know. That brotha could possibly be the one to help you drastically increase your profit margin.
As for the young brotha I referred to in my story, I told his mom that I was not in a hiring position, but I would try to leverage my contacts to see if that could turn into his possible foot in the door. SOMETIMES, THAT’S ALL IT TAKES!
About the author: George Stewart II has dedicated his life to community/public service. His community service journey started in college where he became a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Through his fraternity George has been able to touch the lives of many people through various community service projects.Shortly after graduation, George became an educator and heavily involved in community outreach activities. When he is not educating his students on the various important events in history, he is making strides to help improve the education system and his community.George uses writing as another vehicle to get his voice heard. Through his writing, he hopes to encourage and motivate people to get involved in their community, as his writing have been featured on suite101.com, mybrotha.com, blackcommentator.com, yesdiamondsaidit.com, theblackmancan.org, and thefreshxpress.com. He lives by the motto, “If you give to your community, your community will give back to you, but don’t just give to get. Give because it is your responsibility.”George’s goals in life are be the best father and husband he can be, help improve the education system, help build a stronger community, and publish a book that tells his story.
The purpose of His Story is to tell the stories of Black Men young and old through videos and written work. Too often the story of Black Men is told by everyone else. His Story will be the catalyst to allow Black Men & Women to provide the positive contradiction to the prevailing Black male image of today.