After Kentucky’s loss I made a comment to someone that even though I was disappointed, I was happy for UCONN’s coach Kevin Ollie! He was a young black man that one a championship in only his second season coaching at UCONN! The reply (from someone white) was, “Why does it matter that he is black? Why can’t he just be a young male first year coach?” I immediately became upset! Being that I am a young black male, it is always great to see others that look like me that are successful! With all the negative images of black men being portrayed in the media, along with the negative black success (drug dealers, rappers, reality tv), it is refreshing to see some positivity for a change!
Growing up I desired to be like the Ben Carson’s, Vivien Thomas’, the Martin Luther King Jrs. That’s who I emulated, successful and positive black males. For me there was no better role model. When a black man does something positive; does something to up lift the community, I would be disrespectful if I did not celebrate their accomplishments. Not only does that up lift them, it up lifts me! I strive to have that success. Just as I was a young boy looking up to them, there are young boys of color looking up to me now for guidance, for strength, for encouragement. As I have been empowered to persevere, I hope I can empower them to see their future and achieve success!
So I celebrate black success for those men that came before me, and for those who will come after I am gone!