Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Hands That Stand

ADMIRE: to regard with wonder, pleasure, or approval
One thing about living in Chicago that I wouldn’t normally experience in Texas is the personal interactions of strangers on a daily basis. I began to notice the amount of blue collar workers around the city. Oddly enough many of them are black men; of course I love black men who will work, I love your hustle, I am your cheerleader. Plus most of them are very handsome! If I had money I would treat all the hard working blue and white collar black men to a day of pampering and just showing appreciation for all their hard work and struggles. Everyday I see one sweeping the subway stairs, moping the lobby of an office building, riding on the back of the garbage truck, directing traffic, driving the bus, working behind the security desk, lugging cases of drinks in the convenient store. I always look at most of these men and wonder how often they are told they are appreciated and you are doing a good job.

Then you have the white collar black men, who I see walking in the financial district or in the downtown office building dressed in their suits, armed with their briefcase, and ready to do their best in a corporate game that doesn’t really want them around. I believe black men have it the hardest and I am not sure we say I am proud of you or I appreciate you often enough. There are times when if you just say hello or how you doing that could brighten their day especially some of the mean looking black women (sorry but its no secret ya’ll look mean) something to make them smile it can add a boost to there already hard day.

The other day I saw a black man that was maybe in his 50’s crying on the bus. I couldn’t imagine what would bring this grown man to tears on a bus full of strangers. He wasn’t crying hard or loud but you could see the tears flowing from his eyes. My heart hurt for him and all I could do was write him a note saying I didn’t know what burdened him, but that I would pray for him and he should trust the Lord with his issues. It’s hard out here in this world but I think for black men they have it the hardest.

We need our black men. They are the hands we stand on. I just think it would be nice if we weren’t so busy being so mad about them possibly not dating someone who looks like us but paying more attention to uplifting and appreciating them, then-- maybe we could start to change one person at a time. The next time you see a black man--city,suburb, or country, SMILE and say hello. The next time one opens the door for you SMILE and say thank you. If you are close enough, SMILE and say how are you doing today? If a black man is living in your home and he gets up everyday and goes to face a world that doesn’t really want him there, when he comes home, let him know that you appreciate him.

I could go on and on, but you all know what I am talking about. Lets learn to appreciate our hardworking black men.

When you think about a black man what comes to your mind?

When is the last time that you told a black man you ADMIRE him?

Please respond to these questions, I am asking for a reason.

Until next time on “The Journey of Ms. Devereaux”


ErynMyisha said...

wow...that's nice girl! i'm sure that man you reached out to will never forget that. that's the type of impact we should have on people regardless of color, BUT especially our minority men.

Anonymous said...

Good question...I usually say "I am proud you" or "I appreciate you" to a black man. In Chicago, it is said rather frequently especially to family or friends. "I admire you" is usually reserved for an elder male like my father. Great piece! This is an article or blog that should be written in a Chicago magazine or newspaper. Thanks for showing that man 'a little peace on earth'. Take care.

-Cous MLB

UNCLE SAM said...

Why yes my dear you are "sho' right", we need 2 be appreciated. Luckily I am married(HAPPILY) & my wife, well.... let's say u just described her or betta' yet summed her up [IN YOUR BRIEF SUMMARY]. She very much appreciates me and respects me as a provider, a lover, a faithful husband & a great father to our 6 wonderful kids. So I'm feeling the whole scenario about giving a little notice to the NOTICED & the sometimes unnoticed black men. Because I don't have a steady 9-5, what I mean is that it is part time & it doesn't pay a whole lot & my wife knows that, but i still enjoy doing my job regardless of the fact what it is.
I guess you could of been talking about me, about the looking mean part; but i try not to let my personal life get involved with my work life. But hey world, if not for me do it for all men that show their accountability & responsibility around the world & their community. BET!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

This is my first time posting a comment but I just wanted to thank you for writing that piece. That was absolutely awesome. I do think black men need some uplifting every now and then. A smile definitely helps.

Sunshine said...

That caught my attetion in more than one way. I can't say that I run into many HARD working black men where I am. I always carry a smile and a Thank you but, I can't really say that I have ever told a black man that I appreciate them. I haven't had too many black men in my life that I can say that I appreciate because I have always been the provider in my family. I am not married so all the things that a man should do in my life I do. I try to teach my son to be a different kind of man so that he can be appreciated by a good black woman. But, you are right we do need to be more considerate of our black men and show more love to them and what they do. I will now pay more attention to those hard working black men and give a loving smile and a harm hello.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the insightful beyond your years wisdom. I am a black man almost 60 years old. As they say been there, done that. US Army, middle executive corporate America, owned on businesses, teaching high school, involved in the community and my church, and working any gig that can pay the rent and feed the babies. Most folks don't know what a black man goes through, especially one trying to make it. Some of you might guess who I am, but that is not the story. It is the story of generations of unappreciated black men. I am one of the fortunate ones, loving wife and family. The rest of the people (black and white), I have learned not to expect appreciation, and therefore am not disappointed.

Anonymous said...

What an awesome piece! You hit on so many points here, Ms. Devereaux and I applaud your bravery in doing so. So often we neglect to say thank you to our black men (husbands, fathers, grandfathers, brothers, cousins, uncles, etc.) when they MAN UP. My late husband was an AWESOME black man. I don't know of anyone more black & beautiful, blessed, brilliant, bountiful, bursting with talent, burden bearing, brother than he was. I know that we, his family, said thank you to him a lot but you don't realize that it wasn't said "enough" until they're gone. He allowed a lot of people to "stand on his hands". So, yes ma'am it is vitally important to STEP UP and say "Hey, thank you for who you are and for what you do." It is one of the greater gifts we can give to our black men. Thank you for your insight and keep up the good work.