Black Boy Purpose

We gon’ forever win.

And we gon’ do it legit (for sure), because I ain’t gon’ never sin (no more) daddy gon’ be here you already know.

The holidays are always a time of reflection as we prepare ourselves for the uncertainty that the new year will bring.

The through line through every conversation I have these days, is that I want to do purposeful work that aides in the liberation of Black people and I believe that this purposeful work, no matter how strenuous on the soul, the psyche and the body, doesn’t have to be strenuous on the bank account as well y’all. LOL!

image4I am determined to liberate through entrepreneurial endeavors and moving with great purpose ensures that we commit to the work with joy and happiness and ensuring financial freedom.

While preparing for this season of Kwanzaa, I’ve been reflecting on the principles of the Nguzo Saba and the ways they support the most positive realizations of African heritage. It amazes me how deeply related, or at least how deeply related they should be, to the way in which we should live our everyday lives.

Nia or Purpose has been one of the main tenets on my mind this entire year.

Nia (nee-AH)
Purpose

“To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.”

The fifth principle of the Nguzo Saba is Nia which is essentially a commitment to the collective vocation of building, developing and defending our national community, its culture and history in order to regain our historical initiative and greatness as a people. The assumption here is that our role in human history has been and remains a key one, that we as an African people share in the grand human legacy Africa has given the world.

This year God has bestowed on me so many blessings and limitless amounts of favor. In the span of a few short years, my life has gone from pain to gain and I am so rich with opportunity that money has been a natural byproduct of my success.

Honestly, in my mind there is theme music blasting and a crowd of onlookers cheering for the boy. “I be feeling like one of those rappers or ball players you know A” (that’s a Paid in Full reference for all of you out there.)

With the hectic nature of our everyday lives, I’m always grateful for downtime to reflect on life and all of its trials and tribulations.

This past Thanksgiving I took my newly turned 4 year old daughter and my soon to be 3 year old niece to see Paw Patrol live at the Kings Theater in Flatbush Brooklyn. I don’t know if y’all know but for a 2 and 4 year old that’s the equivalent of watching Jay-Z and Beyoncé perform at say….anywhere.

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Watching my daughter and niece yell in amazement and excitement, as they got wasted off of popcorn, lemonade and candy; really made me happy.

It was epic y’all.

I feel so loved this year.

In truth, I have not always been the happiest about my own personal situations and so while I received love; ultimately I never knew how appreciate it.

I told myself, coming into 2017 that this would be my year, and I meant way more than just in a monetary sense. I promised myself that I’d be open this year. That I would push further than I had ever done and access all the positive energy around me.

You see, in this year, I decided that the only way I was going to live was by doing purposeful work that helps to cultivate my soul.

In one of the most challenging years collectively for our country and our people, I’m almost ashamed to say that I’ve been having the best professional and personal year of my life.

I’m alive and in good health.
My family is doing great.
Each and every one of my sisters is coming into their own and finding their way in this world.
My mom is doing great and everyday I’m blessed to still see her smile.
My daughter is growing into a beautiful little lady right before my very eyes, a process that I wish would slow the hell down. LOL!

I have real love in my heart, in my life and all around me. Everyone in my circle is winning or putting their best foot forward and chasing their dreams.

I’m blessed. I always prayed for days like this, but never realized that they would come once I actually decided to “let go and let God.”

The work that I do for NYC Men Teach allows me to work for equitable systems that support our students while destroying White supremacy.

When I first got into this field I was just happy to have a job, honestly.

I had known a few years of struggle and not knowing what was next, and so when this opportunity came I was just happy to receive a paycheck. Sometimes in the pursuit of security and stability, we are lucky to find a connection to things that give our lives greater purpose and meaning. I’m so grateful that this has happened for me.

As I worked more and put myself out there amongst new faces and spaces, I became intrigued by all I hadn’t known about issues that affect people like me everyday. Once I met Queen Khalilah and watched her facilitate for the 1st time I thought, “Yooo it’s time to step my shit up. Shawty is the truth.”

And that I did.

I was blessed to collaborate with her, which gave birth to the Pedagogy of Trap, our first signature workshop that we will be sharing at the ASCD Conference this Spring.

She put me on to this race, gender, power and privilege work and now I know this is the work I was meant to do.

Now I realize my purpose.

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Becoming a member of CREAD has helped to open my mind up to Blackness in a way I had never even imagined before and blogging for the site has connected me to something bigger than myself.

I’m from Brooklyn where one of our main mantras is, “spread love” and I believe that when you do that, positivity becomes contagious and everyone wins with that type of energy.

I love the saying, “If a man ain’t gon’ build, then he gon’ destroy.” So I ask you this:

How are we building our youth up? If we aren’t preparing them to live a purposeful life, that both helps build them personally, and  in turn allows them to build up their collective community; then what exactly are we preparing them for?

And so I wonder: How are you living out your purpose? In what ways are you building towards your best life? And what are your goals for 2018? Because you can’t teach what you yourself don’t know.

I believe that in life all we really need is the opportunity to access our greater purpose, to be exposed to something more, in order to really be our best selves.

So, what’s your purpose?

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