black

Hard Work is Ugly

I just got done watching the Beyoncé Netflix documentary Homecoming a couple of days ago and I must say that I am inspired. The countless hours that she put into her Coachella performance was grueling. She coordinated everything from the props, dancers, musicians, singers, lights, etc. That woman is a beast. But what I truly enjoyed about the documentary, was the behind the scene moments. I enjoyed the choreography rehearsals and the repetition of the same moves being perfected. I enjoyed seeing all the mistakes that were made and the drive to get them right. There was even one point in the documentary where Beyoncé sat her team down and explained to them that she was frustrated with the passion of the performance not translating on film. The camera wasn’t catching the foot stomps, the screams, and all the intricate movements that made the show great. Ultimately, the show would be one of the greatest, if not the greatest Coachella performances and Beyoncé would become the first black woman to headline.

I watched Homecoming in three parts because while I was watching it, I was at the gym working out. I would get on the elliptical, turn on the documentary, and be amazed. My sweat would be dripping all over the machine and my phone. My hoodie would be drenched. As the sweat fell from my forehead, a couple of droplets would get in my mouth and I could taste the saltiness. I didn’t care. Beyoncé was in front of me singing and rapping while dancing. All the mistakes and rehearsals paid off for this epic moment. The pains, the aches, the pushing, and grinding might have been ugly, but the results were beautiful. This prompted me to believe that Hard Work Is Ugly. The word ugly means unpleasant or repulsive. So, doing the work maybe unpleasant and you may not even want to do it, but the outcome is beautiful.

Working out has been might one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life. The mental prowess it takes to force your body to go beyond measures it is not accustomed to is remarkable. I must push myself to shift my mentality towards excellence, black excellence to be exact. The process is ugly, but I love it. I spend an hour to an hour in a half in the gym making my body feel uncomfortable. I grunt and yell to lift weights against gravity to build strength and obtain muscles that I never had before. My hair is uncombed, and my clothes are wet. After all the sweat and soreness, I’m glad I did it. The results are finally coming in and I am happy about the progress. I’m not there yet, but my mentality has shifted. I want to feel good and be happy. If I have to get a little ugly to do it then I’m willing to get ugly.

Are you willing to get ugly or are you already ugly?

Magical Nigga

My skin is majestic 

Bless it

Worshiped                   

Blessed          

Kissed by the sun

Melanin Covered

Uncontested                                              

Hair nappy Like my pappy

Slight Overbite                                   

When I’m happy

Nose Big

Like my mammy                                    

And I love it                        

Understand me    

Eyes brown                                         

Like the ground      

My ancestors are buried in   

Hands ashy

Like from the chains                      

My people were carried in                     

Chosen by the most high                                

So tell me                                

Why would they lie    

I am a king           

Royalty    

Fresh                                                    

Fly                                                 

Cool   

Sweet                                  

And one handsome guy                        

A heart like a lion                   

Passion like a dragon          

To fuel the dreams     

My mind likes to imagine 

I’m 5 foot 10                          

With a big head     

And a thick figga     

If you haven’t noticed by now                  

I’m magical nigga

Run Black Men Run:The Marathon Continues

“The fastest runner doesn't always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn't always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don't always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11) No truer words have been written by one of the wisest men in the Bible, King Solomon, son of David, succeeding ruler of Israel. While trying to understand this verse, I had to dig a little into King Solomon’s life. Ecclesiastes was written shortly before King Solomon’s death where he reflects on his earthly journey. This book explores the meaning of life without purpose. It says no matter the good or bad you do, you die and that’s it. That sounds morbid, but in the final chapter of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon gives us hope on how to live a meaningful life by saying, “Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone's duty.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13) Our purpose is to fulfill the purpose God has designed for us and our lives will have the meaning we are looking for.

I believe Nipsey Hussle was living in the purpose that God had designed for him. Is it God’s design to end his life so short? I’m not here to discuss that and to be frank, I really don’t know. However, I do want to discuss the impact that he had and still has on the world by living his life in his purpose. His death hit me. Harder than I had anticipated. I didn’t listen to his music, but I listened to his interviews and watched his moves. He did what every black man should do, take care of home. The lives he has touched at the young age of 33 is remarkable. I remember being at my parent’s house watching tv when I got the Twitter notification that Nipsey was shot. I just knew he was going to pull through. Then a couple minutes later, another notification came through saying that Nipsey was pronounced dead. My mouth was agape. Whoa! Nipsey Hussle is gone.

Couple days after his death, we would get to know Nipsey’s killer. Nipsey was executed by another black man because he embarrassed him by calling him out for being a snitch and his ego couldn’t take it. With the death of Nipsey, I can see a slight shift in the way black men treat each other. I hear black men saying I love you to one another. Black men are now checking up on each other. Black men are feeling again. We run such a tough race, so why would I stick my leg out to trip my fellow brother? If my brother is ahead of me in this race, I know that I too can get ahead. It’s a marathon and Nipsey knew this. He wanted to give others a head-start by giving back to his hometown. His business acumen was incredible. He was buying back the block and making it accessible to those who couldn’t afford it. He invested in his own community because he wanted to see it thrive. How can you kill someone like that?

My message to my fellow brothers is to run, run like hell. Run like you have never ran before. Nipsey has shown us that the marathon continues even after death and what you leave behind will help the next man succeed in their race. We need each other, and we cannot afford to lose. If you kill your brother, you kill yourself. I love you all and I mean that with my whole heart.

 Rest in Peace Ermias Asghedom aka Nipsey Hussle.

A Few Faithful Men

This week I wanted to do things a little differently. I reached out to a few men that I know to talk about faithfulness. Take a listen as I asked the men a couple of questions regarding faithfulness and the question that sparked it all “What would it take for you not to cheat?” Don’t forget to subscribe, follow, and share.