Have you ever browsed the “Inspirational People” section of your Facebook?
If you haven’t, you should check it out. Hey, don’t act like you don’t occasionally browse your own Facebook profile page! We’re all a little bit vain at heart–well, at least that’s what I like to think about humans. Anyway, if you browse your Facebook profile page and check out the different things that you’ve “Liked,” you’ll come across the “Inspirational People” section. I’m not sure when exactly I chose said inspirational people for Facebook to show on my profile page, but the 5 that I chose sure are fitting. To me, these are all inspirational black men, and this is what led me to this blog post. Ready? Let’s go!
Here is my list of inspirational black men…
I – Barack Obama
Barack Obama. Maaan, this guy is the man. First black president, anyone? The amount of respect I have for Barack Obama is immeasurable. Not only is he constantly poised, but he’s done a lot during his presidential term, although some may disagree. I won’t get into arguments about if he’s done enough or not, but I will say that I haven’t been prouder to be an American since Bill Clinton’s amazing presidential stint. Obama has made it clear that the sky is the limit and anything is attainable despite the massive amounts of opposing forces.
He handles himself well, knows how to command a crowd, and has a beautiful family. The guy is so likable, and I would be honored to get the chance to meet him. Barack Obama has changed the face of politics in America for the better, and I hope that positive things in this country continue to happen because of him. He re-coined the term “Change.” I mean, who does that? Haha.
II – Kanye West
I can’t praise Kanye West enough. This guy is my idol, and I’m not afraid nor embarrassed to say that. Although the majority of the world clearly hates this guy–which in my opinion is unwarranted–I don’t share the same sentiments. I think Kanye West is one of the most creative and innovative minds of my generation. Disagree with me? Then you must not be too well informed on what this guy has done for music. I hear the argument all the time that “Kanye samples everything and isn’t original at all,” but let’s not get into that because that discourse would go on for days.
Aside from his contributions to the music world, Kanye has touched millions in the fashion scene. His fashion sense is impeccable, and as he ages you can see that he’s becoming more and more confident in his “swag.” I hate that word, btw, haha. But, seriously, he’s become so intuitive when it comes to fashion, and he’s a continuous dreamer. Yes, he interrupted Taylor Swift at some award show. Okay. Um. Yeah. It’s was an award show. He apologized, and he’s gone on to continue to talk his sh*t and back it up perfectly!
III – Kid Cudi
Another musician, you ask? Yes, but that has nothing to do with why I admire Kid Cudi. Okay, maybe it has a little to do with it, haha. Ever since I heard his first studio album, Man on the Moon, I was mesmerized by Cudi. The sounds he created and the emotions he poured into his music made me and millions of fans alike fall in love with him as an artist and a person. I’ve never met the guy in my life, but I feel like I know his struggles well.
Not only do I admire his music, but I also admire his fashion sense. Like Kanye West, Kid Cudi has become sort of an urban fashion icon. How did he do it? By simply being himself. His eclectic personality is what makes him such a magnetic figure. His fans are die-hard and follow his every movement. It’s almost cult-like. I hear that I resemble Kid Cudi and, for the most part, it’s flattering, but sometimes it’s like, “come on, brah, I’m TRENDYBLACKGUY.” Haha. On a serious note, Kid Cudi inspires me because he shows that one can truly be themselves, and people will either love it or hate it but that shouldn’t be your concern.
IV – Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant? Really? The guy who cheated on his wife, hogs the ball, and throws out sexual orientation hate speech? Yes. That guy. I don’t admire the flaws of Kobe Bryant, let me get that out in the open first and foremost. What I do love about Kobe, though, are all of his strengths. Have you seen a more determined human being? I haven’t seen anyone in sports have such a killer instinct since Michael Jordan!
Kobe is a beast. He does what he feels and he doesn’t apologize for it. I admire the hell out of that because he’s living proof that one can play by their own rules as long as they’re happy and not breaking the law. Kobe Bryant loves basketball and he dedicated his life to it. You HAVE to respect someone who finds something they want to excel at and then they excel at it. Aside from the things you may hate about Kobe Bryant, you have to admit that his strengths are f*cking serious.
V – Jay-Z
Last, but not least, Shawn Carter. Jay-Z. Jay-Z is a mogul. A MOGUL, I tell ya! He went from drug dealer to multimillionaire businessman, and I know there are a decent amount of people that hate that. I never really understood why, though, because, like, what do people want? For Jay-Z to have died in the streets as a drug pusher? Come on. Jay-Z is so inspirational because he literally went from nothing to something. He has this uncanny ability to adapt to the ever-changing world and come out on top. He’s always relevant.
I admire his “cool.” I rarely have seen an angry Jay-Z, and this is what seems to work best for him. He chiseled his way to the top and he’s accepted there. The man also has a strong beautiful woman by his side, a daughter with contesting beauty, and a great group of friends and family around him. That, my friends, is truly what living the American dream is all about. People may not be able to fully appreciate it right now, but Jay-Z has paved the way for many successful black men to come. You just watch.
What do Barack Obama, Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Kobe Bryant, and Jay-Z have in common?
Well, they’re all black men. Duh. These guys are one of the reasons why I started TRENDYBLACKGUY in the first place. They are the OG TRENDYBLACKGUY’s and will remain so. Okay, okay, you’re probably asking, “what about Malcom X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mohammad Ali, etc.?” Well, those guys weren’t part of my generation so I can’t really relate. They indeed did pave the way for the people I speak about now, and I respect them for that. However, Barack Obama, Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Kobe Bryant, and Jay-Z are the black men that I’ve watched the most as I’ve grown up.
As I progress through life and strive to reach my goals, I keep these guys in the back of my mind. Seeing their personal and public successes drives me like no other. Like them, I am currently making my way through a white-dominated field. I’m not saying that I don’t love my medical school class to death. What I am saying is that it isn’t a secret that out of 196 students in my class, there are only 4 black males. Four. I need guys like Barack Obama, Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Kobe Bryant, and Jay-Z to show me that anything and everything is possible. These men are my heroes and I will continue to watch them, learn from them, and use whatever techniques apply to me to be just as successful and happy. I think I’m on the right path!