Heritage – Thurgood Marshall


  • Born Thoroughgood Marshall on July 2, 1908 in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in 1925
  • Earned Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, majoring in Literature and Philosophy from Lincoln University in 1930
  • Graduated magna cum laude, earning his degree in law, from Howard University School of Law in 1933
  • Worked as assistant special counsel at National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Baltimore in 1936
  • Successfully argued first civil rights case, Murray v. Pearson, in 1936
  • Successfully argued first United States Supreme Court case, Chambers v. Florida, in 1940
  • Director of NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in 1940
  • Successfully argued Smith v. Allwright in 1944
  • Awarded Spingarn Medal in 1946
  • Successfully argued Shelley v. Kraemer in 1948
  • Successfully argued Sweatt v. Painter in 1950
  • Successfully argued McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents in 1950
  • Successfully argued Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka in 1954
  • Appointed to the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals by President John F. Kennedy in 1961.
  • Appointed United States Solicitor General by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965
  • First African-American appointed to Supreme Court in 1967
  • Retired from the Supreme Court in 1991
  • Received the Liberty Medal in 1992
  • Received Presidential Medal of Freedom, posthumously, from President Bill Clinton in 1993
  • Marshall died at the age of 84 years old on January 24, 1993


Style & Substance – Passagio Cravatte – Custom Neckties

Gianni CeruttiHave you ever wondered how a delicate piece of sumptuous fabric is transformed into an exquisite slice of luxury that is the custom-made necktie? Not really, but now your interest has been aroused? Well, be sure to keep a watchful eye for an upcoming conversation I had with founder of Passaggio Cravatte, Gianni Cerutti. Passaggio Cravatte is unique because they don’t stock ready-made product; everything is hand-made and individually conceived. Neckties. Pocket squares. Ascots. Bow ties. The choice is ultimately in your hands. Well, technically, your choice rests within Mr. Cerutti’s hands as he crafts your selection from scratch. Stay tuned.


Profile – Tracy Xavier – Modern Renaissance Man

Leather Brooch

Sure, the economy is still on a relatively slow mend, but the atmosphere is certainly inviting for bright, driven entrepreneurs to start a business and create a market for themselves. And one such market that is thriving is within the realm of fashion. More and more people are tapping into their creative genius, eliminating the middle man, and taking their product directly to the consumer. Aided by the expansive world of the Internet, small business owners are taking advantage of the renewed interest in men’s fashion. And they are offering incredibly stylish, seriously affordable merchandise for the discerning gentleman that yearns for sartorial refinement, but may not want to drop $200.00 on a pocket square or $300.00 on a tie bar. Recently, I have had the pleasure of speaking with one such small business, Modern Renaissance Man, about a wide array of gentlemanly accessories currently available on their Etsy website. Created by Tracy and Mike Xavier, accessories from Modern Renaissance Man offer an interesting spin on classic accoutrements. Here is how our conversation went.

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Gentlemen’s Review – Bic – Bic Flex 4 Perfect Razor

Bic Flex 4Today, we are going to talk about a subject that elicits feverish passion every time the subject is examined. If you reference the picture above, of course we are talking about shaving. Yes, this simple grooming ritual seems to fire up gentlemen across the nation when we broach the discussion here on the site. In one corner, we have gentlemen that prefer the ubiquitous safety razor. And in the opposite corner, we have gentlemen that prefer a classic straight razor. And in another corner, we have a contender that no one every speaks of – the disposable razor. Truthfully, I have never written about disposable razors because I never utilize them. The handling is clumsy. They are terribly stiff. And the blade is not comfortable. Nevertheless, I was extended the opportunity to trial the new Bic Flex 4 Perfect Razor. Ironically, the Flex 4 may be marketed as a disposable razor, but it didn’t “feel” like a disposable razor. Please read further to understand what I mean.
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Black Thought

Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Bradley“Two months ago I had a nice apartment in Chicago. I had a good job, I had a son. When something happened to the Negroes in the South I said, “That’s their business, not mine.” Now I know how wrong I was. The murder of my son has shown me that what happens to any of us, anywhere in the world, had better be the business of us all.”

– Mamie Till-Mobley

To be absolutely certain; no race, ethnicity, class, or gender is immune from the grasp of random tragedy. To exhibit ambivalence and indifference is painfully irresponsible. Sadly, the world continues to expand by leaps and bounds, but our own desire for isolation has given rise to an apathetic, sometimes even reprobate, mentality that is methodically unraveling the fabric that makes us human. No particular demographic owns a patent on tragic misfortune. At any given moment, we can discover ourselves in calamitous circumstances that leaves us distraught, distressed, angry, bitter, and heartbroken. It is important that an individual is able to feel not only sympathy, but also empathy. If you don’t care – I suggest you start caring now. Because, in a world of indiscriminate catastrophe, you would want someone to care about you.

Standard Recommendations – The Madras Pocket Square

Tie Bar PS Green&RedDefinition: Madras is a lightweight cotton fabric, usually manufactured with a vibrant plaid design, and used primarily for summer clothing such as pants, shorts, dresses, and jackets, or as the picture shown above – pocket squares. The fabric takes its name from the former name of the city of Chennai, India. For the sharply dressed gentleman, assembling a well-rounded wardrobe requires the procurement of stylish, season specific accoutrements. And given the fact that summer is in full operation, perhaps the procurement of something madras could be a worthwhile endeavor. Nothing big. A cool pocket square is a nice start. Light and airy, madras is not as rigid or stiff as your typical cotton square. Colors are usually vivid, and the plaid pattern is typically pronounced. Great for a casual khaki suit or sport coat. However, if you are really bold, you can stuff one inside your business suit for a delicious dichotomy of serious and playful. No matter the preference, a madras pocket square certainly deserves a spot adjacent to your collection of wool, cotton, and silk pocket accessories.

Black Thought

WEB_DuBois_19181“Let us realize too that even we disenfranchised have our duties.”

-W.E.B. Du Bois

Responsibility. Every gentleman owns a select portion of this in his community. Regardless of his limiting socioeconomic circumstances, a gentleman must deliver the very best of his talents for the improvement of his neighborhood. I definitely understand that this may be difficult for some gentlemen. One may feel that their status in society does not meet acceptable or suitable standards. However, I say to those individuals who may feel as if life has dealt a cruel poker hand; you still have much to offer. Do not sit idle and allow your gifts to waste and rot. Your community patiently awaits your arrival. Waiting for the “right” time when everything is correct in the world is not an option. What if the “right” time never arrives? The only right time is right now. Do not hesitate. Do not second guess. You are stronger, more intelligent, and more talented than you might realize; it is your duty to improve the environment around you. You possess the necessary tools to make a difference. Act now!

The Standard #3

harlemThe knowledgeable gentleman comprehends that his image does not begin with how society views him. Rather, the gentleman’s image begins with how he sees himself. He alone determines and dictates the manner in which he is presented to the world. When he gazes into the mirror, the reflection of greatness should readily greet him. It does not begin with the clothing he chooses to attire himself in, nor the vehicle he selects to navigate city streets. Not the place of employment where he makes a living. Not the amount of money presently residing in his bank account. Why? Well, because character starts with his self-worth. His esteem is not erected upon a mountain of biodegradable materialism – subject to decay and waste. No, the gentleman’s image is based on gentlemanly fundamentals that are concrete and certain. Virtue. Honor. Principle. Forthrightness. The Gentlemen’s Standard.

The Re-Birth of a Nation

birthofnationSometimes perception, no matter how ignorantly misguided or foolishly erroneous, can be tragically dangerous. And as an African-American male, I fully comprehend the concept of perception, especially when viewed through the myopic lens that is the American eye. Seriously, don’t fool yourselves. Since the birth of this nation, the identity of the black male has been deftly manufactured and slyly constructed by a white power system that, by any means necessary, hungers to retain power. We are a stereotype that has been permanently branded into the psychology of this nation, leaving behind a charred residue of racial prejudice and bigotry that many people pretend doesn’t exist. And before you claim that I am overreacting, forget that you know Glen Antoine Palmer, the affable gentleman that writes this blog. I am a 6 foot 1, 240 pound black male with a bald head and thick beard. I rarely smile, not because I am in a foul mood, but because I really don’t like my smile all that much. No matter – I have a perpetually angry look all the time. Add in what someone has seen in a few rap videos, the more than occasional homicide in inner city Detroit, and the overall history of the black male being a hyper-sexual, violent savage – and voila – you have your stereotype.

Doesn’t matter that Glen is a devoted husband, a loving son, a mentor, a hard worker, a godfather, a friend, and an overall gentleman (with a nice suit & necktie game); I can be a threat or danger to anyone at any time, if they deem it within their minds. I will never forget, back when I was in college, a woman who lived upstairs in my apartment thought I could be a potential rapist. How did I know? Well, ironically she mentioned the big bald black guy who lived downstairs to my girlfriend, and future wife  – Stephanie, who was in her study group. When Stephanie realized what apartment she stayed in, and the only big bald black guy around was me, she calmly explained to her that I wasn’t that sort of man. Going forward, the lady upstairs was perfectly fine, well, since Stephanie vouched for me. Fact is, I was a stereotype. And it’s frustrating to be a stereotype, especially when you aren’t a stereotype. I don’t think I should be a tragedy waiting to happen based on another person’s misguided prejudice. But that is the sad reality; a reality that has existed since the birth of this nation. And unfortunately, it is a reality I have to live with everyday.

Standard Recommendations – Colored Shoelaces

1901 Shoelaces 1Gentlemen, it is officially summer, and the time has arrived to lace up with some colored shoe laces. And by colored – we mean brightly colored. Beyond the rudimentary selections that you are accustomed to – you know – the unenthusiastic shades of black and brown, there exists a bright brave world of sprightly shoestrings ready to secure your kicks to your feet. The vibrant colors can add a bit of playful charm to a gentleman’s presentation. Totally unexpected, but undoubtedly stylish. This endorsement is not surprising, as I have championed the utilization of jazzy hued laces before. So, to further drive the point home, I decided to photograph a pack of 1901 shoelaces that I purchased from Nordstrom. This 7 pack of organic waxed cotton laces is not only great for summer play, but I can see these making a surprise cameo in the fall. However, let’s not rush autumn in prematurely. We still have plenty of summer days to enjoy.

1901 Shoelaces 2 1901 Shoelaces 3 1901 Shoelaces 4

The Standard #18

Jesse OwensFirmly standing upright under an unrelenting, blistering storm of vitriolic contempt and caustic distrust, the successful gentleman remains undeterred in his journey towards triumph. Triumph – born of an unwavering resolve and complete assurance in his abilities; this gentleman cannot be denied what he has tirelessly striven for. And despite ardent attempts to trivialize his work, undermine his legitimacy, or boldly question his intellect; ignorance and hatred will be trumped every time. Believe it. No amount of mockery can shake his confidence. He is resolute. He is intelligent. He is courageous. More importantly, he recognizes that there exists individuals consumed with hubris and guided by conceit, which ultimately hastens their downfall. So, he stays in his lane and does what he does best – win. Are you a winner?

Sounds of Blackness – The Whispers – In The Mood

I am not exactly sure of the precise moment; that moment when popular mainstream rhythm and blues became crude and crass. Lyrics that once championed affection, devotion, and good old-fashioned intimacy have been supplanted by sexual vulgarity masquerading as love. And I cannot, at least totally, berate the youth today for their selection of music. Not when they are presented with images of rap & blues crooner Drake on the cover of Gentleman’s Quarterly, and with the media constantly anointing dubious celebrity figures as role models. Seems like today, one has to exhibit an offensive, coarse attitude and demeanor to be a contemporary gentleman. Seriously, men, do you really want another man referring to a female family member as a bitch/hoe and holding aspirations of “beating that up”? That being said, please disabuse yourself from the sad reality that is the current state of rhythm and blues. A gentleman can still be rakishly charming, unabashedly sexy, and effortlessly smooth  – without calling a woman out of her name in the process. Fact: Being a gentleman is not mutually exclusive with being boring. And so, I remind the audience today, with the help of The Whispers, that there are gentlemen still in existence that believe in proper manners, treating a lady respectfully, and loving her as she deserves. Trust me, every lady wants that.

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