Sophisticated lifestyle and culture for gentlemen of color – this destination is written for the husband, father, professional, and perhaps much more. This space is a home for gentlemen that appreciate an urbane perspective regarding culture, etiquette, style, and career. The objective: Educate, encourage, and empower.
The Gentlemen’s Desk – Week of July 12th
- Does anyone seriously believe that this administration is going to glean any wisdom or knowledge from this global crisis or remain willfully and defiantly ignorant? That is a rhetorical question.
- Working from home is definitely not as glamorous as some people may expect – not when you are sharing the same living space with multiple individuals.
- And speaking of working from home…just out my post – Daddy Diary: The Coronavirus Chronicles: 10 True Confessions of a Parent Working From Home
- If you haven’t read my review of the Harry’s Bar Soap, please be sure to check it out.
- Beware of the deal that seems to good to be true. If that shoe costs $25 out of pocket, and you’re not utilizing some form of gift card to drop that price from retail, expect the value of a $25 shoe – it won’t last.
- My daughter is Star Student of the Week. For her assignment, she had to name someone who was a real-life superhero to her, and she named me and my wife. I was pleasantly relieved.
- A gentleman should definitely know how to cook. So, I’m posting recipes and my experiences in the kitchen. Lockdown has granted me the opportunity to cook more frequently.
- Fatherhood has been on my mind a lot as of late. Be a Father to Your Child – Essential Parenting Skills & Responsibilities That Every New (Or Not So New) Father Should Embrace. I dive into obligations that extend beyond changing diapers. Check it out.
- And as always, please check out my latest blog posts HERE.
Ain’t No Half-Steppin’ – The Cole Haan Stitchlite Oxford and the Redefinition of Business Casual Footwear
The professional gentleman has always had a complicated, love-hate relationship with the concept of business casual. It is somewhat of an oxymoron is it not – business, yet casual? Business was business, and casual was casual. Nevertheless, the backend of the 20th century introduced an amalgamation of a business and casual option for gentlemen. Now the lines were strangely blurred. The ambiguity resulted in decades of indecisiveness regarding menswear and dress codes within the confines of corporate America. To be fair, there were some gentlemen that successfully navigated these new uncharted sartorial waters. Meanwhile, a bevy of others stumbled through the exercise quite literally with mixed outcomes.
And while the clothing component usually landed with a standard pair of khakis and a sport shirt; footwear really struggled to find its footing (see what I did there) in this new business casual environment. It wasn’t entirely the gentleman’s fault. The industry performed a disservice by offering some truly awful, unattractive selections for the already befuddled gentlemen. You can still spot a few on lonely shelves at a local DSW. However, in 1988, Cole Haan was acquired by Nike, and so began the infusion of urban contemporary style into men’s footwear that provided much-needed clarity. The early 2000s witnessed the introduction of the LunarGrand collection. The brogue and wingtip aesthetics of a traditional dress shoe was placed atop Nike’s proprietary Lunarlon cushioning system for the ultimate fusion of business and casual. The gentleman was afforded the appearance of a standard dress shoe for the office with sneaker-like performance. Read More Here.
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To be absolutely certain, the most prolific hip hop artists in history display the innate ability to tell vivid stories – the art of storytelling as many call it. The Notorious B.I.G. Nas. Scarface. These artists were able to lyrically weave a tapestry of detail throughout tracks that transported the listener directly into the song. Undoubtedly, the experience leaves an indelible mark on the listener’s memory. Effectively describing the most minute facets and capturing the emotion of a situation; artful storytelling is a powerful tool that engenders engagement. That being stated, communicating an engaging story is not only a useful device in songwriting, it can also elevate a job interview above a fellow job seeker. When I have sought job opportunities, my interview style is conversational, detailed, and personal. I want the interviewer fully invested in my answers and my narrative.
I’ve been in this game for years, corporate life is an animal, it’s rules to the game, so I wrote me a manual. It’s a step by step e-booklet for you to get your job on track – not your career pushed back. Yes, the corporate world can present quite the challenge for anyone, but for the gentleman of color, this world can be an entirely different animal. And for the uninitiated, the wrong moves can render a career stuck in neutral, or worst yet, gifted a box of your belongings and shown the exit.
Trust, there will be landmines that must be expertly navigated if career success is the objective. Your patience and resolve will be tested. There are so many times you can be confused with the other black guy in the office before it starts to wear on your nerves. You can only hear black slang from 1985 resurrected in 2018 as if it is brand new so many times before you want to scream. You can only hear the expressed fear from your non-melaninated colleagues about venturing into an urban area (which they never visit anyway) before your eyes roll out of the sockets.
Regarding the everyday activities of life, more specifically fatherhood, I am rather matter of fact with my observations and narratives. I am always open and honest about fatherhood with respect to its profound impact over the last 5 years. My role and responsibilities are painfully simple: do what is right and do what is necessary. Sometimes, I am able to experience success, and other times, unfortunately, I fail. Nevertheless, I am frank about my fatherly adventures when queried. During one of these conversations, a work colleague remarked that I was a “different” type of man. At least different from the men from her generation. You understand, as a woman of a certain age, men from her generation did not carry out the parental duties that I routinely performed. Or at least that is what I was told. I always wanted to be a father actively involved in the growth and development of his children, so duties as a devoted dad didn’t seem all too odd.
Now, before I bear the entire brunt of the Internet parenting community, I wholeheartedly agree that becoming a parent can be a wondrous joy. Nevertheless, I would not be honest if I did not admit some aspects of being a parent that is quite a pain. Sure, you are bound to encounter that one parent that extols the sheer happiness and bliss of having children. And don’t get me wrong, in many situations, this is absolutely correct. However, as new parents will soon realize, there are some facets to parenthood that we unconditionally detest. Dislike. Hate. Loathe. Now, for the purpose of this post, I am going to exclude the usual suspects: changing diapers, lack of sleep, etc. Because, being a parent or not, who would love cleaning up feces 8 times per day on 4 hours of sleep? And Lord, for our first child, my wife wanted to use cloth diapers. That novelty was jettisoned out the window by the time our second child arrived. Soaking, scrubbing, and washing cloth diapers with OxiClean and a toothbrush did not lead to a happy disposition. I confess this particular pain point was self-inflicted insanity. However, parents-to-be, I am warning you. There are certain situations that you may not be able to avoid, and you may be caught with your guard down. I am here to provide a heads-up.
“Let us realize too that even we disenfranchised have our duties.”
W.E.B. Du Bois
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A Word From the Gentleman
A gentleman is required to instruct his children regarding the virtue of integrity, character, and responsibility.