I am that man. Yes, I’m the man that was born to lose, yet built to win. I am that man. The man who is despised by his oppressors while also serving as the object of their envy and desires. I am that man. The one that shatters the glass ceiling even when they keep trying to raise the bar. I am that man. I’m the man who strives for success but all to often I'm reminded of how imperfect I am because I will fail everyday, sometimes multiple times a day.
I am that man. The one charged to love and protect a woman, the man who wants to care for and marry his chosen one. I am that man. I am the man who often isn’t emotionally equipped to properly love and respect his significant other and is too afraid to admit it and ask for help, but still I try because I am that man. I'm the man who bristles with power and strength and exudes the masculinity of Samson, yet I understand there is a time to be tender and light.
I am that man. I am the man that walks around with his chest out for the world to see, yet admires the androgynous style of Bowie and respects the beauty and mindset of a James Baldwin while still birthing the same cool as that of a Miles Davis. I am that man. I am the man which the schools systems fail, and our governments build prison cells for by the time I’m in the third grade but somehow I manage to create literary works of art like I’m Ralph Ellison or Langston Hughes.
I am that man. The same one that they call lazy and good for nothing but I work two and three jobs to provide and be a good example for those that come after me. I am that man. I am the man who works ten times as hard and does twelve times as much as his peers just to be barely acknowledged with those who are mediocre at best. I’m the man the everyone loves to hate and the same one that many others are scared to love. I am that man. I’m the man that gains respect and earns millions of dollars for running, jumping, singing and dancing and I’m the same man that everyone ignores for earning a check from a hard days work at a nine to five.
I am that man. I’m the man who dreams about and shoots for the stars even though everyone else looks at his daydreams as If he’s a space cadet floating toward Mars. I am that man. Yes I’m the man who reads incessantly looking to expand his mind and change the world, yet many of you look right past him as if he doesn’t exist at all or the world is passing him by. I am that man. I’m the man who continues to give everything he has, even when all you give him back is stress, a headache, and reminders of what you think he may never be, constantly discounting his life as expendable for the world to see.
I am that man. I’m the man who will dress to impress even thought he doesn’t give a damn about conforming or impressing you at all. I am that man. Yes, I’m the man who admires and respects his elders, looks to them for wisdom and guidance, models himself after them in a way, but still has his eyes and his heart on the future and how he will change it. I am that man. I’m the man who you say cannot maintain his frantic pace, yet I’ve outpaced and lapped you time and time again.
I am a that man. I’m as brave as Jackie Robinson, as strong as Mike Tyson, as creative as Saul Williams, artistic as Jean Michel Basquiat, spiritual as Coltrane, eloquent as Malcolm, as revolutionary as Fela Kuti, soulful as Marvin Gaye, fast as Jesse Owens, powerful as John Henry, stylish as Sidney Poitier, intelligent as Neil Degrasse Tyson, as enigmatic as Miles Davis, I got an attitude like John Shaft and more importantly I’m as different as me.
I am that man. I’m the man. I am the reflection of a man. I am what a man can be, what a man should be, what a man always was and what a man has never been. I am all things and I can do all things. For better or for worse, win, lose or draw I am a man. Like or dislike, I am a man. Damn it, I am a man! I will be respected just like I give respect. I will love just like I am owed love. And why? Because I am that man! Dammit I am a man!