The Trials and Triumphs of a Joyful Black Man in America

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About Michael Taylor

Coach Michael Taylor is a self educated entrepreneur, author, spiritual coach and radio talk show host. He is seeking to facilitate a shift in male consciousness which he believe will lead to the eradication of high divorce rates, absentee fathers, and poverty while increasing a better work life balance for men as they seek a higher calling to joy and happiness. Find him Find him on www.blackmenrock.net

“Men are hungry for this dialogue. The question is whether or not they will gain the courage to engage in it."

Comments

  1. David Wise says:

    We as black people endure so much strife on this planet simply because of the color of our skin. I thank you, Michael, for relating your own personal experiences so honestly. Peace and light always

  2. “although there is ignorance and hatred in the world, racism in and of itself is actually an over-used word in our society that keeps us separate and in denial of our oneness.”

    I agree with this statement. Being a black man has almost always been good experience for me. I have faced some racist attitudes but I just felt sorry for those poor ignorant souls, and found ways to work around them. Racism is based on fear and ignorance. I simply pity such people and try to take away their fear and show them that different isn’t necessary bad or dangerous. I am proud of who I am, including the color of my skin.

    I am a tiny minority in my business circle but it hasn’t made any difference. The folks I work with are necessarily very smart, highly technical and business savvy. In most business meetings I am the only person of color and it has never been a problem for me or anyone else, as far as I can tell. Sometimes I think we make race a bigger issue than it is. In my circles, it’s not much of an issue.

  3. The Wet One says:

    Let me just say that I’m glad I’m not in the United States where these issues are so fervent. In my neck of the woods, racism is still real and really exists, but it is much less than what I read about in the States. No lynchings, dragging bodies behind trucks and no meaningful KKK in the past or the present. There are still bands of white supremacists who run around, but they are reviled for the scum that they are.

    As for myself, like the author, I think of myself as a man first and black secondly. My family tried to educate me otherwise, but I would say that so far, in my life, their words have been unnecessary and perhaps counterproductive.

  4. David Wise says:

    Personally, most of my encounters with racism has been subtle and covert, and nothing as dramatic as the episodes described by Michael. Eric, I’m glad you work in that rarefied environment that’s devoid of racism, where everyone respects and appreciates your highly valued job skills and educational background. Not every black person is as fortunate. With what is going on in society and politics (Obama vs the Tea Party, etc.), it seems a bit ridiculous to say, “I think we make race a bigger issue than it is.” I’m wondering if Allen West actually wrote this comment. It’s nice that you can dismiss racism as long as it’s not an issue in your circles.

    • Evidently you didn’t read my comment. I did not “dismiss” racism. In fact, I said: “I have faced some racist attitudes. . .” and went on to explain how I deal/dealt with it.

      I have never and personally do not recommend cowering in the face of racism nor allowing it to define me. Does racism still exist? Obviously; I have experience it. Are all white people racist and determined to keep black men down? Ask the POTUS. It’s self-defeating is to believe that black men cannot succeed, despite the existence of racism in some people and places even if it’s not obvious.

      • Herein lies our greatest challenge as men who happen to be black. If I say that there is nothing that can keep someone (no matter what color) from living an extraordinary life and I happen to be black I am accused of denying that racism exists. The truth is, racism does exist and there will always be challenges, but it is my fervent belief that in this day and age there is no one or no thing that can keep you from succeeding except yourself.

        I often ask myself, “Why am I constantly attacked for being an optimist and believing in my innate potential? Why am I constantly accused of being a sellout simply because I choose to see the world through rose colored glasses? Why do people of my own ethnicity ostracize me for my open mindedness and willingness to embrace other cultures and ideals?

        The answer is, “It really doesn’t matter!” What matters to me is what I’m committed to and how I live my life.

        The fact is, I love life! I love my country! I love this world! I am the master of my own destiny and I refuse to fall victim to the idea that anything can keep me from creating anything my heart desires.

        As men who happen to be black the time has come for us to challenge and support each other to reach our full potential. There is nothing “out there” that can hold us back or keep us down. Not racism, not discrimination, not injustice and not intolerance. We are 100% responsible for our success and the time has come to shift our focus from what is wrong in this country to what is right about this country. My belief is that there are a lot more things that are right then that are wrong.

        In the immortal words of Rodney King “Cant we all just get along!”

  5. This quote really struck home: ” I should never focus my attention on that which I am against. Instead, I must focus my attention on that which I am for and I will experience that as a result. So instead of being against racism I am for unity. Instead of taking a position against hatred I take a stand for love” thank you for this article. I passed it on to my friends.

  6. WorldBFree says:

    I’m pleased that such a refreshing perspective was shared. As a Black man, I wish we could all think like this. However, as an observation, I think it’s interesting that as close as the author was to the white girl after being a friend for more than a year, it seems that he was not introduced to her father. Did the daughter keep this a secret? Sounds like the father may have been unaware of his daughter’s Black romance interests.

    • @WorldBFree, The decision was made not to tell her father about our relationship because she knew her father was a racist. However, her mother knew about the relationship and was very supportive because she recognized the positive influence I had on her daughters life.

  7. What I found really interesting was how the adults in your childhood shaped your perceptions. First the teacher who encouraged and supported you. Second, the parents of the children who tried to dehumanize you. The lesson I take from this is: it is on us to create a generational experience wherein humanity is valued over melanin.

    JFB

    • @Jackie, The teacher that I spoke about happened to be white and she was one of the most influential figures in my life. She taught me that my intellect was the key to my success and she encouraged me to be a straight A student. She instilled in me a love for learning that I continue to this day. She will always have a very special place in my heart.

      The person most responsible for my ability to deal with adversity and be optimistic is my mom. Like your mom, she taught me so many valuable life lessons that I am forever indebted to her for her wisdom. She is my greatest source of inspiration and the foundation of who I am as a good man.

  8. I only have a son (no daughters), but if I did, I’d be proud to see her date or marry someone who has accomplished what you have and who obviously speaks from a place only of love. Even today, I know of parents who would rather see their children date the most hateful, underachieving, ignorant people who nevertheless are racially matched than someone of a different race who actually has drive, intelligence and goals. I know the black gentleman I wanted to date in high school (and wasn’t allowed to) would probably have treated me better than the white man I dated, married and eventually divorced. And let me tell you: it’s hard to look at your parents, who you love so much and always trusted to tell you the truth, and know that they were wrong. No matter how much they may have just been trying to “protect me” (and for this part of the country, I know that was truly a part of their reasoning), they made me party to something that still hurts me to think about to this day.

    Thanks for this article.

    • Thank you for your heartfelt comment. I am truly grateful to have had a mother who instilled in me that I was not inferior to anyone and I should choose to date someone based on who they were on the inside rather than how they looked on the outside.

      In love, light and laughter, make it a great day!

  9. David Wise says:

    Well, I’m happy that Michael and Eric have refused to allow racism to defne them as individuals. I don’t either and view myself in spiritual terms above and beyond anything else. First and foremost, I’m a divine being. Yes, that’s right, it’s the way I choose to see myself. Then I’m a human being and next I see myself as an American, who happens to be black. Likewise, I love who am and regard my life as an experience that I’ve elected to have in order to learn lessons and evolve as a soul. I have peace and happiness in my life, and I won’t let anyone spoil that.

    • I’m right there with you David. I am a spiritual being having a human experience and my intention is to evolve to the grandest version of the greatest vision I have for myself as a human being. (to quote Neale Donald Walsch) One of the greatest lessons my grandfather taught me was “You have to play the hand that’s dealt to you”. I have always believed that being black was a great hand to be dealt and I have never felt that I was at a disadvantage in any way. I simply play my hand to the best of my ability.

      Many blessings to you on your path.

  10. David Wise says:

    Thank you, Michael. I wish much peace, joy and blessings as well. Although I’ve moved beyond Walsch’s writing, he was a great inspiration to me years ago. Speaking spiritually, I think everything that comes in my life is a blessing, “good” and “bad,” oftentimes it’s wrapped in a disguise. Shanti

  11. Thank you so much for this inspiring article and specific stories about the racism you have personally faced. I grew up in the multi-ethnicity of Berkeley, CA and have lived in Oakland many years. I feel ignorant about what ‘race’ means in Texas and other parts or the country.

    Your story about your girlfriend’s father threatening your life made me want to cry…thank you again for sharing your experience. Any chance you and she are both currently single…and he has passed on?

    • @Margo, I’m glad you enjoyed the article enough to post a comment. FYI, my former girlfriend and I had an opportunity to rekindle our love affair several years later (after high school) but realized we had both grown up and moved on with our lives and were not able to reignite our high school sweethearts passion. She will always be my high school sweetheart and the memories I have of her will stay with me forever. I am currently very happily married (10 years) and wouldn’t trade my wife for all the tea in China.

  12. Yeah! A happy ending to your story, Michael. Best wishes…

  13. Respect, courtesy, kindness, generosity, courage, honor, decency, friendship and love are color blind
    Anger, jealousy, greed, arrogance, hatred and fear are not.
    Simple on the face of it no?

  14. Wielding love, understanding and positivity in the face of blind hatred is one of the hardest things in the world. It is much easier to fight with rage and bile, but as you say, only through forgiveness and self-acceptance can real healing occur. Your outlook in the face of adversity is truly admirable. Thanks for writing this!

  15. Luke Martindale says:

    Michael, thank you brother.
    I see you. Checking in with gratitude and respect for your work.
    Playful Leopard,
    Out.

  16. “Even though you may have more stars than me, I am still smarter than you…”

    Wow– horrific….I get the other end of that (Asians get stereotyped for being too brainy… So absurd!)….my high school friend (African American) was told by a fellow classmate that the only reason why she got into an Ivy League school was because she was black….(really, a 97 average is a 97 average….plus her father was an editor at a major newspaper)….people are jealous, petty things…. They hate when you compete with them for what they perceive to be scarce….

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