So it seems like a lot of Black men are feeling some type of way lately. Many were up in arms about their portrayal in “For Colored Girls,” and others felt left out of the love fest that was “Black Girls Rock!” Apparently, they wanted to remind us that Black men rock, too.
While I don’t quite get why some men feel bashed or left out anytime a woman’s story is told (let’s face it, none of us are perfect), I’m going to shout out some men we love and give brothas some collective ego stroking. You’re welcome.
Clutchettes are an eclectic bunch. We love all types of men from those who rock Timbs and fitteds, to brothas who refuse to leave the house in anything less than a crisp button-down and European shoes. We are moved by men who know who they are, aren’t afraid to work hard to get want they want, and show us love in return.
Here we’ll shout out five fabulous brothas who encompass some of the things we love about Black men!
Kehinde Wiley: Reminiscent of classic seventeenth century portraits, Los Angeles-born artist Kehinde Wiley mixes classic European art with a hip-hop twist. Known for his bold, patterned prints of Black men cast as kings, saints, prophets, and angels, Wiley’s art challenges conventional portrayal of African-American men. Why we dig him? He’s showing that Black men can express themselves in ways other than on the mic or the basketball court.
Jay Electronica: Jay Electronica has the music industry buzzing. Creating a loyal following without even releasing a full-length album is no easy task, but Jay E has done exactly that. Releasing instant classics, like “Exhbit A” and “Exhbit C,” Jay has captured the attention of heavyweights like Nas and Diddy. Instead of jumping on his popularity and throwing together an album, Jay Electronica is taking his time and making sure it’s right. What we love most? He’s done it on his own terms.
Jabali Sawicki: Raised in San Francisco and schooled at some of the best universities in the country, educator Jabali Sawicki loves his people. Sawicki understands that the stakes are high for our youth and he’s working to help Black boys excel. In 2004, Sawicki founded Excellence Charter School of Bedford Stuyvesant, an all-boys school aimed at preparing African-American boys for college and beyond. Why we love him? He knows our children are our future, and he’s making sure that future is bright.
Jamie Hector: Best known for his portrayal of D-boy King, Marlo Stanfield on The Wire, Jamie Hector has been called a “coming King of Hollywood.” With his frighteningly realistic portrayal of Stanfield, to his numerous guest appearances and starring roles on shows like “Heroes,” “Law and Order,” and “The Game,” Jamie Hector has proven he is an actor to watch. And we love watching him work.
Cullen Jones: Black people don’t swim, right? Wrong! Gold medalist Cullen Jones is working to change that myth. Born and raised in New Brunswick, NJ, Jones became the second African-American to win an Olympic gold medal for swimming, and over the years he has amassed a rather large set of swimming bling. Cullen Jones is not only swift in the water, but he’s also determined to save lives. In his spare time he gives private lessons, runs youth clinics, and is dedicated to helping minorities to learn to swim. With brothas like him in the water, there’s no excuse not to take a dip.