Art of Manliness

I recently subscribed to an online magazine  for gentleman, forever “one of the guys” I find. In introducing myself to the community, I did a little soul searching to understand what was drawing me to it. What I found was interesting…
My father is a phenomenal artist, Black Panther, poet, boxer, and gentleman with a feminist heart. For so many reasons I idolized my Dad; the way he could command respect from his dignified appearance, intellect, conversational prowess, and gentlemanly ways. Other men balked at my father, and women swooned when he sauntered by. His deep voice and self-reverance was unmistakable. This man was a king, if not a God. He was just 6 years old during the Watts riots, grew up to be one of the baddest-ass streetfighters in his hood, was a forest firefighter, crab fisherman (foreman no less, for 6 stints), and survivor of 7 years in San Quentin.
A boxer, intellectual, and connoisseur of the finest things in Life, he read the dictionary when he was 11 years old, and 3 editions of encyclopedias before I was 10 years old. I remember him sending me to the library with sheets of books to check-out for “his research.” He taught me how to fight, think critically, cook gourmet, and assert my authority. He also taught me how to style and braid my hair, dress and care for my hygeine, and “take pride in the curvy figure” I “luckily inherited from my mother.”
Unfortunately, from the pressures put on young black men in this country (on top of his own impoverished upbringing and heavy drug use), my father also reverted to extremism and abuse in order to gain control from his family and friends. Many times in my Life were extremely traumatizing, and ultimately I ran away from home at 16 to raise myself…and everyone else I met along the way.
From my father’s schizophrenic display of my most desired wishes in a future mate, combined with the most loathesome, I have spent my Life accidentally rejecting ‘manly men’, and instead became one–a noble gentleman and Spartan…in a pin-up’s body. 😉
Incidentally, I have helped raise many men (friends, lovers, and clients) throughout my Life, dictating word-for-word what I learned from my self and my father, as well as the the Art Of Manliness articles and blogs I would later read. I thought I was alone! So here I am, upon my awakening, seeking the solace of other like-minded men; men with a chivalrous spirit and centered being. Men becoming self-directed and awake. I am honored to know you, work with you, and elevate you. And, it is my honor to tell you all about the Art of Manliness forum, and to express my gratitude for their radical community. If only we’d had this forum back when…
I’ve included some pictures of my father. The first two are from his earlier years. The last two are from 2006 when we reconnected again after a decade of silence. With forgiveness comes understanding, and vice versa. 🙂

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