Real Experiences for BHM 2016: Role Models Pt. 2

Yesterday I talked about female role models, but we learn and take shape from both genders. Also, since there are people in America who think all Black men are violent thugged out criminals, I thought it was important to share the gentlemen who I saw as role models when they were in their teens and I was a young girl: Tony Gaines & Brett Gaines. Possibly because I was a tom boy growing up, I always wanted an older brother—I don't have any brothers though, so I ended up looking up to my older cousins. Whenever they played games nearby, or whenever my parents were willing to drive lol, I'd go see them play. Mostly basketball, sometimes football. And I just knew i was gonna get taller and be a great basketball player too. I didn't have to look up to Shaq & Kobe because I could look up to Tony & Brett. When I finally did try out for a basketball team, I wasn't in the best shape, so after the 2nd day of tryouts I couldn't really walk lol. I was upset and disappointed, but no matter what my parents said I was still upset; so my mom called these two to talk some sense into me. I'm sure they had homework, friends, and much cooler things to do that to talk to a little kid about basketball tryouts, but they took the time to reassure me that it was perfectly normal and to tell me I couldn't quit. We have a no quitting policy in my family! I may not have ever ended up playing basketball (or grown any taller -_-), but I learned about committing to a challenge, sportsmanship, and perseverance from these two, and these lessons apply to everything you do in life. They reminded me that you have to go through some pain to achieve your goal, that you always have to strive for your own best, then keep pushing yourself to be better. Both of them recently welcomed into the world daughters, whom I have no doubt will be daddy's girls :) For those of you who for some reason don't already understand this, just because a Black man is tall, big, athletic...Black lol, doesn't mean he's a thug, he may be the best role model out there. And for those of you who are Black men, you probably have little brothers, maybe even sisters, who are looking at you the same way I looked at those two. You're setting the example of how to survive as a Black man in this world. So #MakeItCount #BlackHistoryMonth2016 #TeensMakeDifferencesToo #AllMyRoleModelsWereReal

Photocredit: ShutterStock/Volt Collection

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