The Ladies In My Life

Kass and I at a fundraiser to end childhood hunger. The ladies in my life keep me on my hustle.

The Ladies In My Life

February 15, 2013  |  Culture, Family

If you let hip hop in the late 90s tell it, you weren’t much of a guy unless you had 4 gold chains, 8 cars and, like, 9,000 girlfriends. That was the tragedy of the 90s: genius minds that sometimes peddled such ridiculous and ill-informed notions of masculinity. Most of us could see through all that ridiculousness.

My amazing sister-in-law (who knows, like, everything) with Soleil.

My amazing sister-in-law (who knows, like, everything) with Soleil.

While there were a few knuckleheads who were out chasing the flavor-of-the week hottie, me and my crew were more than happy to chill out at the library with our ladies — Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, bell hooks and Angela Davis.

All through middle and high school, I was the hottest dude in the nonfiction section. I knew everybody’s phone dewey decimal number.

Then Love Jones came along and put bougie black nerds on the map. I no longer had exclusive rights to that steez. Brothers bought dictionaries and flooded the libraries. It seemed like all the ladies wanted a literary dude. My personal card catalog aisle became the pre-hookup spot for the emergently articulate dudes who became the first generation of slam poets. Slow talking guys who would burn Nag Champa and accent the last syllable of every word while pretending to be well-read replaced those of us who actually were.

It was a dark time in the empire…

My niece is the only person in the world who likes ALL my jokes.

My niece is the only person in the world who likes ALL my jokes. Her mama — my sister is the one person in the world who knows me best.

Eventually we took our nerd culture back, and as we grew we, as a cohort, began to shed some of our sideways views on masculinity and sexuality. I would like to think that we, as a society, are more inclusive, understanding, and loving than we were. Though I know that that’s a bit of a dream still, I know that I certainly am — in large part because I’ve got a family of strong women (and men) who are constantly challenging me to be the best that I can be.

I’m a real lucky cat, because I got to spend all day yesterday appreciating them. All the love in the world to my partner, Kass and our brilliant daughter, Soleil… My mama and my mom-in-law, and all my sisters. I’ve got a lot to love in this life, and I’m glad that it started with them. Peace.


Leave a Reply