Read on, Part II

Langston Hughes was one of the most well-known poets, novelist, playwrights in American history. In honor of Black History Month –  and to once again highlight the importance of reading, this here is The Best of Simple based on the created character of Jesse B. Semple.

You read a few of these and you’ll say to yourself, I swear I know a dude just like this! Here’s a little excerpt to work with:

Watch yourself! Have you no respect for women?” “I have nothing but respect for a figure like that,” said Simple. “Miss, your mama must of been sweet sixteen when she borned you. Sixteen divided by two, you come out a figure 8! Can I have a date? Hey, Lawdy, Miss Claudy! You must be deaf–you done left! I’m standing here by myself.”

“Come on, boy, let’s go on in the bar and put that door between me and temptation. If the air cooler is working, the treat’s on me. Let’s investigate. Anyhow, I always did say if you can’t be good, be careful. If you can’t be nice, take advice. If you don’t think once, you can’t think twice.”

Keep it smooth.

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Belts, they still work

I have to admit, I was once a victim of this heinous act upon the world.  Subjecting myself to peer pressure and going against what was proper and descent just for attention or what we thought was our way of defying authority.  Unfortunately, this youthful expression unchecked can continue on into adulthood and transform into grown men who think it’s OK to walk around like this:

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I’m sure we’ve seen worse but the sad part is that the sagging “style” does nothing more than make one looking like you are in serious need of a diaper change. It isn’t pleasing to the eyes to see your ass just hanging out.   The origins of this fashion mishap – be it the prison system, popular culture, hip-hop, or poverty –  aren’t the issue.  The issue is a lack of home training, self-confidence, and self-identity.

It’s easy to be like everyone else but yourself during your teenage years. It’s easier to follow the crowd than blaze your own trail. However, one day – hopefully not too far into your twenties if not earlier, you’ll wake up and realize you respect yourself more than this; that you’re better than this.

No one is asking you to don a suit everyday or be a fashion guru but I know people didn’t fight for the right to vote, for equal access to education, and to be considered more than three-fifths of a human being just so you can look like a caricature on display.

Trust, we aren’t laughing with you.