Welcome to Black Men Taking Charge Blog, where we feature professional Black men from all over and from various backgrounds and discuss issues relating to Blacks in America.
These interviews will be conducted up to the release date of the book, Lessons Learned: Loving Yourself As A Black Woman by Tinisha Nicole Johnson. (January 2010) Learn more about this book and the author at her website: www.TinishaNicoleJohnson.com
I will be interviewing professional men and women from various backgrounds discussing who they are and the challenges they face, and any advice they have to offer.
Visit the Professional Women Making Moves Blog interviews by clicking here: http://blkprofessionalwomen.wordpress.com/
Today, I’m interviewing Marc Livingston, a poet.
TINISHA: Tell me about yourself?
MARC: My name is Marc Livingston, and I hail from the southside of Chicago, IL. I am self employed in the tax preparation business, as well as an employee of Rite Group Investments.
TINISHA: Pick at least one black woman that has made a difference in your life at one point or another, and why?
MARC: Shirley Livingston has made a HUGE impact on my life. No matter what I have done or what station in life I have occupied, my mother has always believed in me and supported me.
TINISHA: What do you love about Black women?
MARC: Besides the obvious,I love the fact that despite negativity that comes from both without and within our culture, black women are resillient. They also are the queens of the earth and have given birth to kings like myself.
TINISHA: What does success mean to you, and what challenges do you face as a Black man? How do you overcome or get through those challenges?
MARC: Success means, to me, that my family looks at me and my accomplishments with pride, respect, and a knowledge that I did my best. They are important to me above anyone else. If I can succeed financially, that is a bonus! As a black man and a black that is ambitious, I face resentment, condescension, and stereotypes from both blacks and non blacks, but mostly non blacks. See, I believe I am the best poet alive, maybe even ever, so I encounter constant naysayers that tell me that I’m not, my book will never sell, or that I should be more humble and not so staunch in my belief of myself and my gift. God, myself, and my family help me deal with the above. I believe that my poetic ability is a God given gift that I don’t take lightly and will never believe it is to be subdued. Most importantly, I am the best and strive to be the best ever!
TINISHA: I have to ask. You are a pretty big guy and it’s obvious you take care of your body. What do people say when you tell them you write poetry, and that you have a book of poetry published – well written poetry at that, I might add?
MARC: (Laughs out loud) It is hilarious how my philosophy on staying in shape is an inhibitor to the perception of my intellect. I told my Ma,”I was smart long before I had any muscles.” When THE CONFESSIONAL HEART OF A MAN first came out and I told people, women especially, that I wrote a book, a book of poetry at that, they responded with,”You wrote a book?” “A book of poetry?” “You write poetry?” “You don’t look like you write poetry.” Thank you for the compliment, but Tinisha, I believe in the concept of mind, body, and spirit. I wake up and thank God, then I work out, and then I work on my craft. Sometimes the latter two are in reverse order, but they are done in synergy with the first!
TINISHA: What advice do you have for today’s young Black men?
MARC: Young black men should do whatever they desire to do that is positive. No matter what anyone says or does, young black men and women should let nothing or no one get in the way of what they want to do! If they are scholastically gifted, write, play a sport, have a craft, or anything that they believe in, do it!!!
TINISHA: Please provide a sample of your writing, so everyone can get a taste of “The Greatest Poet Alive?” Fragile
Like a fall leaf left too long upon the ground,
as an eardrum bombarded by an overwhelming sound,
a newborn baby in his mother’s arms,
her nipples moments after breastfeeding,
skin uncovered during frigid weather,
a feather caught on the midst of a strong wind,
the mindset of a person on his deathbed,
food finding its way on the plate of a famished person,
children’s psyche after hearing their parents fighting,
hollering, and cursing
like a cake freshly baked, right out of the oven.
A young girl’s vulnerability after she has told a man she loves him,
And at this moment, she has told me such.
Anxious to see if the similes and metaphors are true;
Is also her virginity
TINISHA: Any last thoughts Marc?
MARC: Because of the combination of my vast positive and negative experiences, my ability to convey poetry fluently on paper and off the top of my head, I am GPA, THE GREATEST POET ALIVE! Thank you Tinisha for the opportunity! AND EVERYONE WHO SUPPORTED MARC LIVINGSTON AND GPA!! THANK YOU!