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I would like to tell you that this column idea was mine. I would also like to be writing it from the deck of a barge floating down the Nile as gorgeous men fan me with the leaves of palm trees, but, alas, neither is the case. I got the idea from two Brothers at the grocery store--two Brothers whom I have never even met, let alone know well.

They were flipping through this magazine while standing in front of me in line where I was waiting to pay for my Krispy Creme doughnuts and Rocky Road ice cream. Don't roll your eyes; it was 95 degrees outside, my air-conditioning had been broken for two days and my husband had just informed me that, due to an unexpected work commitment, we were going to have to cut our upcoming Caribbean vacation short by not one, but two days!

Of course, as fate would have it, the first of those severed days was the one in which, through a combination of good contacts and great luck, I had managed to finagle an appointment with the best (read: impossible-to-get-without-a-minimum-of-six-months-notice) masseuse on the island. The one who does the sacred stone massage. The one who kneads your body into such a complete state of relaxation that you have to be carried to your next appointment. (Can you say deep-cleanse restorative vitamin C facial?) I give you these details not to elicit your sympathy, merely your understanding. Specifically, why the doughnuts and ice cream weren't an indulgence, but a necessity.

But I digress; let me get back to the Brothers. As I was putting my goodies on the little treadmill at the checkout counter, I realized that they were reading last month's Sisterspeak column. I know this because Brother No. 1 made the following comment to Brother No. 2:

"You gotta check out these quotes. They're serious. Smart. Deep."

Long pause as they both do just that. Then: "I know the column is called Sisterspeak, but it sure would be nice to see an equally smart collection of quotes from an equally smart collection of Brothers."

Well, fellas, as the hip-hop generation would say, "I feel you." While you loved the words of wisdom from the Sisters, you were also hoping to see some male advice. Some Black male advice. In short, not just guidance, but guydance.

To that anonymous duo in the grocery store, I have only two things to say: Why didn't I think of that? And: Your wish is my command. Herewith, that collection:

1. "There are two ways of exerting one's strength: One is pushing down, the other is pulling up." --Booker T. Washington

2. "Our progress has never depended on the president or the Congress ... It has always depended on the action of Black people and the power of God." --Andrew Young

3. "Acting is just a way of making a living. The family is life." --Denzel Washington

4. "You have to know that your real home is within." --Quincy Jones

5. "When I discover who I am, I'll be free." --Ralph Ellison

6. "The more Blackness a woman has, the more beautiful she is." --Alex Haley

7. "To be who you are and become what you are capable of is the only goal worth living." --Alvin Ailey

8. "I just hope we as Black folks don't necessarily feel like you gotta be rich with material things as opposed to rich with spirituality and internal things ... When you get into a position where you can have all the money in the world and you can do this and do that, if you don't have an internal happiness, you'll always be searching for more items--more this's and thats." --Maxwell

9. "Every man prays in his own language, and there is no language that God doesn't understand." --Duke Ellington

10. "Joe Toney is my biological father, but just because you bring a child into the world doesn't make you a father ... Philip Harrison is the one who raised me ... I love my father, and my father is Philip Harrison." --Shaquille O'Neal

11. "It isn't a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream." --Benjamin E. Mays

12. "There is in this world no such force as the force of a man determined to rise." --W.E.B. DuBois

13. "I am just a brain surgeon. I cannot know everything. Thankfully, I do not have to because I have learned the wisdom of Solomon who wrote, `Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on our own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make our paths straight.' In other words, we need to realize that God is in control. We need to seek His will and get this perspective by developing a relationship with Him and His word. When we can begin to see the world through His eyes of love and compassion, we will also see ourselves in a true light, as part of His plan." --Dr. Ben Carson
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Author:Lancaster, Laura Randolph
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2001
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