Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I love Black Men because… they are all about the hustle

One of the unfortunate truths about the Black experience in America is that the playing field isn't always level. No doubt the moment Kunte Kinte realized folks of a different color were being handed things that he had work 22 hours a day for, the hustle was born. For those not in the know, the hustle is not about criminal enterprise (though some people have taken it there). The hustle is about doing what needs to be done to keep it pushing. I don't know a single black man who doesn't smile when K.R.E.A.M. (Kash Rules Everything Around Me) comes on. Dollar, dollar bills, ya'll. To illustrate my point, a few BougieTales:

BougieDad was a doctor, so it's not as if he didn't have socially revered means of earning income. But BougieDad loved to cut a corner or get in on a bargain. He was ALL about the hustle. From as early as I remember, BougieDad had friends who could provide any number of goods of services not necessarily advertised in the yellow pages. We learned not to ask any questions. He had a friend named Frenchy who ran a restaurant food delivery service. Some days he would come home with a trunk full of t-bones, sausage, shrimp and pre-cut burgers. He had a friend named Snake who could fix any car manufactured. Way before anyone else I knew owned a VCR; we had a huge wood grained Panasonic sitting on top the TV in the den. When Sam's Club first opened, he was in there weekly buying things in ridiculous bulk and snickering on his way out the door like he stole something. Example: My father passed away in 2000, the aluminum foil he bought that year from Sam's ran out in 2008- no lie. We had a commemorative ceremony when we took the container to recycling. God bless the hustle.

A friend of mine from my college days was always coming and going at odd hours. We never saw him dressed to go to a job but he always seemed to have money from somewhere. I finally broke down and asked him exactly what he did. One night when he was at a club, a couple of drunk college kids stumbled up to his vehicle (he drove an old van) and asked for rides home and offered to pay him. He took them home, got paid and arranged to have their vehicles brought to their houses by the next morning for an additional fee. Word spread, he handed out cards with his pager number on it, the side gig grew into a full time business. He added food delivery and hangover remedies and expanded to four other college towns. As it grew beyond his control, he sold The Tipsy Taxi to some bus company for nine figures and is working on his next thing. Gotta respect the hustle.

When I moved back from Austin to Dallas, I was strapped for cash and asked my then boyfriend to help out (he was as broke if not more than I was). I assumed he was going to load up my stuff onto his truck and haul it up I-35 himself. The day of the move I answered the door to five big old Southern boys with boxes, tape and dollies. Before I could even figure out what was happened, they had my apartment dismantled, on a big truck and headed to North Texas. Later I found out he bartered with the other guys, they would do this for him and each of the next five weekends, he would be working on their projects. Reciprocal hustle – love it!

Now wait, yes – I do realize that sisters are getting their hustle on and folks of other races are out on that grind too. But this week ain't about them. It's about my brothers out there trying to make it do what it do. I don't know what it is but in my experience even the laziest, least motivated brother in the world turns into Hu$tleMan when his back is against the wall or a loved one is counting on him. Now granted, his hustle may not be anything we like or approve of but the spirit behind the hustle is usually admirable.

And the floor is yours BougieLand, got a favorite hustle story to share? Agree, disagree?

34 comments:

Joy-Mari said...

Hehehe. Here in South Africa we call it having a 'connection'. It's the same thing. You need to fix your car? You get hold of your 'connection'. You want some cheap clothing that sells for hundreds in the store? Speak to your friend who has a 'connection'.

ithopiamckinney said...

really? We say the same thing in the Bahamas.. Greetings Sister from the homeland!

JaymeC said...

Is there anything better than a man doing what has to be done for the good of his family? (not talking about any criminal aspect) but that initiative, drive and determination. If this is the definition of "hustle" - I love it!

OneChele said...

You're very welcome

Mocha Dude Speaks said...

HA! Girl, I worked 4 jobs and had a scholarship to get through college in 5 years. Whatcha know about that hustle?!
Love it

derek love said...

Again, hat tip for the recognition. I'm on that hustle game right now. Trying to start my own consulting company, working on the paycheck plantation and working swing shift at a shitty customer service job to give my daughter the Christmas she deserves.

LaKesha Womack said...

Thanks for taking the time to highlight OUR black men. People like to point out all of the things they don't do but they do ALOT of things right, like hustle to take care of their responsibilities, and some things really WELL ;)

RhymeSlow said...

I see you doing your thing this week. As a brother who was on that not-so-legal hustle and got out of the life, I can say that the legit hustle is still some work. But that need to get up and get out and do whatcha gotta remains. If you ain't hustlin, ya dead

All Honey said...

Hmm, I don't know. When I think hustle I think about those corner boys and there's nothing bougie about that.

Carl said...

Again, thanks!

Pure Choco said...

Girl what? Bougie folks invented the hustle. How do you think they got to be bougie? Corner boys took that legitimate hustle and applied it to the streets. Expand your horizons, sweetheart.

OneChele said...

Ha! How do you think we stay bougie? Please cue the Rick Ro$$ music - "Everyday I'm hustlin'..."

Carl said...

btw, it's kinda sad that some of our people only associate the word "hustle" with illegal activity. Thanks for clarifying that...for those people.

Man's World said...

After my father passed, my uncle spent his nights and weekends selling catfish nuggets and hushpuppies out of a shack behind his house. For forty three years this man worked an eight - to- five at a paper plant then another 6 - 7 hours frying up food for folks. Those nuggets put me through school, college and graduate school. Now THAT's hustle. Last year I was able to write him a check so he could shut the shack down but he wouldn't to it. He took the check, upgraded the shack toa drive-thru and got my cousins running it. No, I don't knock the hustle that made me what I am today.

OneChele said...

Much respect. That's a daddy. She'll love you for it.

Joy Andrews said...

Exactly! It's really about the determination to get somewhere better than where you are.

ASmith said...

::jigs::

And let the church say amen. Let's all be seated in the house of the Lord.

One of my uncles put in 40+ years at a factory that manufactured steel. He retired 5 years ago to drive a cab full time. Oh -- did I forget to mention he owns 1/3 of the cab company and has for 30+ years ? Yeah. I did. He's a hustler.

I love a good hustle. Yes I do. I love it even more when it parlays to what you do exclusively/the reason you don't have to do anything.

Lady4Real said...

*standing ovation*

Joy Andrews said...

I won't date a man who doesn't have some kind of hustle. And I mean the ambition to succeed and not accept whatever life hands you.

Lady4Real said...

I love the hustle, respect the game and give a big ups to my brother's that make it do what it do no matter what the circumstances. A real man can find a way to keep food on the table, a roof over his families head, and clothes on their back. (Shout out to my Dad, grand hustler, the three of us never wanted for anything thanks to TRL!!!)

Lady4Real said...

just had to recognize the pic and share a smile, my Daddy is a Que, so its Omega Psi Phi 'til the day I die. :)

Foxy Brown said...

my fav hustle story involves my ever-hustlin granddad. my granddad's first job was digging ditches. he did that for years. here's how he got the job. one day my granddad was walking down the street. now he had just recently fallen in love and new that he needed a job if he wanted to have his own family. as he was walking he noticed a bunch a men working digging ditches. he glanced down and saw a shovel with no man on it. he jumped down in the ditch and started digging. he finished out the day and returned the next day. at the end of the week, he stood in the pay line and got paid. monday, he was back digging. like i said, he did that for years til his next hustle came along. gotta love it!

Violet Rose said...

Damn. I almost teared up reading that - what a beautiful legacy. The struggle continues so the hustle lives on!

Suzie S said...

I love this series.

OneChele said...

Shout out and respect to BougieUnc who keeps it pushin' - you know he and BougieMom come from a long line of hustlers on the real!

Steve said...

This is interesting as I was dating someone recently who said I was "too much of a hustler" for her. I am a personal trainer, work at a gym and also do nutrition and fitness seminars for the school district? Is that too much hustle?

OneChele said...

Translation: You aren't spending enough time with her. Explain that you are concentrating on career and it won't be like this forever. Either she gets it or she doesn't. Plenty of women will appreciate your ambition.

Jason P said...

My dad had my brother and I on that hustle tip from the way back. We had the kool-aid stand in the summer and the hot chocolate stand in the winter, we delivered papers, cut lawns, cleaned gutters, you name it. His favorite phrase: You can sleep when you're dead!

Violet Rose said...

My Dad worked at a textile factory for over 30 years. He brought home the spare/throwaway cloth and my mom made custom quilts, pillows, you name it. So yes, I am a direct product of hustle.

datdudeincali said...

Whoa! I'm letting the love wash over me. Because getting up, putting on the suit and tie and doing the damn dance for these folks everyday is nothing more than a hustle until I get my own. My brother sells Obama T-shirts, bootleg media, hair care products... out of his trunk, different kind of hustle but we both keeping a roof over our heads.
Thanks for showing love to the hustlers.

Stank_0 said...

I remember grinding. F/T temp job then drive over and do the P/T jawn. Come home and sleep til 4PM on Saturday.

Now? I'm just pushing. F/T work and F/T school. Do the P.P for a minute and then start my own consulting joint, so I can retire the parental unit.

Sweet N Tart said...

Girl, I am feeling this post! My man is on the hustle with a f/t and 2 p/t jobs. We're expecting our first child in February or I would be hustle that hard myself. Respect for highlighting... they ain't all lazy and shiftless

Rob said...

I'm a hustler baby, I just want you to know, it ain't where I been, but where I'm about to go... ;-)

Lady4Real said...

It's in our veins!!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails