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Yasss! Black Man: Author R.L. Byrd

Atlanta Author, R.L. Byrd returns with continued discussions of love and life in his newest release of Black Coffee, and this time the Brothers have their say. In his debut novel, Looking for Sweet Love, Byrd introduced us to the Love Forum Divas – a panel of women who candidly shared the highs and lows of their private relationships with millions of radio listeners in Dallas, Texas. Black Coffee enters one year later, introducing readers to six men – The Brothers Forum.  As the men who held supporting roles in the women's tales, their private lives were also exposed.  "I want the reader to expect the unexpected from me; have a different experience every time they pick up an R.L. Byrd book," says R.L. Byrd. With a raw and authentic voice, R.L. Byrd journeys into the male's perspective of the challenges of love and life, unveiling truths to the great mystery of why men act and respond in ways that women are often unable to understand.  Black Coffee brings the discussions of love and relationships full circle, and offers female readers a rare peak into the psyche of their male counterparts. Visit to snag your own copy of "Black Coffee" and connect with Richard on Instagram @Author_RLByrd

Yesss!…Black Man- The Men of M Bar Atlanta

Four young, well established African- American men have joined forces to partner in bringing the M BAR vision to life - Damien Gordon (Mixologist/ Owner), Yaw Botchey ( Marketing Director), Xavier Peoples (Client Relations),  and Melvin Simms (General Manager). M BAR will offer guests the definitive Atlanta bar and lounge experience. The juxtaposition of black and white silent films infused into a modern aesthetic, a menu of american classics mixed with modern favorites, an offering of unique batch private labels to today's most premium spirit brands -  the space will conjure up a sense of pride to all who enter and a sense of community to all who partake.  I had the opportunity to talk with Xavier Peoples about the group's decision to open an upscale lounge on modest Auburn Avenue.  He told us that it was extremely important that they build in our own communities.  Auburn Avenue has a historic and cultural significance to the black community and it was vital for the group to revitalize there. During the media walk-thru, I was taken by the luxury of the location. This is definitely a place to bring pride back to Auburn Avenue.  We congratulate you brothers for thinking of your community and re-investing in the area. What is M Bar? M BAR is home to the city's most unique bar and lounge featuring our signature Sangria and a superb selection of fine spirits and wines. If a more intimate high-end experience is what you're seeking, M LOUNGE serves as a VIP getaway and provides an exclusive setting with first class service. Melding the character of the historic Auburn Avenue and allure of lavish décor and architecture, M BAR dazzles even the most seasoned socialites and nightlife connoisseurs. It's contemporary setting blends with signature cocktails, savory eats and Atlanta’s hottest DJ’s to create a sensational guest experience. M BAR sets itself apart from Atlanta's traditional bars and lounges. Our VIP/ Hookah room, M LOUNGE, is a boutique-sized getaway for intimate experiences and casual conversations. Featuring its own private service and personalized amenities; guests can enjoy a more discreet and quaint interaction.

Yasss…Black Man!: Johnny Gill

*Editors Note:  I came across this open letter via Huffington Post, and it was penned by Johnny Gill back in June during Father's Day.  While reading it, I thought this letter deserved more publicity, as it spoke to what it means to truly be a "FATHER", even if you're not the husband.  I love his point of view and the efforts he makes to succeed at being a great Father.  This is what needs to be heard, because there are tons of great Father's out there that are being ignored due to the fact that they do not reside in the same household as their child. * Whether you are a single parent, co-parent or a happily married couple or in a committed union, raising children comes with many challenges. As a co-parent living over 3,000 miles away from my son, it's never easy. My son, Isaiah, lives in Washington, DC, and I live in Los Angeles. From the time Isaiah was 1 month old, he was bicoastal. During the early months and up until the time he started school, I would travel to and from Washington to bring Isaiah to Los Angeles. It was the most incredible bonding time during the early days of his life. Now, at 9 years old and attending school, Isaiah still travels back and forth and we spend time together during his days off from school. He often travels to Los Angeles on a Thursday or Friday and he returns on a red eye flight on Sunday, just in time for school on Monday morning. I frequently fly to Washington on my days off. I also have him during the summer months and most holidays. Although I make every effort to spend as much time with Isaiah as possible, at times, it's still not enough. I miss being a part of his day-to-day routine, helping with his school work and participating in various extra curriculum activities. It's a sacrifice, and it's well worth it because you will never get that time back. I am extremely grateful for the relationship that I have with Isaiah's mother. She is beyond incredible. I have learned and discovered a great deal about co-parenting. It's been a growing process for us, with many teachable moments. The most important lesson is that both parents must work together to make sure that they continue to bring balance in a child's life. It's about both parents having respect for each other. And it's so important at this junction in Isaiah's life for him to see that his parents have a healthy, communicative and friendly relationship. I admit that I am a bit old-fashioned. For me, I believe a child needs a mother and a father under the same roof. A man cannot teach a girl how to become a woman and a woman cannot teach a boy how to become a man. I realize how important that is, and though it can be tough without both parents, it can be done. My father, the late Johnny Gill,

Yasss…Black Man! Jonathan Grimes

courtesy of Black Enterprise Jonathan Grimes can be described as the type of husband women want to marry, the type of man women are glad their friend married, and the type of friend you’ve always wanted. He’s funny, down-to-earth, a true conversationalist and thought purveyor and led by faith. On any given day, you will find him juggling the many hats he wears daily—which include husband, father of three girls, professional, performer, and dream chaser. But just as quickly as you hold him in high esteem, he denounces the idea of him as the “perfect man” and gives you the real inside scoop on what it takes to balance it all. When asked how he maintains and balances his career (he was just recently promoted to Sales Program Execution Manager for Retail Real Estate at AT&T), passions, and home life, Grimes says he compartmentalizes his many roles in order to give 100% to each of his responsibilities. He wants to be great at every role and is very clear that grace and faith are necessary to achieve this balance; he doesn’t blame himself if he falls short one day in any given area because he knows he gave his best. Grimes is a man who keeps it real and doesn’t sugarcoat the truth about his journey, his challenges, and his purpose. So exactly what is his journey? He confidently and calmly answers: “To leave a legacy for my children and find my purpose.” For Grimes, living an authentic life is a top priority. “I want Tamika (his wife) to know the same man as the lady at work,” he says. “That way, you don’t have to remember to be someone different.” He’s been said to have “good ol’ common sense,” with an understanding of how to be a real man—something he says his upbringing taught him. His mother and father have been married for 37 years, and his grandmother and grandfather are preachers. He’s been groomed to know—and more importantly, to apply—the values that sometimes seem foreign in an era where there are overwhelming divorce rates and lower marriage rates. At the age of 31, Grimes provides sound marriage advice with a healthy marriage of nearly seven years to his best friend under his belt. He attributes the success of his marriage to these three things: 1. Make sure the person you marry is your best friend. 2. Understand how to communicate effectively. Be knowledgeable about how your wife wants to be communicated with. If she’s sensitive, act accordingly. If she’s a Type A personality, speak her language. 3. And lastly, but not least—he repeats this one twice: Never take your wife for granted. Grimes also emphasizes the simplicity of communicating, loving, and having good character. He insists that these values are not lost and that today’s men and women should not lose hope in finding the “right one” or a Godly mate. In addition to seeming to know a thing or two about how to maintain a healthy relationship, Grimes is also a musician and is currently in

Yasss…Black Man!- Michael Render

With a resumé that includes trunk-rattling raps and repelling f**kboys, Killer Mike has finally decided to make the jump to public office. Killer Mike will be presumably running as Michael Render, his government name, for the vacant seat for District 55’s representative for Georgia’s House of Representatives. Tyrone Brooks, the previous seatholder, was forced to resign after tax fraud.  Render announced his decision to step up. "In Atlanta Georgia there will be special election tomorrow for District 55. Former state representative Tyrone Brooks no longer sits in the seat. I would like as many people as possible to go to the polls and write in Michael Render. Why? because if I win we win. Thank you now go vote." This isn’t a pipe dream like Waka Flocka Flame‘s ill-fated presidential campaign. This is the first time many people even heard of District 55’s special election. There may be more qualified candidates, but probably not enough to outweigh Render’s popularity. Render might be speaking at the state’s capital soon.

Yasss… Black Man! – Brandon Frame

If you begin to speak about empowering movements and making an impact in our communities, Brandon Frame is a man that you must mention. His cumulative collection of experiences, skills, and talents result in selfless service for the present and future generations of leaders under his personal motto. Be Different. Growing up in Hartford, Connecticut, Brandon established himself at an early age by committing to achieving his goals. His penchant for excellence was sealed while attending Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. As a graduate of the illustrious institution, Brandon cultivated his passion for developing young Black Males through programs such as the Role Model, Scholar, Gentleman (RSG) MENtoring Program for Charles R. Drew Charter School and after graduating, teaching English at The Fessenden School, where he was selected to sit on the Diversity Inclusion Committee – developing a more diverse, inclusive school and community. Be Great. In the beginning stages of his career, the educational area served as the breeding ground for creating a model that would continue to motivate students to not only become victors against the obstacles in their way, but also created an avenue where Brandon could embody high achievement on a daily basis. Currently serving as the Director of Business Partnerships and Program Development of Hartford’s High School, Inc. Brandon assists with providing students with resources, opportunities and knowledge to help them pursue careers in the fields of finance, insurance and other Corporate related sectors. Under his distinct leadership, he has created programs to level the playing field for his scholars such as The Connections Tutoring and Mentoring Program, Executive Luncheons Series, Global Business Excursion as well as an annual citywide job shadowing day. He has spearheaded internship opportunities for students with Fortune 500 companies Travelers, Prudential, The Hartford Insurance, United Healthcare, and more. Never Stop. As homage to the golden age in the Mecca of Black culture, intellect, and economic development, Brandon continues to use his power and resources for the development of the greater good. As a leader, he is the founder of TheBlackManCan, a digital platform where the Black Man is nurtured, empowered, and promoted in a positive light. He also serves as the Vice President of the Urban League of Greater Hartford Young Professionals. As the Principal Partner for Final Frame, he is creating an opportunity for men to express themselves in a presentable and professional way. As an author, he has composed “Define Yourself, Redefine The World: A Guided Journal for Black Boys and Men”, a one-of-a-kind proactive tool that will help to propel males to build their critical consciousness through self-reflection. As a dynamic and engaging speaker, he is changing the conversation on education and empowerment that is often undermined in regards to Black culture. Among a myriad of awards and honors, including the 2012 Excellence in Education Award from Black Street Black Celebration Awards, he recently he received an official citation from the State of Connecticut forTheBlackManCan Institute and was named Top 40 under 40 by The Hartford Business Journal for 2013. Brandon’s greatest accomplishment

Yasss… Black Man!

Black Man

This new series will highlight our brothers who are promoting excellence and honor in the title of Man. We honor our Kings in this segment and at the same time providing our sisters with a truer perspective of our men.  Know a black man we should highlight?  Send info and photo to!