001: What is your name and where do you currently reside ?
A - My name is Adonis and I live in Kansas.
002: Who influences your life the most ?
A - I think I'm most influenced by my mom, dad, and close friends. My "circle" is really small and compact so I tend to lean on those I trust and love to inspire me.
003: What is your purpose in life?
A - I'm a firm believer that your purpose in life changes depending on what season of life you're in. I'm constantly growing, changing, and figuring myself out...trying to live the most authentic life I can live. Right now I can say that my purpose is simply to live authentically, love authentically, and be genuinely happy with myself. My purpose is to show love no matter how hard it may be. I'm a work in progress.
004: What are your thoughts on the place that black men hold in society?
A - I'm constantly saddened by the lack of respect black men receive and the amount of generalizations that are made to count us out. I was raised to exude confidence, strength, class, and home training. Black men are the strongest, most intelligent, hardest working out of everyone yet we still find ourselves trying to out live the stereotypes set by few. People confuse the actions and image of black "boys" with the strength and integrity of black men. I long for people to look past those stereotypes and the few that act out of character and allow for a individualistic approach to interpret the image of what a true Black man is; hardworking, full of integrity, loving, a provider, strong, and seemingly iconic.
005: What do you hope for people to gather from your work?
A - I want people to constantly be inspired to step outside of the norm and really tap into individuality. I want people to also see that I exude confidence, that I love who I am, and that ultimately my goal is to embrace individuality and defy the stereotypes and the societal "norms."
006: How has love helped you become a stronger man?
A - If my mother and father wouldn't have shown me love, corrected me in love, and really cared for me I would be lost like a lot of boys and men are today. Love showed me that someone cared enough about me to give me all that they had. Love is so iconic, so necessary, confirming, love is the foundation. God is love, and if he wouldn't have shown his compassion to the world where would we truly be?
007: When did you realize that you were comfortable in your own skin?
A - I realized that I was comfortable in my skin when the words of others no longer made me question who I was. I started defining myself and when I'd get a negative comment, or slur I'd just say "Ok..." and continue on. I sat down and realized that I was the one paying the bills, the one putting gas in my car, and the one paying for college, I was the one living my life...so why would I give someone else control over my life. Why would I give someone else control over my life and how I felt when I am the one who has to live it. You have to come to the realization that you are the only one that can live your life. Time is so precious, and limited...I'd hate for you to look back and realize you wasted your life concerned about what other people had to say and not truly living to your full potential.
008: What do you love most about being a man of color ?
A - I love the strength we have running through our veins. I love the history we have. . .I love our differentiation. We are kings, princes, leaders. . .we are powerful. What's more lit than that? All jokes aside we are feared for our potential to be the Kings that we are destined to be. We are feared for being more intelligent than "them." We are feared for embracing our full potential. What a power to have to be feared by others for simply being historically amazing. I'm not saying that being feared is technically a good thing but what I'm saying is we are so smart, strong, and regal that the thought of it makes people uncomfortable. Wow, I am a King.
009: Name some lessons that a woman has taught you. . .
A - The biggest lesson? How to treat others. My mother taught me how to treat other people and how to treat myself. My mother taught me all about Love and for that I am forever grateful.
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