1. What is your name? Where are you are from? What do you do for a living? GAS YOURSELF! Let the people know who you are!
My name is Richard Winfrey. I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan where I currently reside.
I am a brother, a cousin-brother (lol), an uncle, a godfather, a friend, a mentor, a community advocate who believes everybody is somebody to somebody, and a husband and best friend to my partner in all things including finance, petty and life.
I am a God-fearing, proud card carrying member of the Black Men’s Community since birth and unapologetically me by the furthest extent of #blackboyjoy.
I am here to destroy any and all negative or toxic viewpoints of what society says real men should be. At the threshold of 30 years old, I am finally able to say I am comfortable in my skin with room to grow.
I earned my Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Wayne State University in December 2014 with a goal of earning my Professional Engineer designation by age 35. I currently work as an engineer at a local utility in the city.
I am a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, the National Society of Black Engineers, and co-Founder/co-host of the Mental Matters Podcast.
2. Do you believe that as black men, we support each other ‘enough’? Spiritually. Emotionally. Mentally. Physically. Financially.
It depends (that’s some new terminology I picked up lol). I think that we try but aren’t there yet. It is something I am attempting to practice and perfect in my personal journey but I am a work in progress.
We are trying to be more like a community.
It will take a lot of brotherhood forums, gatherings, cookouts and trips/conversations to the SAME barbershop before we get where we should be as a culture.....But it is possible.
3. Do we continue to let our generational curses in our community of black men hinder us for experiencing and realizing our true potential?
ABSOLUTELY. My dad, in his reformed fatherhood, did a good job of preparing me for manhood and adulthood. I’m still sick about his passing....But what we shared in our time together helped me a great deal. In contrast, some men in my life were absolutely horrible examples (including my dad being the early on crack dealer he was, ironically).
There was the time my great uncle told me “men don’t hug men... that’s for sissies”. I’m still scarred and distance myself from him.
All of this exposure early in my life showed me a lot of what to do and not do as well.
4. What can we do better as black men, individually, to help improve our overall community for the next generations?
We need a united front: men who aren’t afraid to be themselves (vulnerable, honest, truthful, strong and vocal when needed, quiet in other moments, and not afraid to show their emotions) regardless of the current stereotype of what “Man Up” looks like in society. We need to stick together to redefine that for the culture.
Disclaimer - THERE IS NO CORRECT MANUAL ON HOW TO BE A BLACK MEN IN TODAYS SOCIETY. ONLY GOOD AND BAD EXAMPLES IN OUR HISTORY.
5. What does #BlackMenWin mean to you?
It means we all succeed in everything we do - regardless if we succeed as a single being or as a whole group.
It means we win even if it’s learning from our missteps and mistakes.
It means to push the culture forward by simply being the best version of ourselves.
It means sharing those images for the world to see as we win or we witness each other do the same. It can also mean showing those same missteps and lessons learned.
It means #blackmenwin as #blackmenwin or we win when we win. Period.