Behind The Name
My name is Ruby N Lewis. I am the President and CEO of Unlimited Creative Corporations, PDDBM: Please Don't Die Black Men, and United States Orphan Coalition. In 2012, I published the book entitled, Unlimited Creative Corporations: My First Collaboration. My creative portfolio can be found here: https://www.behance.net/collection/2206274/My-Portfolio-Collection. You can also view more of my history by reading my book or just the back of my book which is available in print and/or eBook format at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Trafford Publishing, iTunes, and your local bookstore...or you can just do your research by finding me everywhere on Google.
I started Please Don't Die Black Men (PDDBM) in 2007 as I was ending my job as Vice-President of the Black Student Union at Lane Community College. I was at a point in my life where I was tired of all of the excuses that I kept hearing from African American men about why they chose to continue disrespecting themselves, black women, and why they could care less about their African American neighbor, brother, and/or friend. I couldn't understand why there were so many African American children being raised up without their African American fathers. I couldn't understand why black women's HIV/AIDS rates kept rising. I couldn't understand why so many black boys chose to sell drugs instead of getting an education or starting their own legitimate business. I couldn't understand why so many African American men were in jail for either something they didn't do, drug related offenses, losing their temper, and/or other reasons. I couldn't understand why so many African Americans in the projects that I had spoken with, really don't know about scholarships or financial aid. I couldn't understand why there were not more resources offered to African Americans in order to help them succeed and become self-sufficient. I didn't understand any of this and so much more. Mark Harris, an African American History Professor called it a "Slave Mentality". The African American male was continuously taken out of his “head of household” position during slavery and thus lost control of himself, his family, his sexuality, and eventually his spirituality. Constantly having his home torn apart, having his wife beaten and raped and sold, having his children raised by other families, and being sold to various owners are just some of the ways that caused this “slave mentality”. The African American male then adapted and succumbed to this way of thinking never again to stand up and challenge or change that way of thinking once slavery was abolished. Today this sort of “slave mentality” can be seen throughout many African American/Black communities, families, and neighborhoods.
Eldridge Cleaver stated, "If You Are Not Part Of The Solution, Then You Are Part Of The Problem". So I decided to become part of the solution. In the Holy Bible, God made man, then he took one of Adam's ribs and made his helper, Eve. In the beginning, they felt no shame. In the beginning, they were in love. In the beginning, the man was the head of the household and the woman was the helper. Genesis 2:4-25. Through time right here in America, Africans that were brought here a long time ago lost their culture. They lost their names, religion, rites of passage, rituals, and all of their ways. The man and the woman used to be prepared for marriage. There was no sex before marriage. Marriage was a very sacred event. http://www.africanholocaust.net/ritesofpassage.html#marriage. A whole village was there to support you when you gave birth. Family was very important.
As an African American woman, I wanted to find a way to put men back at the head of the household where I believe they belong. The problem is that you cannot have a head of the household who is not stable, structured, disciplined, strong, powerful, or full of wisdom. I believe that African American men can do so much better than what they have been doing and wanted to inspire them in so many ways. Looking around, I realized that African American men were not just dying physically, but that they were also dying at enormous rates sexually, spiritually, and mentally/emotionally as well.
So it's time for a change!!! I started this movement to uplift and inspire African American/Black male youth, male teens, male adults, and male elders to get an education, apply for financial aid, use protection during sex and get themselves and their partners tested, start their own businesses, support their own race, put money back into their own race by shopping at black owned businesses, take care of their children and/or pay their child support, stop making babies if they can't afford them, be responsible, set their own trends instead of following others, respect their women, be a positive role model, support their neighbors and brothers, stop killing each other by guns and drugs and other things, and so much more.
When someone wears PDDBM gear, I want them to be able to wear it with pride and take a stand and say we believe that our African American/Black race can and will do better. We will help and support each other. We will supply each other with resources that will help raise up our own race because we do care about each other. We will inspire and motivate each other. We will CHOOSE to make a difference. We refuse to be "Black Statistics".
These are the reasons why I started PDDBM: Please Don't Die Black Men.
We Need To Remember The Motto of America, "United WE Stand, Divided WE Fall". It is a good motto and one in which we as African Americans unite for marches and protests, we unite when we want to unite, but the time has come for us to unite again for a change. We as African Americans need to help one another learn how to start our own businesses, help one another with scholarships and secondary education, help one another find other positive ways to make money than selling drugs and illegals, help one another by encouraging each other to take care of their families and allowing peer pressure to move us in the right and positive direction instead of the continued downward spiral we have been traveling in, help one another by inspiring belief in to our own race that "together" we can make a difference, help one another by encouraging African Americans to begin putting money into black-owned businesses and if you can't find the one you are looking for then starting your own, help one another by choosing to get our sexual partners tested instead of following other influences and feelings, help one another by not creating children unless we can afford them, help one another by encouraging our youth and raising them up for greatness, help one another by putting our youth in our own positive legal extracurricular activities, help one another by making a change....a difference little by little, help one another by supporting positive black music, help one another by supporting positive black movies, we all need to help one another. UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL.
For the t-shirts whether long or short sleeve, I chose 13 main questions that are randomly selected on the T-shirts. (Sorry don't have enough money to let people choose which question they want) All 13 questions essentially mean the same thing..."What Inspires, Motivates, or Makes Up A Positive Black Man?". You can also see what they look like on the t-shirts by clicking here:
Listed below are the actual 13 questions (in alphabetical order):
1) What Emboldens A Black Man?
2) What Encourages A Black Man?
3) What Enlightens A Black Man?
4) What Exhilarates A Black Man?
5) What Exhorts A Black Man?
6) What Heartens A Black Man?
7) What Impels A Black Man?
8) What Influences A Black Man?
9) What Inspires A Black Man?
10) What Inspirits A Black Man?
11) What Invigorates A Black Man?
12) What Makes A Positive Black Man?
13) What Motivates A Black Man?