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From Black Enterprise

Through the years, the African-American community has been struggling with the ability to brand success and intelligence as being cool. Particularly with black male teens and adults, oftentimes we don’t fully utilize our potential because we fear the risk of being labeled as “acting white.”

However, I’m starting to realize a powerful movement that’s centered on career “swagger” (or swag). In recent years the term swag has landed a prominent place of endearment in the urban lexicon. From President Barack Obama to celebrity actor Idris Elba, there has been an emergence of professional men who carry themselves and conduct their business with a swagger that cannot go unnoticed.

Another highly regarded man on the come-up who has embodied this is 31year-old Enitan O. Bereola, II (@bereolaesque). As a bestselling author and popular speaker, Bereola has gained the respect of entertainment industry leaders, including actors Hill Harper and Meagan Good, through collaborative projects. Advice from Bereola’s first book How To Be a Gentleman – Bereolaesque: The Contemporary Gentleman & Etiquette Book For The Urban Sophisticate has been discussed on BET and the nationally syndicated “Russ Parr Morning Show.”

“I am not suggesting that men should be corny, walking around in suspenders and bow ties daily,” Bereola writes. “However, some basic good manners will go a long way in helping you during your ascent to the top. This book introduces new ideas and opens up the mind to a lifestyle that will ensure achievement in every walk of life”

During an interview with Bereola offered the following principles to help elevate their professional swaggar as an urban sophisticate:

Look like—and be—a smart, hard-working professional. 
All too often some men believe they have to compromise their identity to advance or accelerate their careers, Bereola says. The essence of being an Urban Sophisticate is being wise enough to adhere to corporate norms while being true to who you are. Bereola contends that men must wear appropriate suits, lose the earrings, and eliminate sagging and baggy clothes from their professional wardrobe. This is vital because in Bereola’s words “true gentlemen know how to maneuver in all facets of life—particularly in his business affairs.”

“While formal education is key, you will be surprised how far a hard work ethic can take you,” Bereola adds. There are plenty of thriving businessmen and professionals who are not college graduates. Despite their lack of formal education, they rolled up their sleeves and outworked their competition.

Read more at BlackVoices.com 

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