Allan Lambert was born April 5, 1958, to Nathaniel and Pamela Lambert in Arima, Trinidad & Tobago. Both Nathaniel and Pamela were hardworking and cared for Allan and his two brothers and sister. At an early age, Allan and his siblings had to deal with the death of their beloved parents. “I grew up in a small town and was always a simple guy often staying to myself wasn’t much to socialize. When my parents passed at an early age I had the drive and determination to survive not entirely because I wanted to but I had to, mainly to provide for my brothers and sisters. My mentality, per say, didn’t change but my motivation was geared to provide which has been a major part of me since even in my own family and the same value instilled in my sons.” After taking over the responsibilities of his parents, and caring for his siblings, Allan went on to start his own family and he brought the same teachings from childhood with him.
Allan Lambert married Christine Blackette on December 26, 1979. Allan and Christine went on to have three children, all boys. I asked Mr. Lambert as a black male, what qualities do he feel are needed in order to be a successful black male? How has he embodied these qualities? And how has he instilled these qualities in your sons? He responded by saying, “the strongest weapon I have is my connection and devotion to God. Each day I start with him and it has been a blessing. Knowledge is also a key to success. Reading about the world around you gaining an education not only in the field you are looking to work in but just general knowledge will broaden your mind and outlook on life. I have three boys and each of my sons know the value of education and learning. I have done many things to keep their minds focused. Each of my children has that special interest in culture. I think that’s one thing all of my boys share is the love and appreciating for all cultures around the world and learning what they can from them and the events that take place around the world.” Beyond eradicating hegemonic masculinity and stereotypes of the black male inside of his household, Mr. Lambert shares his teachings with his community. “I spent a long time working with the Trinidad embassy working to better the streets and clean up the community. The country has come a long way from poverty to the bettering ourselves through education, employment, and more government involvement working with the people. Trinidad as a whole has grown economically and the dollar value has been enriched. Thus being able to build, and pave streets allows for the development of major cities and through the completion of many other projects creates a more valued community.”
In my opinion, Mr. Lambert defies the stereotypical black male and exemplifies what it means to be a progressive black male. The qualities most commonly associated with black men of today included and are not limited to being hegemonic, hyper-violent, hyper-sexual, unintelligent, incapable of success, and uncaring about relationships. Mr. Lambert by no means represents any of these qualities. Mr. Lambert even goes the extra step to instill this same attitude and attributes in his three sons and shares it with his community. The exploitation of the black body is in abundance in the media. The black body has become a phallic symbol, a source of entertainment to others. The Hip Hop Industry is a major industry used to exploit the black body. The women displayed in videos are always half naked and committing submissive acts for the men. These women are also degraded by being called “bitches” and “hos”. The male rappers reference their male genitals to weapons perpetuating the idea that they are hyper-sexual and phallic symbols. Even female rap artists are pinned against each other and are in a sense competing to see who can claim the title of being “the baddest bitch.” When asked what advice he has for the black youth of today, Mr. Lambert replied, “the youth of today need to discover who they are. Many kids are lost trying to be who they are not. Trying to imitate what they see on TV or how their friends act. Individuality is an aspect of life that many youth forget. Also many youth forget who they belong to. Many black children grow up in some form of religious atmosphere lot’s lose their way and go astray. The youth of today need to focus on what’s important. Learn from the older generations who have lived and experienced, stay focused on your creator and don’t get corrupted by what seems nice because in the end it’s a path that always leads to destruction.” Taking heed to Mr. Lambert’s advice, I plan to embody his teachings and share them with my family and community to further promote progression in the black community.