A 'Cool' Collection & Sexy Singles: A Message from the President & CEO Linda Johnson Rice
Rice, Linda Johnson, Ebony
If you were to ask 10 people what they consider to be the essential elements that make a man cool, you would probably get 10 different, wide-ranging answers. For some, it can be his persona. For some, it can be his unmistakable aura and style. And for others, it can simply be his utter nonchalance and unflappable demeanor.
Cool--or better, what makes a man cool--exists in the realm of the subjective, meaning that it enjoys elastic boundaries when you try to determine exactly what qualities make a man cool. In making that determination, there is not necessarily a right or wrong; what appeals to one person might be a turnoff to another.
But one thing is definite, cool is an innate quality, not an acquired behavior. You can't learn it. You can't buy it. You can't fake it. Either you have it or you don't. It's that simple.
In this month's cover story, after much deliberation, we have selected the 25 coolest Black men of our time. It was not an easy task to create the list, but it includes a wide representation of unique men with unique qualities, and each one would have to be at the center of any legitimate discussion about being cool.
It's an undisputed fact that Black men set the tone when it comes to cool, radiating a degree of coolness that's unmatched by anyone else in the world. Others have tried to imitate, but observers agree that Black men are the arbiters when it comes to the cool factor.
In the Black community, being cool has always been a mark of distinction, a quality to be envied, appreciated and celebrated. And it has always come in many forms--classic cool (Sidney Poitier, Gordon Parks and Quincy Jones), cutting-edge cool (Jay-Z, Tupac, Prince, Jimi Hendrix), quiet cool (Don Cheadle) and "just plain cool" (Richard Roundtree, Marvin Gaye). …