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8 Last-Minute Gift Ideas For The Special Men In Your Life

What men really want.

Editor's Picks

'Tis the season of gift giving and I can hardly believe we are at the end of 2020. Although the holidays are meant to be filled with joy, they can be a major headache when it comes to finding the perfect gifts for the most important people in my life. While I typically struggle with gift giving, I've always found it especially difficult selecting a practical yet clever gift particularly for the men in my life that fully expresses my love and admiration.

While men are known to be pretty straightforward when it comes to their needs, I turned to a close male friend for advice on the best gift ideas for men this year. As it goes, it's the thought that counts, however it's the obsessive control freak in me wanting to make sure no man is left behind during the holiday season. This list guarantees the men you love so dearly will be on the receiving end of a thoughtful gift they'll cherish from now through 2021.

The Forest Green Alias Sweatsuit By Daily Paper

For the majority of 2020, fashion has evolved into comfort and practicality. A matching sweatsuit is perfect for every man, young and old. Daily Paper is a black-owned fashion and lifestyle brand fueled by the rich heritage of African culture wrapped in contemporary designs perfect for the strong men in our lives.

Forest Green Alias Sweatpants

Daily Paper

$121

Classic Sneakers By New Balance

Pro tip, sneakers are always a good idea! A clean active style perfectly paired with cool and casual looks for everyday wear I'm told is much appreciated. Budget-friendly, New Balance sneakers won't break the bank while a perfect fit for a cool classic look.

Backpack By Made Leather Co

Although we're not traveling or moving around town as much as we used to, you can't go wrong with gifting a quality backpack created with top notch materials and detailed designs. Stylish and sleek, a backpack of this nature has unlimited uses for the man on the go. Black-owned travel brand, Made Leather Co, offers a great selection of handcrafted leather goods for your holiday needs.

Puffer Coat By Cold Laundry

As we're heading into the winter season, a puffer coat is high on the list of essentials. Prepare your man to brace the cold in style with this coat by black-owned clothing brand, Cold Laundry. This particular coat is also unisex which is perfect for #couplegoals.

Natural Hair Care By Twist It Up

The hair care industry may not be as big for men as it is for women but there are tools that can make life a lot easier when it comes to taking care of Afro-centric hair for men. The Twist It Up Comb is a natural hair brand owned by famous millionaire shark Daymond John that's not only for the culture but has a heartfelt dedication to helping those in need by providing to the homeless using proceeds from every purchase. This company is dedicated to embracing the power within while standing together in unity wearing our natural hair proudly.

Shaving Kit By Bevel

A staple every man needs in their life, a shaving kit designed specifically for coarse and curly hair as well as sensitive skin is as thoughtful as it gets. Made to solve problems for men of color by men of color, Bevel is a top of the line grooming company with a product line made specifically with your man in mind. A holiday shaving kit is the perfect introduction to getting your man's skincare game right this holiday season.

Food Delivery By HelloFresh

They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, which is the perfect reason to buy him a subscription to a home delivery food service this holiday season. With the uncertainty we face with the on-going pandemic, this thoughtful gift helps keep him safe by making sure his food is delivered straight to his door.

Adding Books To The Collection

"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today." - Malcolm X

This year looks a lot different than what we're used to as we've been spending a lot more time indoors and finding creative ways to keep ourselves occupied. Books are a great alternative to Netflix while filling our minds with more information than we get from watching television. The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley, is a great read for men looking for inspiration from one of the greatest historical leaders and activists while going through the current challenges we're facing today.

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Featured image by Shutterstock

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Staples.

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