Peerless Etiquette is proud to introduce; The President of the DCS Mentoring Program, retired Public Service member, and community activist, William DC Clark; who took time out of his busy schedule to share some words of encouragement and wisdom for young men to become a better version of themselves. Often times we view etiquette and civility as something to fear as it's been painted with a brush of stuffiness and strict rules of behavior. Our mission is to make etiquette and civility a way of life for everyone especially our youth. We appreciate William for leaving footprints of civility for young men and others to follow. To learn more about the DCS Mentoring Program visit DCSmetoring.org.
Retired Firefighter/Paramedic currently President of DCS Mentoring
Tell us a little about yourself.
I AM Miami. Born and raised in Miami. First 2 years in Overtown. Next 10 years in Scott Projects. Then moved to the Arcola area. My grandparents on both sides come from the Bahamas by way of Exuma, Nassau. Went to Miami Central. Was fortunate to earn scholarship to Northern Iowa University. Became the 2nd black football Captain in the school’s history. Upon graduating, I worked as a Remedial English Teacher, Aircraft Servicer, Drug and Rehabilitation Counselor, Firefighter and Paramedic and an Activist in my community. I once owned Afro In Books & Things, I’m currently President of ICARE Miami and I’m the President of DCS Mentoring Program
Who is someone (living or dead) that you feel embodies/embodied outstanding etiquette ?
Men and Women of the Harlem Renaissance period. Those who were impeccably dressed, those who showed respect to one another and those despite not having very much, had self-respect
What skills or attributes must come naturally, or be inherent to a man?
One must have a high level of Self Respect, then have respect for others, especially the opposite sex. One must not only be a protector of his family but one who also protect his community? He must be an example for the next generation to follow. Most importantly, his word must be his bond.
What is one thing you learned later in life, that you wish you were taught sooner?
Economics. Investments, investing in one so community. Stock market at an early Age
List three ways a young man can show his respect for young ladies.
A young man can respect young ladies by y not calling her out of her name.
By sticking up for her when others try to disrespect her.
By listening to her in an attentive way.
What is the best etiquette advice you have ever received?
Walk with your back straight as if the entire world is watching.
Do you think modern men are prioritizing learning etiquette and social graces appropriately?
No I don’t. A great deal of today’s men are self centered and truly believe all eyes should be on them. I believe prioritizing etiquette is important, especially for young men which is why Peerless Etiquette founder Zakiyyah Shakir works with the young men of the DCS Mentoring Program on Etiquette Essentials.
Do you believe there is power in developing social skills? If so why?
Employers, children, spouses, lovers and certain friends all want to be associated with people in charge.
Share one grooming tip and one style tip with a young man that works for you.
As a Firefighter I was required to keep my face shaved and my mustache trimmed. I’ve carried that style most of my adult life. My mustache has gotten it’s share of likes for many years. Therefore I’m an advocate for a well groom mustache.
Do you consider manners and etiquette to be manly attributes? (If so, why)
At first I did not until I observed how much having etiquette makes a man appear on top of his game.
Please share with us your favorite quote.
If a man doesn’t stand for something, he will fall for anything.
What is one vintage rule of etiquette or decorum that young man can benefit from today?
Take Pride in your appearance, even if you don't have fancy clothes, make an effort to look as neat as possible, tuck your shirt in, and wear a belt in your trousers.
What is chivalry and why is it important to learn?
Doing the things for ladies like opening and closing car doors, standing upon a young coming to a table as well as leaving a table, walking nearest the street and being attentive instead of playing video games or scrolling down your phone while in her presence, let a young lady know you are totally into her.
Provide three ways a young man can protect himself without violence.
Watch your surroundings and carry yourself with respect
Attempt to reason with adversary via communication if you can
If you are aware of a pending issue ahead of time reach out to mentors and community leaders who can intervene.
Share the name of a book, and author that you believe will inspire a young man to become a better version of himself...(no limit to the amount of books you list)
Make me want to holler by Nathan McCall
Autobiography of Malcolm X