Why is it so hard to write a new story about black Americans?
In 2010, I moved to New Orleans and, for the first time in my life, began to hear the story of black America from the mouths of black Americans. And I’m not talking about trained experts who were up on a stage or behind a lectern. I’m talking about everyday people who became neighbors, elders and friends. People who changed my life by encouraging me to reevaluate all the stories I was carrying about black Americans.
“White Guy Talks Race” came about after the world learned of Ahmaud Arbery’s murder. In talking with a New Orleans friend of mine, a retired judge, I asked, “What else can I do?” “Tell your stories,” he said. So here we are. You won’t find any answers here; any new labels for centuries-old problems; nor any attempts to cancel people, ideas and stories. What you will find are stories about this white guy’s work to put down all I was taught about Blacks, so I could begin to see the truth about them, about America and about me.