Talking to Learn and Not To Respond

Talking to Learn and Not To Respond

I love talking to people. It is one of my favorite pastimes. Having a great conversation where you learn about the person or people, sharing ideas, and gaining a new outlook is one of the things that makes me smile. It ranks right below reading and writing as something that I absolutely love. Dialogue fits my naturally inquisitive nature. If you have ever had a conversation with me, I would probably be the main one asking the questions. It’s not because I don’t like talking about myself or that I…

Imposters Syndrome & The Pursuit of Excellence In A White World

Imposters Syndrome & The Pursuit of Excellence In A White World

Many times before I write a piece, speak in front of a crowd, present at a meeting, or even talk about a project that I aspire to do, I feel like I am a fraud. I feel like someone is going to call me out, find out I don’t know what I am talking about, or just look at me and say, “That sounds stupid.” Mind you, even if I am well prepared, researched, have the data, confidence in my abilities, and know 100% what I am talking about, I…

A Black Guy and A White Guy Walk Into A Bar and Talk About Sexual Harassment

A Black Guy and A White Guy Walk Into A Bar and Talk About Sexual Harassment

A Black guy and a white guy walk into a bar…. Men of today are feeling the pinch. I hear the talk in the locker rooms, at lunch, or at the bar. “They’re getting everybody! You can’t look at a woman, pay her a compliment, or even try and talk to her without someone saying “sexual harassment.” Men are scared, feeling as if their rights are being taken away from them and the olden days are far in the rear view mirror. When I listen to these conversations, I chuckle…

The Dr. Vibe Show – LeRon Barton And Alexander Williams “Hip Hop vs. White Supremacy”

The Dr. Vibe Show – LeRon Barton And Alexander Williams “Hip Hop vs. White Supremacy”

I was invited to be a guest on The Dr. Vibe show alongside musician Alexander Williams to talk about Hip-Hop and its role in fighting white supremacy. I had a great time discussing rap, racism, and how hip-hop can be a change for good. Check out the interview.

Traveling Doesn’t Make You Better Than Anyone

Traveling Doesn’t Make You Better Than Anyone

When I first started traveling 16 years ago, it wasn’t solely because I wanted to see other parts of the world. Yes, I was fascinated by foreign countries I had only seen on TV and cities I’d read about in school, but the real reason is because I was ashamed of where I came from. I grew up in the Southside of Kansas City, Missouri, a poor and violent neighborhood. We were raised on food stamps and second hand everything. I saw the rich and successful doing things like traveling…

We Need To Practice Self Care (Erica Garner, RIP Alton Sterling, and Philando Castille)

We Need To Practice Self Care (Erica Garner, RIP Alton Sterling, and Philando Castille)

Dear Black, Brown, Asian, and Other People of Color: In the past 24 hours, we have witnessed two Black men murdered by the Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights Police Departments, respectively. Watching the videos of these Black men being lynched, many of us are in disbelief, saying, “This can’t be!” In 2016, Black men are given no judge, jury, or trial; only execution. I know that many of us are going through a myriad of emotions: anger, sadness, hurt, despair, and I am here to tell you that it is…

The Game changer: Why I Wear My Trayvon Martin Hoodie

The Game changer: Why I Wear My Trayvon Martin Hoodie

There are certain points in a person’s life that leave a permanent mark on who they are. These events change who we are and can move our lives in different directions. For myself, one of those moments was the death of Trayvon Martin. Racism was something that I knew about, but wasn’t discussed in depth within my family. Growing up I was told: “Be home before the street lights come on,” “When you are driving in these little towns, be careful because they may have their own laws,” “You have…

Musings on survival: Living In The Ghetto and the Near Inevitability of Prison

Musings on survival: Living In The Ghetto and the Near Inevitability of Prison

I recently read Blood in the Fields: Ten Years in the Nuestra Familia Gang and was taken aback by one of the main characters in the book. Mando was a young guy who grew up in a violent household who joined a gang, and ended up committing a murder that would net him a sentence of 29 years to life. I became very sad and thought of one of the young men I met in San Quentin, Efrain. While visiting San Quentin, California state prison for an educational panel, I…

Men and the need to be vulnerable

Men and the need to be vulnerable

I have been pondering a question for some time: what if we let men be themselves? Without any of the societal pressures, role assuming behaviors, or passed down expectations? What if we did not force men to succumb to any of the actions or conventional behavior of what a man is supposed to be? What if we just let men be free from all the identity destroying expectations we have placed on manhood? As I ask myself that same question over and over in my head, I have come to…