Being A Black Man In America Never Feels Safe

Being A Black Man In America Never Feels Safe

When I wake up in the morning, I tend to toss and turn and try to grab another 30 minutes of sleep. It feels like I never get enough. Today was different. I woke up, looked around at the sunlight finding its way into the apartment, and headed to the bathroom. As I looked at myself, I smiled. LeRon, you are getting old, kid! I thought, as I turned my head and saw the greys in my beard and goatee. Read the rest here

We Are Meaningful podcast

We Are Meaningful podcast

I was a guest on the We Are Meaningful podcast, a show that talks about Black and Brown women’ experience in the workplace. I spoke with Crystal and Krysta about racism while working, the practice of keeping my cool in anti-Black environments, and why it is important to recognize when people are being racist. I had a great time on the podcast and hope to speak with them soon Click on the link below. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/decoding-the-subtext-contortion-w-leron-barton/id1493457205?i=1000468844997

Speakers Who Dare – The Talk

Speakers Who Dare – The Talk

In March 2020, I was asked to give a recorded talk for Speakers Who Dare, a theatrical event held in New York City. My speech called “The Talk: What Black Parents Have To Tell Their Children” is about conversations that African American Mothers and Fathers have with their kids about racism, how to interact with police officers, and being Black. I referenced my Mother giving me “The Talk”, my Father telling me about race as an older man, and when I gave “The Talk” to a young Black man I…

In Death….

In Death….

In my 41 years on this earth, there have only been two times that I was truly afraid of dying. The first was in 1999 when I learned of the death of James Byrd Jr. in Jasper, Texas. The second time was in 2017 when my friend Anh died in a plane crash. These moments are significant for me – Byrd’s horrible murder told me how much America hates the Black man. Anh’s death hit me hard because this was someone who was going after her goals and taken from…

The sharing of Brown death

The sharing of Brown death

I am seeing on Facebook and other social media platforms the sharing of the migrant father and daughter, laying in a pool of water reportedly dead. This photo getting a lot of attention, and whenever I see something like this, I have to ask myself, “Why are we sharing dead bodies of Black and Brown folks? I wrote a piece called “Stop Sharing Black Pain” in which I talked about the repeated trauma and mental terror that Black people receive when videos of Black men and women being killed by…

The Minimising of Sexual Assault of Black Boys

The Minimising of Sexual Assault of Black Boys

Growing up, I would hear stories from my male friends about how their baby sitters would kiss them or touch them in inappropriate ways. My friends would talk about making out with a “play aunt” or having sex with a family friend. It was not looked upon as a bad thing; in fact, it was something they bragged about. This was a rite of passage to many of us.

#Permitpatty and #BBQBecky: 911 is a joke

#Permitpatty and #BBQBecky: 911 is a joke

There are not too many Black people walking among us today that can tell you they have avoided contact with the police. It is an almost inevitable collision. You can be walking down the street, driving a car, entering your own home, or performing everyday life tasks, and eventually you will interact with the cops. This is something Black parents try and prepare their children when they give The Talk, a conversation our Mothers and Fathers have with us about how to act when confronted by the police and how…

#LivingWhileBlack

#LivingWhileBlack

For while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard. There isn’t any other tale to tell, it’s the only light we’ve got in all this darkness.” -James Baldwin, Sonny’s Blues If I were to ever be asked, “What is life as a Black person?” I would be totally aghast. Not because I couldn’t answer the question, but because of how vast it is. Where would I start? Would it be with our current…