How the Good Men Project Helped Me Find My Voice

In my life, the one thing that has come the easiest to me is writing. The ability to create worlds on paper, express my thoughts by using a pencil and pen, and to make my point through the written word has always been effortless. I was always encouraged by my mother to write, my craft was refined in high-school, my writing style was influenced by those who had come before me, and my environment and upbringing shaped what I was to talk about. I truly love writing; there is not a day or two that goes by without me writing something.

In 2013, I self-published my first book, “Straight Dope: A 360 degree look into American drug culture.” It was a great achievement in my life; I had accomplished a goal. However, as memorable as Straight Dope was, the book was not “about me.” It was a collection of interviews with a few insights into my life. I wanted to write about myself and let the world know who LeRon Barton was.

When I began to write pieces about my experiences in relationships and growing up, I started to look for an outlet to have these essays published. Many sites were not too eager to take on a novice writer without a well-known name and his only credit being a book about drugs in the US. While I would write on my own blog, I wanted a platform with a bigger reach. I wanted my work to be on a site that had a large readership, but how?

I came across The Good Men Project through Facebook. I was taken aback by how diverse the perspectives were. Here was website that had men from all races, ages, socio-economic backgrounds, political affiliations, and cultures talking about what it was like to be a man. My interest was piqued. The Good Men Project was the virtual lounge that men could hang out at, discuss what was on their mind, trade thoughts, and not feel judged. In a land of misogynistic sites that pushed a negative view of what manhood should be, The Good Men Project encouraged men to be vulnerable and honest.

I published my first piece on The Good Men Project called “Chasing Christina and why I stopped being a player.” It was about my relationship with a woman that wasn’t into clubbing and drinking and why I decided to leave that lifestyle. The essay received a good response and that encouraged me to write again. Through working with my editors Joanna Schroeder, publisher Lisa Hickey, and now Wilhelm Cortez, I began to write about even more personal subjects such as reuniting with my father and tackling race.

Writing about race began to be my central subject as I delved more into activism. Seeing reports of young unarmed Black men brutally killed by the police compelled me to write about how I was feeling. I felt through my stories of what it is like to be an African-American, to constantly face racism/white supremacy and all of its pitfalls, I was speaking for many Black men that did not have a voice. This was my platform, this was my activism. Some of my more popular works have included “Staying Alive While Black”, “Stop Blaming Trump for Racism”, and “My Reality: 10 Truths About Being Black in America.”

Since then, I have become a regular columnist for The Good Men Project. I have a strong relationship with my editor Wilhelm. He and I bounce ideas off of each other and work to make sure my writing is as strong as it can be. Writing for The Good Men Project has given me more guts than I thought I had. Working with them has grew my audience. I have been interviewed on the radio, been a guest on numerous podcasts, and have been asked to publically speak. I cannot say enough “good” things about the site.

I encourage all to visit The Good Men Project. This is a true representative of the 21st century man. We are witnessing men evolve and grow every day and we would love for you to be a part of it.

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