Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man – YouTube series

Published by Susanne Bounds on

Bob Eckels, a member at First UU, shared a link to a YouTube series started in early June by Emmanuel Acho, a former NFL linebacker and current analyst for Fox Sports 1, “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.” Bob shares this about why he found this video important to him:

I served 21 years in the US Navy.  I always saw it as a microcosm of the American Society and came to believe I had a better understanding of the black man than those I left behind in small town Wisconsin.  I came to this conclusion first because I worked with black men and understood the role they played in our success, and second when the Navy was faced with racial strife in the mid-70’s, I felt, through training provided, I could put myself in a black man’s shoes and understand his challenges.  I felt the Navy, some 27 years ago, had made me more appreciative of the black man’s plight.

In recent months, videos via social media brought home actual footage of injustices that I, for myself, could determine fairness or injustice.  There was no written narrative of what came down. No characterization of where blame lies.  It was all there for me to judge.  Of course, this generated discussion among friends of what was happening in our world and the unfair treatment of those that did not have the privilege of white America.  But I had an understanding that others did not … so I thought.

Then a neighbor, via Facebook, passed on a video of “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.”  My wife, Linda, said that I should check it out.  I did.  I found I did not truly understand the black man’s plight.  I learned some valuable lessons.  I urge you to watch it as well, because if you are of white privilege, I am almost certain you have something to learn as well.

– Bob Eckels

Here is the description Mr. Acho provides about the series, along with the links to all five episodes, the latest of which was broadcast just last night, Wed. 9 July:

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man is a safe place to have the uncomfortable conversations about race that many people have never been able to have. But enough is enough – I want to remove the barriers for why we’ve never had these conversations. I want to provide a free space for curious white people to answer the questions they’ve always had but have been too nervous to ask. Like, “How can I have white privilege if I’m not wealthy?” or “is racial profiling ok if black people tend to commit more crimes” and my personal favorite from a 19-year-old girl from rural Alabama named Amy who asked, “if black people can say the ‘N’ word, why can’t I?” And many, many more.

– Emmanuel Acho

These videos do provide a strong overview of many of the problems white people have understanding what black people experience as a result of the white supremacist thinking that permeates all of American culture. And by extension the rest of the world since we have come to dominate it culturally.

– Susanne, Racial Justice Action Team

Episode 1 “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man”

Episode 2 “White Allergies?”

Episode 3 “Seeing Color”

Episode 4 “Reverse Racism”

Episode 5 w/Rachel Lindsay, Bryan Abasolo, Lindsey Vonn & PK