On November 10th, 2020, a new book, “Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man” by Emmanuel Acho, arrived. A former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho started an online YouTube series to give white people a nonjudgmental space to ask questions about race and racism.
“Let me be that Black friend and create a safe space answering so many questions that my dear white brothers and sisters have so that they can no longer live in ignorance.”Emmanuel Acho
How it all began
“My upbringing is the only reason I’m capable of having these conversations. I went to St. Mark’s School of Texas. It was an affluent, all-boys’ school that was predominately white. I graduated with maybe five other Black people. But then I played football at the University of Texas and played football in the NFL, which was predominantly Black locker rooms. And so I was fully immersed in white culture and then fully immersed in the Black culture as I got older.” – this is what Acho said in the interview for Texasmonthly
In Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man, Acho tries to answer all the questions, insensitive and taboo, large and small, many white Americans are afraid to ask, which all Americans should know the answers to, even more now than ever. Emmanuel Acho explains the vital core of such concepts as cultural appropriation, white privilege, and “reverse racism.” In his own words (inspired by his interviewees), he provides a space of compassion and understanding in a discussion that can lack both.
Winfrey Oprah On Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man
Emmanuel Acho stole Oprah’s heart. She said that she is a partner and supporter and publisher of his book “Uncomfortable conversations with a black man.” She loves a book, and the chance to translate this message that Emmanuel has been bringing into a written format just excited her so much because she knows that what he’s doing is so important by bringing value to our collective humanity; breaking down fears week after week; breaking down fears and frustrations and biases and prejudices. What is more, what he’s done is creating a space and actually opening the aperture for understanding.
She found it a privilege to help him keep doing the good work that he has obviously been called to do and exposing this work to every platform possible.
To summarize it. “More of this” was an opinion shared by Oprah Winfrey. She invited Acho to adapt the series—whose guests have ranged from actor Matthew McConaughey to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to four police officers from Petaluma, California—into an eponymous book through her imprint at Macmillan.
What does Emmanuel Acho think about the Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man
He created “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” as an educational tool at a time when the racial divide between white and Black Americans is at a peak. Through utilizing communication, Acho hopes the series can bridge the gap.
“Let me be that Black friend and create a safe space answering so many questions that my dear white brothers and sisters have,” he says, “so that they can no longer live in ignorance.”Emmanuel Acho
Emmanuel Acho himself expressed a clear message on what his project is about.
Our Nation and world have again been confronted with its greatest ongoing pandemic, Racism.
Racism is not a virus of the body; it is a virus of the mind, and unfortunately, it can be lethal.
But you cannot fix a problem that you do not know you have. And if “ignorance is bliss”, in this case, bliss has caused bondage and pain for others. But there is a fix. We can all access the life-saving medicine that will cure the world’s most ailing, long-lasting pandemic. But in order to access it, we’re going to have to have some uncomfortable conversations.
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man is a safe place to have uncomfortable conversations about race that many white 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 the white privilege if I’m not wealthy?”, or “is racial profiling ok if black people tend to commit more crimes”, or 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.
Many have thought these questions without realizing the key to mending the racial divide in our world lie within the answers, and that white people DO have the power to affect sweeping change and short circuit racism within their own lives and communities. The cure for what ails us – all of us — lies within these, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.uncomfortableconvos.com
What are the episodes of Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man?
Episode 1 – Intro
Emmanuel Acho sits down to have an “uncomfortable conversation” with white America, in order to educate and inform on racism, system racism, social injustice, rioting & the hurt African Americans are feeling today.
Episode 2 – White Allegries?
Matthew McConaughey sits down with Emmanuel Acho to have an uncomfortable conversation with a black man
Episode 3 – Seeing colors
Chip & Joanna Gaines sit down with Emmanuel Acho to have an uncomfortable conversation about teaching their kids to “see color” and Emmanuel Acho is asked “if he’s afraid of white people.”
Episode 4 – Reverse Racism
Emmanuel reads and answers emails directly from viewers. Addressing the role of the broken black family, cultural appropriation, and “reverse racism”
Episode 5 – Interracial Relationships
Interracial couple and gold medalists, Lindsey Vonn & P.K Subban, join Rachel Lindsay (the first black bachelorette) & her husband Bryan Abasolo to have an Uncomfortable Conversation about interracial dating and the backlash that has come with it. Lindsey Vonn speaks about fighting for acceptance from black women, as Rachel confesses to formerly being that ignorant judgmental woman.
Episode 6 – White parents, raising black children
Emmanuel Acho sits down with Aaron & Jamie Ivey + their kids, to have an uncomfortable conversation about the struggles, differences and what they have learned, in raising black, white and mixed children. Emmanuel asks the Ivey’s if they fear for their black children’s lives and if the kids would rather have black parents raising them.
Episode 7 – Race vs religion
It’s time to talk about race & religion. Carl Lentz, lead pastor of Hillsong East Coast, sits down with Emmanuel Acho to have an uncomfortable conversation about the role religion plays in fueling and/or killing racism.
Episode 8 – Protesting the National Anthem Part 1
NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, sits down with Emmanuel Acho to have an Uncomfortable Conversation with a Black Man. Emmanuel asks Goodell what he would say to Kaepernick and how he feels about the National Anthem Protests in the NFL.
Episode 9 – Protesting the National Anthem Part 2
In part 2, NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, sits with Emmanuel Acho to continue their Uncomfortable Conversation with a Black Man. Emmanuel asks Commissioner Goodell if players will be punished for taking a knee during the National Anthem.
Episode 10 – Karens & Cancel Culture w/Chelsea Handler – Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man
Emmanuel Acho sits down with comedian & best selling author, Chelsea Handler, to have an uncomfortable conversation about “Karens,” cancel culture and her own white privilege.
You can watch all the episodes on the Emmanuel Acho page – right here.
Where to begin with in terms of Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man?
If you liked the topic just like me, then get the book and start to understand a different culture.
If you are short of time, but still eager to learn more about the culture, check the summary I’ve found on Amazon!
Doing business means understanding people’s mindsets. It can be a good start.
Have a great day!