I can’t pretend to know what’s in anyone else’s heart; all I can do is use this platform to share what’s in mine.

Words are powerful.

We are responsible for our words – the ones we use in error and the ones we choose carefully to build a path forward.

Through my writing, I work to reflect on my personal history as a black man – learning to forgive others and love myself, while striving to create a world where all people know how important their voices are and how powerful their words can be.

I don’t believe it is the responsibility of black men or women in this country to continue bearing the emotional and intellectual burden of explaining our cultural hurts as we also try to heal from them.

But, I do believe we can lift our society through open dialogue, thoughtful action and storytelling that hopefully bridges cultures and generations.

If we can’t talk about our pain, we can never find purpose. If we can’t listen to those in pain, we can never learn true compassion.

I look forward to the days ahead when we have respectful conversations in this space, with an enriched sense of culture, a broader education, and a deeper understanding and love for all people.

Cancellation solves nothing. Conversation solves everything.

Bottom line: let’s know the power of our words and use them to spread kindness, not hate.