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Uncomfortable Conversations

Lesson 1 of 1

Uncomfortable Conversations with Emmanuel Acho

 

Uncomfortable Conversations

Lesson 1 of 1

Uncomfortable Conversations with Emmanuel Acho

 

Lesson Info

Uncomfortable Conversations with Emmanuel Acho

rarely on this show do I use the words taking the world by storm. But in this case, I'm going to and I'm referring to my next guest, Emmanuel Macho. And if you are not familiar with his Web, Siri's or his now Number three New York Times bestselling book called Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man, you have now been put on notice. This is required reading slash washing. And it was such a privileged tohave Emmanuel on this show, we had a fantastic conversation. Now you don't know Emanuel, uh, he went to school for sports management and in college, that is and then was drafted into the NFL. So after ah, number of seasons, I think I don't know, five or six seasons in the NFL Uh, played for the Eagles. The Browns, um, he left football but then went to becoming an announcer. And you'll see why, as soon as you or you hear you hear why, whether you're watching or listening, because he's incredibly charismatic. But all of that was really in, you know, the way that I'm looking at his wor...

k right now was just a set up for the amazing work that he's doing right now to facilitate conversations that are aimed to create a safe space and to bridge the I think as to his word cultural divide between black culture and white culture. Um, and under uncomfortable conversations with the black man, he takes on the questions huge and small, insensitive and taboo that a lot of white Americans are free to ask. And yet those questions are questions in his words that all Americans need answers to now more than ever. So this, you know, his process thio to speak to the creator and the entrepreneur who listening right now his process is phenomenal. He gets started without having all of this stuff. We recount how he went from 01 in his world of creativity and specifically creating the work that he's working on right now. And it is fascinating. I know it will rock you that's speaking to the creator and the entrepreneur and you. But now, speaking to the human in you, you're gonna wanna listen to this episode. It's incredibly powerful. And then, as my hope, we framed this episode specifically so that you could go pick out a couple specific episodes from his YouTube show and a couple of chapters out of his book Uncomfortable conversations with a black Man. So Emmanuel is so just He's a huge personality. Glowing, brilliant, generous. Um, incredibly well spoken. And I can't wait for you to get in this show, so I'm gonna get out of the way before we do. Um, just put your smile on. Open up your heart, your head, the connection between the two and enjoy. No, Manucho. Welcome to the show. Thanks for being here, bud. My man, The pleasure is mine. Good to see you. Thanks for carving some time out of your now very, very busy schedule because you disrupt your book. Uncomfortable conversation with a black man and it's cracking all the way up. Thio, I think number three on The New York Times bestseller list. Congratulations, man. That's huge. Thank you, brother. You know what's crazy? I'm thinking when you pour so much effort energy when you literally ah pop a blood vessel in your vocal cords while recording an audio book. But then you see your name number three on the New York Times best sellers list. It makes it all worth it. Well, congratulations. And, uh, it's kind of like you. Just add that to your list of amazing stuff that you've done, including, but not limited to, uh, playing football in the NFL, having award winning Web Siri's by the same title on a couple of conversation with a black man which originally drew me to your work. Uh, incredible. Incredible. Siri's that you put together, but I want to go back to the beginning and for the handful of people who don't know you because you're damn near everywhere. And I had Kandahar on this show not too long ago, we started talking about you. He blew. He blurred your book. I mean, you got you got McConaughey on your team. That's impressive. But let's go back to the beginning because I want to know a little bit more about you before we get into your work. So, um, give us a little bit of, um, where it came from, how you got your start in the world and what you thought about as a young person and what your conditions were like growing up. So I grew up first generation American in Dallas, Texas. My parents, born and raised in Nigeria don't know if you know about Nigerian households, but in Nigerian households is my parents would say in the thick Nigerian accent. You must be a doctor. You must be a lawyer. You must be an engineer like you're supposed to be a super genius. There's no such thing as working too hard, so I go to an all white, fluent high school from grades 5 to 12, both middle school and high school. You're supposed to be a National Merit scholar. Goto, Harvard. Go to Yale, go to Columbia. I looked around. I was like, Oh, I'm 6 to £240. I guess I'll play football. Get a full scholarship to the University of Texas. I'm the youngest of four, my older brother directly above me. He played ball at Texas is Well, we played there together for three years. He gets drafted to the Arizona Cardinals 2011. I get drafted to the Cleveland Browns in 2000 and 12. Played in the NFL for four years. I was navigating black culture at that point because there's a young kid I navigated and was immersed in a white culture. Remember, although my skin is black, chase my culture is Nigerian when what I've realized is an adult. There's a difference between color and culture. And so I was navigating these spaces as a preadolescent and adolescent, trying to figure out my own identity. And so that's really my upbringing. In a nutshell. Incredible and toe have the The idea is that you just shared very quickly are, um, front and center in the book. And what one of the first things that fascinated me is the understanding of being, uh, dark skinned and growing up in a white culture in Dallas and the juxtaposition of being in the NFL, I think you said in the book it was 80 or 90% black on your team. And was it that the leap between growing up in Dallas and college college to pro? Which of those was the biggest shock to your system and got you started thinking about some of the things that you've been working on last couple years? Great question, absolutely. Going from high school to college. So you going in high school? One. I went to an all boys school chased. Okay. No girls on campus. We wore uniforms. Uh, we were gray slacks. Tastes and white shirts. That was a uniformed until you were a senior. You were special. You were gray slacks and blue button down shirt. There was not that special. So now I graduated with 75 people. Now that the University of Texas, 50,000 people and girls were there, so that was already a shocker. But beyond that, I graduated with five black people. Now I'm playing on a football team with about 85 black people. So I was the odd kid. I was trying to navigate my blackness in Texas because I was so white, cultured, listeningto the white music, hanging out in white crowds, going the White House parties. I say this not to be racially promoting. I say this to be racially realistic. See, in our world, you got black and white people, but you got black and white culture. So now I'm in college and I am the nerd. Everybody's like, Oh, you don't wanna went to the all boys school. You don't wanna went to the private school, the all white school. So that was such a hard transition. I I make this equation. So many of us grew up watching the movie Tarzan and Tarzan. He was fully human, but because he grew up with animals, he lived his life believing he was an animal until he stumbled upon other humans and was like white. They all look like me. You don't sound like me. You all dressed like me. Well, Tarzan don't really wear any clothes. But you got the point. The point being when I got to Texas, I was like, Wait, black people like you all look like me. Y'all dressed like me. Y'all sound like me. And that was a much different learning curve than going to the NFL. So what was your number one take away from that or doesn't have? I hate I hate superlatives. I'm gonna relieve you of that. Because I hate when people ask me what's the most the biggest. What was something that struck you besides the culture that you had been raised in and a new culture that you were emerged in? What were a handful of the the, um, mental shifts? What was your awareness of this? And did it change your behavior? How did you How did you start to be different in the world? Ah, it allowed me to be my most authentic self. See, when I was at this affluent white school, then even now when I'm around white people, I'm different, right? I do. So many zoom talks now Chase and I'd like wearing jewelry. But if I'm about to go to a zoom, talk with a company or corporation took my necklace in, um, I'll make sure that I'm, you know, portraying myself and the most digestible manner for my white brothers and sisters. I say it like this. I take the seasoning off the food so my white brothers and sisters can digest it right? I take that little extra kick off. And so when I was a Texas, um, and now around black people, I could just talk with my normal vernacular. I could be me, and that was such a hard juxtaposition. When you're around non black people around people that don't understand black culture because then they'll say stuff like a man, Why you acting so Doug ish? Why you're acting like such a gangster and I'm like, What do you mean just because, like I say, like, what's up? Or I say what's good and instead of saying how are you doing, right? Like What do you mean? What about that is gangster. So I really was just allowed to be my fullest, most authentic self. All right, Fast forward to do not know when, but I'm hoping number one. You can tell me when Number two. You can tell me what? When did you realize that this is something that you needed to personally take action on in the world? Because my understanding from reading the book and watching I think pretty much every video on your channel? Yeah. There's not a lot of dissection of those moments when you you shift into, like, Okay, I went from understanding. You know, you can only connect the dots looking backwards, as many people have said, and you connected the dots. You're like, Okay, cool. And there, at some point between, you know, college and NFL and post NFL, you've reconciled your identity and then shifted that identity into action. And you needed to take this topic on. So can you tell us when that was? And what was there some moment? Was it a Siris of moments? What was a light bulb for you too? Uh, dedicate a good chunk of your time and effort and heart and soul into the work that you're doing now. So I am huge chase into people, understanding things. I don't like miscommunication because you end up arguing Chase for no reason, right? Right. Used to be right, Like people. If you're if you're communicating differently, you end up arguing for no reason. In 2016, Colin Kaepernick took a need, and I, in 2016 was in Austin, Texas. I just retired and I got all the I got the chief of police in Austin and his two assistants. I got him on stage with three black influencers in Austin. Ah, former Olympic athlete, another Olympic athlete, current at the time, NFL player myself. And maybe there was one more NFL player and I just had a dialogue that we broadcast it to the world. That was 2016. I didn't really do anything again after that because I didn't feel called to compel. Well, then, after the murder of George Floyd, take, I said, I gotta do something, I said white people and black people were not getting along because there's a communication barrier amongst other things. But it's not just ah sin problem. It's not just about love and about about caring. It's also about understanding. It's hard to understand something you don't care about, because then you it's hard to care about something you don't understand, because then you end up being, incidentally, offensive, not just intentionally offensive. So So chase. After the murder of George Floyd, I said, I got to do something I said, My voice is my sword. I didn't go out in March. Have no problem with those who did march. I didn't go out there and protest. I have no problem with those who did protest. I said, Let me create because that's what I have the skills and abilities to do So Step one in creating. Besides that moment on stage with the police and some of your co collaborators, what was the first thing you set out to Dio man the oldest. You asked some good questions. The first, the first thing I set out to do get a group of people who have the same vision as me. I called a woman named Rachel Lindsay. She was the first black bachelorette. You all may know her from season. I don't know because I don't watch the show, but that's my home girl. Like maybe season 13 or 17, you know, Uh, so I call Rachel Lindsay. I say, Rachel, I have an idea. I want to start this show called Questions White people have. I want to get three white people at the table. Three black people at the table. White people reach into the fish bowl. They ask a question, but the black people answer it. That was what the show and concept was going to be. I wanted the world to see white and black people having dialogue. Rachel was game for it, but she was like, Hey, I'm in Miami. I can't get together with you for about a week. I said, I don't have the time toe. Wait, I said, You know what? I got to do it myself. So the original idea, the original? The first thing I did was try to find like minded people after Rachel couldn't do it, and I had to do it myself. Case, I called up a wedding videographer and my best friend, who is an Olympic gold medalist in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and we recorded the first episode the wedding videographer shot it and my best friend produced it, and that is how it happened. It wasn't some sort of high quality and the award winning production company, I rented out a all white room in Austin, Texas. E had a wedding videographer and I had an Olympic 100 m sprinter, and we sat there and 25 million views later, the rest was history. There's a Nen Finn ity of awesome shit in that what you just said right there because so many people who are listening the audience is largely creators and entrepreneurs to pay attention to my show and creative live and all the things that I do. And right now, if I if I could list the number of people who said I can't get started because X and Y and Z the list would be infinity and so thank you for demonstrating with your actions how to get started to doing anything. But to me, it's not your process. Necessarily, that stands out to me is something different from so many other people. Aside from what I just shared about getting going, I love the urgency, but specifically I want to shift our attention now to the content wrapped up in the questions you ask and the concept of this show. I mean, previous guests on the show, a person I really love. Justin Simeon. He created the movie. Dear white people. When you said the original topic of your show, I thought that was fascinating. And then you landed on uncomfortable conversations with the black man. But presumably when you started your show with your friend and the wedding videographer, you had a few steps in mind. But not everything. Had you changed the name of the show, had you decided that you were going to record all of your journey and share it with the world Or what had you decided at that moment that made you go headlong into the content that you're now well famous for for putting out there Chase? I always go to the end before I start. I go to the end before I start at the beginning. In 2000 and 15, I was playing for the Eagles. I get a direct message from a fan. Emmanuel, if you get 2000, if I get 2000 retweets where you go to prom with me I said, If you get 10,000, you got yourself a deal. Now this is Before players were going to prom. I thought Chase No chance. I looked up after two hours. I went to get sushi. Scott still in Arizona, she had 9987 retweets. True story. But here's the kicker chase. When I said If you get 10,000, you got a deal. I ended it by saying, May the odds be ever in your favor. That's a line from Hunger games because I knew in the event just blows up. I want to have played this right. Well, next thing you know, Elizabeth Banks, the star of hunger games, she ends up retweeting it in reaching out, etcetera, etcetera. Why do I say that? I literally checked an email yesterday after making The New York Times Best Sellers list on June 1st, four hours after I dropped the first episode, I emailed my book agents and I said, Hey, we have 400,000 views on Twitter and four hours I want to write a book. You know what taste I'm gonna do you one better? I'm going to read to you the email that's sent This is the goods. This is June 1st four hours after the first episode. This is before McConaughey. This is before Oprah. This is before Roger Goodell. This is before anything I say. Hey, all this is a concept I would turn into a book. It's not a social justice book, but a book that's a safe space, educating my white brothers and sisters who have limited exposure to black people to answer the questions they have but have been too scared to ask. Chase June 1st after 400,000 views, I have 70 million views now. I did not know I would be over 70 million, but I saw the end chase and I started, and that is what planning and creativity is about. It's about having a plan and just putting it in motion. So many lessons on the creative front. It's just, um, I really thought this episode was going to be all about the content, but your relentless um, starting with the end of mine is incredible. Obviously, uh, it's the what propels a lot of people to success because you'll find a way. Is there a part of you that new this like or maybe clearly there was. But what part of you where does that come from? In your past? This the urgency with which you act the the I won't say lack of a filter. But I will say the filter volume being down is that part of when you tapped into your true identity and you started hanging around people who looked like you and gave you the freedom to be you? Was it something that your parents taught you? The? Was that the Nigerian? Instead of being a doctor, you're gonna be a media personality. Like what gave you what unlocked this for you? Because there's so many people right now that would would kill. For that, I would say a couple things I would say. I've always understood there is a difference between your career and your calling. Your career is what you're paid for. Your calling is what you're made for seeing when you're calling calls you you better pick it up. So I always knew that my calling would be something different. But I also grew up in a household where my dad's a pastor. So my dad communicates for a living. So because I sat in church every Sunday and Wednesday and listened to different people take stories, put them in analogy form so that the audience can digest it. What do I do in my conversations? I take stories. I put them in analogy form so the audience can digest it. I took my skis girl set chase, and I figured out How could my skill set be pivoted to relate to the audience? And that's what I do in life. I will borrow from any creative or creator one of the best things I ever did in my life. I went to a Taylor Swift concert is a black man in Philadelphia. I'm sitting there in a stream of what sea of white people at a Taylor Swift concert and as soon as you walked into gave everybody a risk band and the wristband I didn't realize at the time. But when she started playing her hit song Bad Blood, the whole arena lighted up, lit up red and white because the wristband was color coordinated to her set list. See, I realized at that time, if you're a creator and a creative, you have to think steps in advance to enhance the moment. So in my first episode, when I'm sitting in that all white room, I could have done it in my kitchen. I could have done it on often. IPhone. I didn't have to pay my videographer a couple 100 bucks $1000 to shoot it, but had I settled for less, I wouldn't be where I am today, man, I'm gonna riff on a couple of the titles of the chapters of your book, which is truly incredible. By the way, the fact that you wrote that thing and got it out in like that, it's bonkers. Timeline for those of you don't know about the publishing world, it is usually a It's a much different planets. So the fact that you had a well timed piece of work is one thing. I think that you spoke authentically, that the message was a nerd. Geant one. Hopefully, that's what snapped the publisher into action because this is a piece that we all need. What do you say? Sorry. What do you see when you see me? Is the title of the second chapter off the book? Talk to me about that man. I said it. It's kind of like when you see us the first thing you see is our skin color. So when you see when you see human beings you see your hair you see the shapes, you see their sizes But you don't know who you are. Really? You don't know who I am So when when talking about like what do you see when you see me? It's like if all you see is what you see then you do not see all there is to be seen If all you see is what you see, then you do not see all there is to be seen And so if all you see when you see a manual Ah Chou is a skin color, then you don't see all there is to be seen And I'm like, Let's dive into that The mythical me angry black men is the title of chapter. What is that? Chapter five, Man, There's so many myths in our society if you go back and it might be, uh I'm not gonna name the magazine because I don't wanna be wrong. I'm gonna name it and think it's Vogue. There's a picture of LeBron James back in the day dribbling a basketball holding in one are in one arm and the other arm. I think Giselle, Tom Brady's wife, is in his other arm and cover of Vogue LeBron looking like this huge, angry black man. Just sell just like, you know, like this beautiful, dainty princess. And it got criticized because it was very reminiscent of King Kong. Um, the world has portrayed black people often times is angry black men and angry black women. And so the mythical me is that I'm just a big, large, angry, overly violent, aggressive and physical black man because that's what the world has portrayed us to be for so long. I'm resisting going into the you provide so many vehicles and avenues for remedies to some of these things. But I it's to me. This is required reading. It is required that people, if you at all, are. If you've gotten this far into this podcast with yours truly in a minute, you have to just you have to get the book because the like. I don't feel like a conversation that's an hour long or 45 minutes or whatever can do justice to it. But I do want to peel one layer back and the layer that I want to go a couple clicks in on is you cannot fix a problem. You do not know that you have. And it seems like this is at the heart of the work that you've done with the Siri's and the book. And so I'm asking you, let's let's unpack that a little bit. You cannot fix. Fix a problem. You do not know you have. So get this. I grew up in the church chase, so you hear a lot of church cliches that time. It's not a skin problem. It's a sin problem. It's not about race. It's about Grace. I was so tired of these cliches chase because I'm like, No, you don't understand. He who knows what is right and doesn't do it. This is sin. Let me elaborate, Chase. If you and I were walking into ah building and I walked, I don't know. You're behind me and I walked into the door and don't hold the door open. No harm, no foul. It wasn't wrong. I didn't know it. But if I opened the door, I see you and then I sliver into the door and let it sit right behind me. Now that's a problem, because I knew what I was doing and was conscious of my action chase when I was 13 in my affluent white high school, they would often say, Emmanuel, you don't even talk like you're black Emanuel. You don't even dress like you're black or chase my favorite Emmanuel. You're like an Oreo. The crowd says. Black on the outside, white on the inside. They didn't know they were emotionally killing me. They didn't know how offensive they were being. They didn't know that it was a problem. And you can't fix the problem you don't know exist in our country. So many white people are committing. What I would say is involuntary murder chase our judicial system. There are levels and runs to murder. First degree, premeditated second degree. It's a crime of passion, but then you get down to involuntary manslaughter. It's still lethal, but it's not intentional. So much racism currently occurs in voluntarily. It's not overt slavery. First degree. We, thankfully don't often see murders like George Floyd. Crime of passion. Second degree. We just currently exist in that involuntary racism. I want to shine light and open up the aperture of my white brothers and sisters understanding so that they could realize there is a problem. And let's fix it. All right, um, if you watch even a cursory amount of the videos that you put out there if you Well, I've already encouraged people to read read the entire book because I think it's it literally should be required reading seems like the gap that you're trying thio to erase, or maybe the flip side is a better way of thinking about the space that you're trying to create. We'll put it in. The positive is for these awkward questions. I mean, look at the title. Walk me through 12 or three of what you think the most important questions that white people should be asking and give us, uh, top level or however deep. You want to go answer to a handful of those. I think the first question, which is a gateway to bridge this gap, is, um, if white people would ask Number one. Do I understand that I'm privileged? The number two. What am I doing with my white privilege? That's the first thing that's a gateway to the conversation chase. I was walking down the streets of Beverly Hills three weeks ago. I walked into a restaurant. I ordered my meal. I said, Emmanuel, I love your show your meals on me. See, Chase. I didn't get a free meal because I'm black. I don't get a free meal because I'm I got a female because I was famous. And I have famous person privilege, the white privileges and saying Your life hasn't been hard. It's saying your skin color having contributed to that difficulty. So now that my white brothers and sisters no. Okay, wait. Because of my white skin, I have been granted immunity from certain punishment or have been granted access to certain places. What am I doing with my privilege? Sometimes days if I'm walking with If I'm walking with my white friends and we get stopped, for whatever reason, I'll ask my white friend to talk. I'm not going to speak up because they're gonna treat you differently than me. What are you doing with your privilege, eh? So I think that's probably the first question. The second question in the last question, because this is the most important, am I living a life that is integrated culturally and color based? Chase. It wasn't enough for us to toe outlaw segregation. We should have mandated integration. That's the problem in our society. My coach would always say, Don't be like water. Water takes the easiest route chase. If I were to pour water on the ground, it would navigate the terrain, the easy path of least resistance. So I would have my white brothers and sisters asked himself, um, I growing up in the White House in a white neighborhood and white coldest that go into a white school, white churches, a white religious gatherings and white small groups and white sporting events. Because if I'm doing that, I'm only perpetuating the problem because I'm only perpetuating an ignorant lifestyle. Ignorant has such a volatile and negative connotation. No, you are just ignoring something. And so those would be the two questions that I would have my white brothers and sister that I just go to the first one. You lead with that, and, uh, I've got some experiences. I want to ask some questions around. So, um, part of my effort was to have diverse has always been to have diverse voices, but especially after George Floyd's murder. So a couple of guests that I had Roxane Gay Eyes um oh, hello and just as an example, it it was made clear that by them, to me, both of them in both before, during and after the conversation, in some subtle ways that look at the that it's not their job to prescribe the answer to the problems and part of what I'm hearing from you and part of like the actual space that you are create. And I respect that. I respect their answer because that is just additional burden now, as a person who is white, a person of privilege male. The list of privilege that I have is so long and trying to facilitate understanding here when you are creating this space. Is this a different approach? If se Roxanne or anyone who's been on the show and who has shared that, um, the struggled and the desire to not provide the solution? Um, and yet your twist, your your approach seems toe put a twist on that you actually seem to try to try and provide at least not the solution, but a vehicle for a solution, which is conversation. Is that intentional? And how do you feel? Is that, um do you feel like you have an allegiance to the black community to solve this problem in a particular way? I'm just fascinated by the intersection of how to solve so many of these problems. Great. Great. Great question. It comes from the heart. It truly does. Man. It comes from like I want to contribute. I want to help. I want to find the right way in. And there are so many disparate voices out there. And these were some of the leaders, you know, of the strongest e. I was on a coffee drama. Uh uh, last week. She's Nigeria. And so, you know, I love you. Also a Nigerian friend of mine. I guess he's been on the show. She's crazy and amazing. So, anyway, sorry. Just, uh so So get this. Um, I played teams, sports, football, the highest level National Football League. And what you learn in team sports is sometimes you have to pick up the slack of the man to your left into your right. For the betterment of the team. Sometimes you might be tired, you might be exhausted. You might not feel like it. But in team sports, if the team is gonna win, you have to pick up that slack. And that is my mantra. If white people are now willing toe, listen, it's not going to be because Emanuel Ako did not speak that they did not hear. If white people are now willing to listen, it is not going to be for a lack of Emmanuel Accio speech that they did not hear. So am I tired? Absolutely. Am I exhausted? You better believe it. Do I think it's black people's responsibility to educate white people? Not at all. Do I think it behoove the team of humanity for those who can educate to educate? Yes. Now, can white people go get education on their own? Sure, they could read. They could watch etcetera, and they should. They should do all those things. But there's something about conversation with firsthand experience that makes it riel Chase. I've never I don't have kids, don't I can read about pregnancy. I can read the human anatomy. I can hear that it's grueling, but I don't really know one, because I've never had kids and two because I've never been in the delivery room. So sure, I could go watch all the movies in the world. But if you talk to someone who's given birth, you probably feel it a little different. If you're in the room, you for sure, probably feel it a little differently. So while my white brothers and sisters can watch read and they should, I'm a team sports guy and team sports aren't there. But sometimes you got to pick up the slack of the man to your right into your left and trust that one day they'll pick up your so it doesn't imply slack. But are there just a myriad of approaches? And, you know, you mentioned you. You didn't march, but you've created a book and Siri's and use your celebrity in order to create. Is it a similar lens that you're putting on this, like each of us have different roles and you've looked at your role perhaps different than the Joma or I was on the call yesterday with Dr Ibra Mex candy, Incredible human, and it seemed like he has a different role than you, Joma or than Roxanne, and I'm trying to like here the symphony rather than just one individual instrument. And we can only really, you know, talkto one instrument of time. And you know, how do how do I make sense of all of these different voices and try and be the best that I can in service of amplifying that And, you know, should I pays more attention to some than others? Help me, you know, find the signal through the noise. Especially for anyone out there who wants to do better. And I got to believe that everyone wants to, man, I think it's it all depends on the bigger speech. What's your cup of tea? See, some people want the aggressive Malcolm X. Some people want the more sit back peaceful and okay, some people ride with them. Okay? Some people ride with Malcolm X. I just don't like being divisive. So what Doctor Abram extended is doing. What did your mom is doing? Hopefully what I am doing, what I'm not going to do was ever pick apart whatever they're doing. As long as we're all moving on the same side. Like do I think that I should not educate white people because of whatever X, Y and Z No. Am I gonna shine my black brother and sister That is too exhausted to educate white people? Absolutely not. But I'm going to another true story. Um, at 9. 25 Pacific time. So it would have been, like five minutes before my hit for the very first episode before I walked into the door. Chase is a true story. I got a text from a black colleague of mine. Emmanuel, I really don't like this idea. You're doing questions white people have. It's not our job to educate white people how to assimilate into our society. Nobody educated us how to assimilate into theirs. And I simply texted her back. I'm gonna go with God leads. I'm not mad at her for saying that. Hey, it's not my job. I said, do you? I'm going to do me. Don't be mad at me. Please. I won't be mad at you were fighting for the same thing. Hopefully let's all just collectively fight our battles. Mm. I love the unification of this. Um I want to shift gears cause I want to get into a little bit more about this show on specifically the book. And again, for those who might be familiar with one or the other, they share the same name and my understanding, especially as you've told it here is the book stemmed from Show correct. Yeah. You had several conversations. Roger Goodell. NFL. You talked about race and religion. You talk with Chelsea Handler? E mean, that was an amazing episode. I was just, you know, finishing that. Put the polishing on that right before we jumped on here. And yet the police episode to me was particularly striking because so close to the murder of George Floyd. Both, like, conceptually, emotionally that space that you took up like, what is what happens? What goes through your mind, Your sharing these stories. Has anyone episode been, um, the particularly stand out to you particularly difficult. Particularly insightful. I mean, they've all got their all loaded with wisdom, and that's again required. Required watching. But you were in the room. You, you know, thought about the edit. You positioned the people on this stage. You crafted so much of this. So you know things that we don't know and I want to know what what were some of the most difficult conversations in that room, regardless of what kind of way See, downstream man, you know, it's funny. So I I've done the whole thing kind of myself. Like I edited. I put the show in order. My book, The guests, uh, just kind of everything you see comes from here onto the screen, which is just a crazy process. I think the most difficult was the episode with the police officers. For those of you who haven't seen it, I go to Petaluma, California. I sit down with, um, 25 police officers. Petaluma, California less than 1% black. It's a population of 60,000. That was the most difficult because number one police officers of the front facing units of the government, and so they know they have to stick to police officer etiquette. Chase Uran, Interviewer, You know this. It is so very hard to get someone to be riel when they're speaking off a note card. But this was a conversation. I needed these cops to be really for the greater good of our country, and they were. But think about this. My first question to them was, when was the last time you sat down and had dinner conversation with a group of black people. The resounding answer was, I don't know if I ever have So now I am the black person that they've talked to, and they probably never had a conversation with a black person that long Think about how uncomfortable that WAAS I'm a black man in a room full of white officers. But that conversation that was so powerful because they were so really they were so authentic, I asked, Do you lose your humanity when you put on a badge? I asked you. Fear for your life is a cop. I asked. Do you treat black people versus white people differently? We just got real, Um, so that was the conversation. And last thing I'll say is this. Anytime you put out content, it's stressful, because how is the audience going to digest it? That was my first episode after two months absence from my Roger Goodell episode. So the world is waiting Alright out. So what? You gonna come with weight? You're sitting down with cops. It better be good on by the grace of God. After 1. million views in the last two weeks, um, I guess they liked it. You definitely came correct. I would like to share a second. I was particularly struck when one of the white officers said So when you see a police officer, do you get scared? And I think your answer was hell, yeah or not hell, but heck, yeah, and the There was a moment, just a, you know, again as a as a director myself of film and television. And there's a moment has there's just a blank second on his face, and I'm wondering, Was that a particular tense moment for you in the room? I could read it a little bit from where I was sitting and watching this, but I'm wondering if if, um, I don't know how that moment felt. That was a moment where I was like, Okay, it's time for me to be fully honest. I have been asking all the questions and for the most part of the show, his transition. I've become kind of the interviewer, and I chime in at times. But that was a question when I was like, Let me be transparent. Let me be uncomfortable. Yeah, I get nervous when I see cops and there was that little pregnant pause chase. I don't know if you remember what he asked after that, he says. What about when you see a black cop and I smile and I say, No, I don't get nervous. You said no, You said no, it's different. I say, I say it's different and that was like a weight, a light bulb moment. I'm with all these white cops and they're like, What? You get scared when you see us, Why don't you get scared when you see a black cop? And I said, because I see that is black first. And if white cops don't have conversations at least with some black people, then they will never understand. That's a real feeling for some black people. Andi, It's funny because that is the clip that, like a since gone viral on tick tock and instagram And like just that small little that small little bit. Yeah, I think you followed up the answer with, um look, there are three black people in the room, right? And there were 35 white people in the room, and that just by that difference alone that you're the space that you're feeling in that. How you're feeling in that space has to be different. The context for each of you is dramatically different. And again, I don't want to spoil the show because it's it's unbelievable episode as our, um, as are all of your shows. But that one in particular stood out to me. I'm wondering if there was anything else that any other episode. Um, you know, maybe the I don't know. I don't wanna put words in your mouth. Other episodes that you feel like have just been lightning rods. The only other not the only other one because it's the lightning rod is all dependent upon where you're standing. Because that's who gets struck. Eso for those watching. I've done an episode on interracial relationships, a black woman with a white man and a white woman with a black man that an episode on racism within religion done an episode with the commissioner of the NFL based on Colin Kaepernick kneeling that an episode with Matthew McConaughey. But the episode that sticks out to me. I didn't episode with white parents raising black Children, and it was because so many people email me saying, Emmanuel, I'm white raising my Children help and chase, I asked one question to the black adopted daughter with her white parents sitting there. I said, Do you wish that your parents raising You were black and it was awkward. It was uncomfortable, it was quiet and she said, No, I'm just glad they love me for me And that's when I said That's powerful because her answer chase It resonated not just in the audience but to the world. So many white parents raising black Children, so many black parents raising white Children, realizing like man my child, they'll just they just grateful that I love them for them. I'm trying to do everything I can to be in service of you in the show, and I wanna I wanna keep you know, I'd ask you a million questions. I also wanna be respectful of your time. I know at this moment in your career, you are crushing and going from thing to thing to thing. So, um, just know that you have an advocate out there in the world. There are a couple of people that I would like to connect you within my world, and I will shoot a note to your team off off line here. May I want to say thanks so much for being on this show. Grateful. Um, if there's anything I could do to further your message beyond what I'm doing right now, I tried to preserve the what you've done and not relay it all in this deal. So people could go check out your book in this show. Thank you. I'm grateful for your time. And I wish you the very best. My brother. The pleasure is mine. Thank you, my friend. Good luck. Go get him. I'm I'm a huge fan, and we're gonna do some real work. Yes, sir. All right, brother. Be well. Thank you so much. Good luck for him. Yeah, okay.

Class Description

There's a common misconception that artists have a monopoly on creativity...But the very act of making waves - no matter the career - is a creative one. The Chase Jarvis Live Show is an exploration of creativity, self-discovery, entrepreneurship, hard-earned lessons, and so much more. Chase sits down with the world's top creators, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders and unpacks actionable, valuable insights to help you live your dreams in career, hobby, and life.

ABOUT THIS EPISODE:

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder in 2020, Emmanuel Acho recognized that Black and White people simply do not understand each other in America and he wanted to use his voice to do something about it. So he launched a video series, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. His goal? Open a dialog on topics we’ve been afraid to talk about: racism, privilege, cultural appropriation, and more. That show exploded with over 70 millions views, widespread media coverage, and led to his must-read NYT best-selling book by the same name.

Emmanuel studied sports management and was drafted into the NFL while earning his masters in Sports Psychology in the off-season. Not long after retiring from the NFL, Emmanuel started his broadcasting career at ESPN where he was the youngest national football analyst, and named a 2018 Forbes Under 30 selection.

In this episode we get into:

  • Emmanuel’s upbringing from growing up as a first generation American to Nigerian immigrant parents, to attending an all white affluent grade school, to his career as a pro NFL football player to today.
  • How to start with what you have
  • Building and developing an idea through exploration
  • How conversation leads to understanding, and understanding can break down barriers between cultural differences
  • Insights from his conversations so far, including answers to tough questions that stuck with him

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