“When you have a problem see it as an opportunity to grow. “– Ananomys

That is pretty much how my podcast began. I had a problem, a problem of not being productive with my downtime. Actually, it was worse than that. During my downtime, all I was doing was partying and drinking and that’s not good — especially when you’re an alcoholic. So I wasn’t just not prodcouitve but I was destroying everything around me including my family, relationships, jobs and myself. So, at the encouragement of my therapist I decided to get a hobby. …


One day, when I was about 14 years old I was parading around the mall with some of my friends. I remember seeing an interracial couple and commenting how I could never date the opposite race. At that time, I hadn’t ever had a real girlfriend so what did I even know? But what was it about seeing an interracial couple — which was a very common thing growing up in the D.C. area — that made me feel this way?

It’s obvious that at 14 the concept of race was on my mind. A lot of cultural events occurring…


I’ll never forget how I went to bed the night of November 8, 2016. My wife and I had allowed our five-year-old daughter to stay up with us to watch the first woman to ever be elected President of the United States.

I knew my daughter wouldn’t understand how significant the accomplishment was, but I knew it would be important for her to see it nonetheless. I wanted her to watch it with my wife and for them to hold each other as history was made.

I still remember how that feeling felt as black male eight years earlier when…


I was recently out with other contractors in a predominately-black, working-class neighborhood of West Baltimore assessing a potential development site. The contractors were white architects who have worked in similar neighborhoods before. On two separate occasions while taking pictures of the site, we were approached by people concerned with our actions.

The first interaction was with a group of middle aged black government employees. They told us we couldn’t take pictures of their building because for all they knew we could be, “ISIS”. I thought this was particularly amusing and ignorant since the person taking the pictures was a mid-20’s…


My daughters have a very different childhood than I did. My goal often times has been to give them everything I never had. Because of this, they enjoy an abundance of material items that I never had. But that comes at a cost; when am I giving them too much? Sometimes I wonder will they think everyone in the world has similar lives? Will they be oblivious to the struggles of so many and become cold, callous people with no moral compass?

When I reflect on my childhood I used to believe that I received my moral compass from the…


I started my professional career right after college and I immediately recognized in my industry of planning and engineering, African Americans were far and few between. In a city like Baltimore where over 60% of the population is African American I’d think we’d make up more than the handful of professionals I know. On average, I don’t think any of my jobs ever had larger than a 15% rate of African Americans employed in that office.

Now I was used to being the minority in high school and in college so adjusting to the low numbers in the professional world…


A few years ago when Lamar Odom famously was found unconscious and almost dead at a bunny-ranch outside of Las Vegas, I remember the media response was brutal. As reports rolled in, most of the stories dealt with the hard facts but as the days wore on, the commentary piled on. Much of what I remember hearing revolved around Lamar being “so stupid.” I mean he’s filthy rich, plays professional basketball and was married to a Kardashian (well the last part may suck but you get what I’m saying).

It was open season on Lamar, from OK Magazine, to TMZ…


Me and the Cops

Not too long ago I was sitting at a picnic table outside of my daughter’s gymnastic practice in suburban Maryland. As I sat there with my headphones on and hoodie up, I began to wonder, am I being smart? I mean let’s be honest; I’m a black man sitting outside with my hoodie up minding my business, but to a lot of people this is seen as a threat or suspect.

I know this not from all of the recent police shootings that have received media attention, but rather my own experiences. I understand that police…


Every day we make decisions that have short and long-term consequences. Often times when you’re in the heat of the moment, the choices you believe you have are clouded by emotions. This is the realty that so many of us deal with when an unexpected pregnancy occurs. When I was 18, I got my girlfriend pregnant and I wanted the child (she did too). During this time I was young and wasn’t sure where I was headed in life, so having a child seemed both meaningful and purposeful. My girlfriend; however, was not 18 and an abortion was forced on…


So there are two ways I look at acceptance. The first way is when I want something to be accepted. Maybe I’m buying a house and want my offer to be accepted. Or maybe I made a mistake and want my wife to accept my apology. The second way I look at acceptance is the exact opposite of the first. Instead of offering something in hopes of it being accepted, I’m accepting or receiving something. Maybe I’m accepting a gift from a friend. Maybe I’m accepting something about myself.

When I was younger my desires to be accepted by others…

cj normalized

An honest podcast with no wasted words. www.normalizedpodcast.com

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