DWAYNE IS BLACK IN AMERICA
The 15th of 28 interviews with a variety of artists, writers and friends to learn more about individual perspectives on being black + original illustrations by George McCalman
DWAYNE SHAW (entrepreneur)
There is a richness and depth that being black has added to my life that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.
How can you tell if people see you as black before they see you?
When people greet me with some form of, “What’s up brother?” It happens with white and black folks, and I usually just chuckle a bit at it.
When was the first time you understood what it was to be black?
At 13 or so years of age, I was playing little league baseball on a predominantly black team. We had an away game in a predominantly white neighborhood. I’ll never forget what I experienced that day…
As our bus rolled up to the ball field, bottles and bananas were thrown by parents and children alike. We were called every derogatory name you might imagine. It was shocking, disorienting. Quite an awakening.
Of course, I’ve had many uplifting experiences that formed my understanding of what it means to be black, but this particular instance was a doozy.
So, how has being black made your life better?
Not sure if I’d use the word “better,” but I do know there is a richness and depth that being black has added to my life that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.
What’s on your mind when you’re not thinking about race?
Wellness. Especially as of late. And tennis. And my lovely wife. But not necessarily in that order.
Some say blacks gave birth to cool, agree?
I can’t be 100% certain of that, but the probability is high.
Okay, now tell us what you think about Beyonce
Pre-Lemonade: Lightweight appreciation.
Post-Lemonade: She gives me life!