“Looking back, my entire life I was being groomed to embrace the responsibility of being the only Black guy in the room. That’s who my Dad was for most of his 40 plus years as an agency producer. I watched him navigate the industry, build great relationships and create timeless work. And there was no way I could expect to follow in his path without facing all of the same challenges he did.” Black isn’t the only minority that faces racism, all the other minorities do as well. There are those who happen to be very short like midgets. And there are those who have facial deformities. I think there is a whole cast of “misfits” who taste discrimination now and then.
“I’m worried about those kids entering an industry that thinks it’s ok to question what’s too Black, while never stopping to question the larger more prominent issue, what’s too white?” You need to reflect on your own strength that is willing to “face all of the same challenges your dad did.” In every profession there will be those who are up to the task and those who are not. That isn’t a minority or majority thing — it is a human thing. For those who look up to you, you are an inspiration and a motivator. You should capitalize on that. But it will be up to them to succeed, just like you. At best you can become his/her mentor.
I am encouraged by the number of Blacks I see in sports, on commercials and on certain TV shows. I am grateful that Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry and Oprah have been such inspirations. And I expect many more.