Amazing Book, A Story We Should All Hear…
BY JEFF REDMON/BREAKTHROUGH IMPACT GROUP
I was introduced to this book in a public-school setting, talking about the biases we bring to the table, some knowingly but many unconsciously. It’s not all about race, these prejudices, whether race, dress, poverty, gender, or home support, interfere with kids getting the learning they deserve. In this 2021 book, “I Take My Coffee Black”, Tyler Merritt shares his experiences and story of being a 6’2” American black man with dreadlocks. He tells his story with transparency, brutal honesty, and incredible vulnerability. Merritt will open your eyes to prejudices you were not aware of. Awareness is the first step.
While some moments will make you angry and maybe a bit ashamed, Merritt is a person you would want to meet. Just an incredible, caring human being. Why should I have to say that? Because on the cover of his book, or watching his video, you will see a person, whose look in America will come with a story long before you hear his voice or know his name. Each one of us, based on our story will give him a different story. Merritt acknowledges this but lives with it. He addresses White Privilege with a clear understanding that many white people overcome tremendous adversity. He shares his empathy and admiration for what they have overcome. All that said, no white person experiences lost opportunity solely based on the color of their skin. His book will help all of us bridge the gap.
I hope this book opens eyes and causes people to think about all the prejudices they bring to the table. When we catch ourselves judging, ask yourself, if that judgment was about the color of our skin, would it be acceptable? They can’t learn in school because they, _______________, fill in the blank, because their parents never come to teacher conferences. Substitute, they can’t learn, because they are black. Is that fair, is it relevant? Those are the prejudices, and stories we each bring to the table that Merritt will help you see.
You will likely find some of Merritt’s life experiences more than you wanted to know but it is through these stories and his vulnerability in sharing that helps us see he is no different from some part of your life.
From his video and his book, you will really come to believe his statement in his video, “If you met my mother, you would automatically become a better person.” Hearing him will make us better people as well. Thank you, Tyler Merritt.