“One morning last June, my wife, Kathy and I were walking our dogs in Southtown where we live, when I saw a sign on a shop window that read, “You can’t be anti-racist, unless you’re actively anti-racist.” This was just a month after millions around the world had watched George Floyd, a Black man, arrested and choked to death by a white policeman. The issue of race and race relations was on everyone’s mind. Feelings were raw. I couldn’t stop thinking about that poster – it spoke to me. It told me to do something.
“My late brother, Robert, had been actively anti-racist all his adult life. He never missed an MLK March, visited all the places in the south where Black history was made, and even created and taught a course at University of the Incarnate Word on Civil Rights History. Me? All I ever did was to visit the Martin Luther King statue in DC. It made me feel empty.
That same morning, I was scheduled to meet with Brandon Logan and Seymour Battle, both Black professionals, to discuss a real estate transaction. I mentioned the poster and the effect it made on me and asked ‘What’s it like to live as a Black man in San Antonio?’ Brandon replied, ‘Let me tell you about the daily challenge of living in my skin.’
The stories from the two men that followed blew me away. As a Latino and person of color, I’ve had a few experiences with discrimination, but nothing like this. Chills ran through me as I listened and tried to put myself in their shoes.
The answer to my ‘But what?’ became apparent. Then and there, Kathy, Brandon, Seymour and I decided that the stories of Black men in San Antonio must be told.”