Me in April 2021

In 2010 I was a high school senior, and everyone knew me for my mophead dreadlocks. I liked having them, but they were too thick for my taste. That same year, I cut them, intending to grow them again years later but thinner and neater.

Exactly one decade later, I fulfilled this promise to myself. As I reflected on all the factors related to my decision and the process of growing my hair, I identified valuable life lessons that compelled me to write this article.

Photo by Frank Holleman on Unsplash

Surprise: you are your own worst enemy. I am definitely mine.

For people like myself with huge aspirations, there’s a natural self-critique that accompanies our ambition. Fortunately, I’ve reflected and identified ways that I’ve overcome the obstacles no one but my own psyche places on myself.

I’m sharing these experiences and lessons because something tells me they may be helpful.

Take Action, Despite What Your Inner-Critic Says

Recently, I went through a period where I was super self-conscious about my writing. Now, every writer knows that’s not necessarily uncommon, but the problem was I allowed the self-consciousness and doubt to keep me from producing.

Every two weeks…

Me and my Brother Elisha (right) on the day he graduated high school. Don’t ask what I’m doing with my hands, I don’t know.

Elisha, my younger brother by seven years, just turned 21. It seems like just yesterday, Elisha was one year old, smothering his first birthday cake all over his face because he didn’t know what else to do.

I called him on his 21st birthday, and we reflected on how far our relationship has come. The reflection eventually brought to mind valuable takeaways about leadership, legacy, and applying life lessons.

Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

One year ago, on March 11th, 2020, The World Health Organization declared a global pandemic, and panic reverberated worldwide. Chaos and confusion reigned as mandatory lockdowns, quarantines, panic buying, and a cascade of conspiracy theories soon followed.

In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity — Sun Tzu

As someone with screenwriting aspirations, I was devastated not only that the first feature-length film set I had worked on was canceled mid-way through; I was devastated that my aspirations were deemed “non-essential.” That hurt.

I spent my first week of lockdown wallowing in self-pity.

I still remember lying in bed…

Edwin Bancroft Henderson II

I met Edwin Bancroft Henderson II at an airport three years ago. As we sat across from each other, we connected through a shared interest, symbolized by the Africa pendant dangling on my chest.

I reached out to connect with him because of another shared interest, history, particularly, using history to affect the present and the future.


Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

Recently, my supervisor asked me to do some research on deficit-based language. At first, this was something meant to help our copywriting team. One of our company’s partners called out our use of deficit-based language, so we had to figure out how to remedy that. Follow my research, I realized the resonance of avoiding deficit-based language goes much further than merely writing words that please people who help us collect checks. Language impacts our mindset. Furthermore, the mindset we employ creates narratives that can affect us in profound ways.

What is Deficit-Based Language and Asset-Based Language?

Deficit-based language focuses on needs, lack, or perceived weaknesses of individuals…

I’ve always loved sending holiday well wishes. It’s somewhat of a tradition for me, I guess I revere sending words of goodwill. In 2013, I started a tradition where I would post on social media wishing all the lovely ladies a Happy Valentines Day and then go into more detail about who I was and was not talking about when I said “lovely lady.”

Photo by Oladimeji Odunsi on Unsplash

On the final day of February 2020, I posted on social media, speaking to why Black History Month always came and went without much fanfare for me. Blackness and history remain on my mind year-round, so this month never seemed like such a big deal.

That’s no longer the case this year. Here are three reasons why.

1. Black History Provides The Answers We Need.

On May 25, 2020, the murder of George Floyd incited a national, racial reckoning; its imprints are all over this year’s Black History Month. However, I didn’t wait until February to delve into history. …

Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman calls on Americans to “be the light.”

“When day comes we step out of the shade,

aflame and unafraid

The new dawn blooms as we free it

For there is always light,

if only we’re brave enough to see it

If only we’re brave enough to be it.”

— Amanda Gorman, 2021 Inaugural Poet

I hope Amanda Gorman’s loving call for unity inspired you to be the light we need amid our nation’s deep divisions.

The thing about being inspired, though, it requires action. So how does one bravely answer the call to “be the light?”

Here’s a secret, you already have all the tools you need

1. Your Voice

Photo by Bee Calder on Unsplash

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

America is putting this Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quote to the test. Currently, a pandemic and political turmoil — both riddled with lies, conspiracy theories, selfishness, and ignorance — highlight the divide that persists between Black and white America. Since MLK’s death, Blacks have seen astounding progress: Barack Obama exemplifies this.

But just how much has changed in America? How far have we come?

Black cries for breath are still met with an…

John Broadway

Just a man living with a wild notion that I can be the change I wish to see in this world. See my website to follow my journey as I do this.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store