PHILADELPHIA - As a part of FOX 29’s Our Race Reality series, 25-year-old Philadelphia native Cole Brown joined Good Day’s Mike Jerrick and Karen Hepp to discuss his book “Greyboy: Finding Blackness in a White World.”
Brown is a native of Chestnut Hill. He attended both Penn Charter and Chestnut Hill Academy. He wanted to reach out to others and share his experiences with, as he says, living his life at the intersection of privilege and blackness.
“This is not a ‘Woe-is-me’ narrative. That said, I think my growing up was made more difficult by not seeing myself reflected in either my immediate environment or in the broader media landscape,” Cole explains. “So, this book attempts to show another side of blackness that is not often shown.”
Brown moved to Sydney, Australia in February 2020. Looking back, Brown says he thought it was a crazy time to move anywhere. Watching U.S. events through the summer has been incredibly difficult for him and he is deeply concerned with what he does see, though he admits it’s difficult to know how much U.S. news is making its way to Australia.
Mike and Karen then ask if he wants to come back to the states and he replies, “There’s a competing impulse. On the one hand, Australia has done phenomenally well with the coronavirus. It hasn’t had the impact in our day-to-day lives as it has in the U.S. So, there’s an obvious sort-of attraction to stay here. That said, particularly with the issues around racial justice, I don’t know that it’s as much a want to come back as it is an urge that it sort of feels like I belong in those streets protesting. So that is definitely a competing impulse that I feel.”
They chat about the number of “marquis stars” lending their voice and praise for Cole’s book which leads Cole to say, “Part of the reason I wanted to tell this story it’s cause it’s not just my own story, but the story I feel I share with one a few people in Chestnut Hill, but communities like that, both within the greater Philadelphia area, but then across the country.”
“Greyboy: Finding Blackness in a White World” can be purchased wherever books are sold.
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