While in California, I had the honor of interviewing the prolific author, speaker, and youth advocate, Adam Mansbach in his beautiful home in Berkeley.
Adam grew up as the minority white person in a mostly African American culture of Hip Hop and had to pay his dues to gain acceptance in a world that is suspicious of outsiders who tended to appropriate and exploit. The connection that we shared is that we both grew up without the opportunities that exist today and had to create our own. Here is a quote from the interview that addresses the possible flip side of creating supportive infrastructures for youth to express themselves.
“If you always have that support, if you always have that stage and that microphone waiting for you, you don’t learn to snatch it away from somebody. You don’t learn to push your way into spaces where you’re not wanted, and maybe you forget that there are spaces where you are not wanted. If all you do all the time is preach to the choir, you forget about the world outside the church.”
I want to thank Adam for taking the time to talk with me and for all that he has done to support the arts.