Join Us #AcrossTheFence: A Day Of Family Healing, In Connection To August Wilson's Fences

Across the Fence
Across the Fence

Today, the #AcrossTheFence interview series with my dad culminates with two segments — one where I explain how and why I began to think and write about race, and one where my dad shares a story about his Uncle Wilbur, the first Black fireman in New Castle, Pa (and the man my dad is named after).


#AcrossTheFence (Damon explains why he thinks and writes about race) from Damon Young on Vimeo.

#AcrossTheFence (Damon's dad shares a story about his Uncle Wilbur) from Damon Young on Vimeo.

Today is also my daughter's first birthday. It feels somewhat serendipitous that the day marking her first year on Earth happens to be the same day of this national conversation about family and healing.

As I watch these interviews I've conducted with my dad — capturing a few of the stories I've heard before (and hearing a couple new ones) — I think about what type of father I'm striving to be, and how my relationship with my dad and my now-deceased mom colors the relationship I have with my daughter. My wish — shit, my dream — is to be able to have the same types of conversations I'm having with my dad today (and the same type of relationship) with her 30 years from now.


Anyway, if you are able to, please share images or videos or whatever you have of you and your closest family members, with the hashtag #AcrossTheFence. You can do it in the comments here, on social media, or even in private emails with your friends and family. And if you don't have that type of relationship with your family, know that you have a family here.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)


Michelle is my First Lady

Happy Birthday Little VSS! That was beautiful. And your dad is amazing.

Also, to my dear VSSs, Kofi Siriboe is amazing in person. I'm tired, cranky, and drained from a late night in NYC but I got to see that fine chocolate in person last night. Got a couple of tight hugs, a kiss on the cheek, and met his momma. Kofi smelled like African oils and heaven!