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OurBlk Spotlight X Byron Rose

OurBlk Spotlight X Byron Rose

Originally from Montgomery, Alabama, Byron has had the advantage of living all over the world, which has helped in the molding and sculpting of his perspective and processing. Home has always been the south, and also played a major part in his shaping and growth growing up.

Growing up, Byron was the kid that wanted the “why” of whatever he was being told. He just needed that detailed explanation of how things worked or even how certain decisions came about. The elders soon learned that he wasn’t asking to be disrespectful, but simply because he wanted a true understanding. That nature still holds true to this day!

Byron also being an athlete for most of his life, Byron learned  at an early age that in order to be an impactful leader, you must be able to be a team player. That concept was planted in his head and continues to grow as he does. During his travels around the world as a professional basketball player, his mind was opened even more as he experienced different places and even more culture. He prides himself in learning new things, and is not at all stingy with sharing with others what he’s learned. 

Byron is now looking forward to and focusing on the future with clearer eyes, an open mind and heart as he understands that he is in a great position to pass along his knowledge and experiences with those looking and willing to listen and learn. He took a moment to share his story with OurBlk Men.

Why did you choose to pursue a podcast?

I think a lot of people get caught up in cycles of behaviors and thoughts, sometimes because they think they’re going through it alone. So a podcast where men are being vulnerable and discussing everyday things, along with those important topics, I think it’s important because it tells men and women that you’re not going through these situations, thoughts and experiences alone.

What has been life changing about your journey?

I think I’ve had a few things happen along the way that have helped shape and mold who I am today. I think one that might have impacted me more looking back was the loss of a child during the pregnancy. I think this because of how it’s so unknown. What would she have been? How would she have looked? Who and what could she have been? Bigger, it made me be strong for someone outside of myself. I knew it was hard for me, but even harder for the mother. It also brought out so many emotions in me, some of which I didn’t know how to express. It kind of forced me to face those head on and talk to her about hers as well.

Do you have any upcoming events and/or projects you are involved in?

No major upcoming events. Recently we did a book review/ interview with my pod-mate, Wallace Miles, for his book, Underr8ted, so that’s the only thing I have coming up, but hoping this year brings more opportunity.

What have you been up to and what can we look forward to seeing from you?

I’ve actually been pretty quiet. I’ve been doing some searching and trying to figure out the next move, some new direction, so I’ve been pretty quiet and just listening closely for what God wants me to put my hands on.

What are some of the topics we can look forward to?

Ohhhhh, we’re looking at generational wealth, why are we encouraging kids to leave home so early in life, top athletes starting to attend HBCUs, dating out of our race, touched the on the decision for the murderers of Ahmaud Arbery, and that’s just in the new episode. It’s going to get deeper and more involved, but definitely going to stay fun.

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You always have had a great perspective on things. Now you are coming out of your shell more. How does it feel and why is it important to you?

First and foremost, thank you! I think it’s needed. I’m always talking about comfort zones, and how those are the worst places to be simply because growth cannot happen there, so I had to take some of my own advice. I’m coming out of my shell a little bit more because I think it’s needed. I think I need to talk a little more because I don’t want to look back and think that I had something in me to share that could have helped someone, and because I was hiding in my comfort zone, someone had to experience something that I might have been able to talk them out of, or explain why this isn’t “the move.” Possibly save them from a world of trouble.

In your opinion, how can we as a culture work together to banish prejudices and social clichés?

I think the first step to bannishing any prejudices is communicating with those who have that or those prejudices. Finding out what the prejudices stem from, giving the actual origin of this stigma attached, but also the party who is creating the prejudice must be open to that conversation, the communication and actually taking the time to comprehend. It could take years, decades, generations, but no matter how much time passes, if those believers aren’t willing and open to listening, then it’s a mute point and a waste of time and resources. I think to get past the social cliches, we have to do the same. I think a lot of the cliches that we see and experience now are set into action by hurt people and their experiences with one or more people, but then being handed off onto an entire group, sex or race. First, the generalization is startling. Seeing everyone being thrown into a grouping is crazy and a bit scary. I think we don’t offer the grace that we expect a lot of times, and that’s huge in my book. People are always saying “nah, don’t just throw me in that group of people,” but literally turning around and doing the exact same thing to someone is a real issue. This would take a ton of communication, comprehension and for some, maybe some therapy.

What are some things you are most proud of?

I am the proudest of my circle, and that’s friends and family. I think they’re awesome for allowing me to grow in my time, I’m proud when watching their growth over time, seeing them become parents, actually raising someone to be productive humans, functioning in the world. I’m proud of the fact that I’m still here, fighting, learning, loving, growing, constantly evolving and pivoting when needed. I’m proud when I can help others in any way. I’m proud and happy when I see people I care about experiencing love, in any form, but especially a romantic love that they’re deserving of. I’m proud of my people, black people. We’re so creative, smart, unapologetically honest and dope. I’m proud of the next generation, and how they’re growing to be so much better than generations before them in so many ways. I just sit back and smile, like an old proud father…lol

Facebook, Byron Rose and Instagram @b4real5

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