I went on your website, and enjoyed what you had written. You have what seems to be a unique and very correct perspective on races. I can't wait to see and hear you in person, so please, when you are back in Long Beach, let us know where we can see you. Good luck with your shows in Washington and Iowa.
Community Relations Representative
SES Terminal LLC
Long Beach, CA 90802
I must tell you that I just got done with 30 minutes of going through your website. I did not intend that, but it got me mesmerized. Wow!
Great stuff bro…….you’re definitely on to something big!!!! It’s time. Peace & Love,
I LOVE what your website was about! What's even worse than having to constantly identify people as 'something' is when they don't even offer that "other" box! Both of my children are biracial, and I have very recently had a discussion with my 10 year old about how others will expect for him to choose. I intend to read thru your site with him. Last weekend I pay-per-viewed the movie 'Pride' (Terrance Howard) with my boys. My 10 year old is a thinker and VERY inquisitive, and asked several times why the other swim teams wouldn't compete against them simply because they were black...he didn't understand. We had a rather robust conversation about race, societal issues with race, the history of civil rights in this country and the isses we still have. I was proud of his thought process. I think reading your website will push him to think some more.
When I spoke of how strongly I feel about acceptance of people and my family being diverse...my children are biracial, my cousin is gay, my uncle is Mexican, my brother-in-law is Nigerian, my cousins are biracial, my Grandmother full Hungarian. One thing I miss about not living in California anymore is the level of cultural diversity.
I applaud and support your efforts, and thank you so much for sharing it with me. I intend to share it with many of my friends!
If you are ever in the Portland area speaking or cracking jokes at the local comedy club, let me know...it would be great to meet you. I was intrigued by your profile, and even more so by the work you are doing!
Have a great night!
Thanks for the info. so what does one say when referring to another human being of a different race, do I say African American? Because to me that gives the impression they aren't really American...as a caucasian "white" woman, I myself have never been a racist of anything, to me "love has no color", I believe we are all African.
You are right in the description of people in regard to their race, as a white woman I don't want to offend, I guess I want to be "politically correct" as when I become friends with some one or a potential partner or anyone to be exact, I don't see color. I'm the type of person who tries or wants everyone to be comfortable, sometimes even at my expense. That's a conversation for another time, smile.
Grand Rapids, MI
WOW!! What you are doing is so up my alley. In 1994 the Department of Defense called and asked me to be an Army EO Advisor. I had no clue, so they told me a little about the job. I thought okay, I like everyone:-) Went to a great school for 16 weeks and learned more about myself than I ever wanted to know. But it is all good. I stayed in the position for 12 years, always looking for the "key" to end racism/sexism - never did find it.
I understand why the "what are you" question is asked in specific situations, but have never understood how come black and white people are a color and everyone else is an ethnicity?!? Go figure. I love your concept. I often mark other and have been told it is a cop out - a denial of self - am I ashamed of my race... I am sure you have heard all of that too. Anyhow, I would love to help with your project, and learn more about your thoughts.
It's quite impressive and very important stuff. What a brilliant idea! I wish I had thought of it myself. You're obviously a unique and very talented individual.
I visited your website and I am even more intrigued...what got you on this kick? You are so passionate about this topic and rightfully so. Boise is pretty different from where I grew up, but probably similar to your Midwestern roots. I am originally from the Norfolk, Virginia area and got my bachelors from Norfolk State. I grew up in the black church, lived in an all black suburb, and went to an HBCU. However, I, like you, was accused of talking "white" because I had a vocabulary and was not afraid to use it! LOL! I branched out, so to speak, when I came to Idaho to work at a nuclear laboratory and have lived here for 8 years now. I think it takes a special personality to handle being the only person of color in a room all the time and the attention that garners when you least expect it. Boise isn't too bad, but Idaho Falls (rural, Mormon, very monochromatic) was much worst.
I am mixed with three different races.I am african american, fillipino,and french. That basically explains why I have "other".
If you are interested in your genetic route, you should check out National Geographic's website and click on "The Journey of men".They did in cooperation with Stanford university an extensive study. A hispanic friend of mine did send his DNA in and they traced his anchestors and the exact geographical route they took, 30000 years back! Interestingly we all stem originally from one and the same African tribe. Genetic mutation lets us look all different now....(Jealously I have to mention that you were lucky to retain your beautiful skin color, while I have to get a tan now to look good. That little y-chromosome!) :)
I really admire the work you are doing. I think your concept is great and can't wait to see more of it!
Keep on trucking.
We will have to talk. I sure I could add a few stories and laughts to "other" since my kids are bi-racial and I am viewed as being "lilly white" and yes my ex is dark black....yes my kids are from the same....dad........ (and I came from a rural farm town in the middle of nowwhere MN - 3.5 hours from Minneapolis). And being in HR....well....
Shawnee Mission, KS
I checked out your site, it is very cool. I wish you lots of good luck with this idea. It appears to be a neat way for people to connect with each other.
Los Angeles, CA
checked out your site. WOW! I knew you were evolved, but didn't know just how much. I try to live my life according to that same philosophy. I'm proud to be an Other! Please keep me posted as to where you will be performing. We have to chat more about it Thanks for sharing "you" with me! I'm honored.
Had a chance to check out your website. The issues you are tackling through your comedy are very provocative. Congrats on all the success you're having.
I am looking forward to the opening of "Other" and hope that you will inform me of its schedule. While I yearn for the arts to become Long Beach's cultural anchor, the thought of coupling it with the treatment of race and racism appeals greatly to my deeper senses. Thank you for informing me of your project. I can't wait.
THE ENTIRE WEB SITE IS GREAT. I REALLY ENJOY SUCH A CLEAN POSITIVE MESSAGE & VIBE YOU GIVE. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. MAY GOD BLESS YOU
DJ B.K.A. SOULSNATCHER-
I am very excited that you are coming into town so please do keep my email and let me know when you are coming, I told my cousins about your web site and they thought that what you are doing is very cool, most of my cousins have had to put up with some very retarded comments about our ethnicity too.
You are my brother, from another mother! Michael, I applaud you! Great site, I can't wait to see your show in the Los Angeles area. Having lunch with you and learning about "other" was so refreshing. I can now inform my kids not only are they "other", so am I. I will tell others of yoru site. Best of luck!
You are tackling one of the if not the most emotionally charged subjects in American society: "Race", which as you rightly point out is a purely social construct w/no basis in biology...One a tangent: recently on TCM they've aired a segment w/ celebs like B. Cosby and others pointing out Hollywood's guilt in putting on instances of "White" performers doing comedy in Black Face; ie, minstrelse. I think Hollywood gets off the hook here, or at least most of it as they come along at the very tail end of a very long and strange tradition. The perplexing fact is that for a period of 80 years (!) from about 1830 to 1910, minstrelse was the most popular form of entertainment in America...Now what does that tell you?
really enjoyed the site, since I am no longer prohibited by the work email. I love the idea of other. I actually just checked African-American or Black (non-hispanic) because that's what you are told to do. I oftentimes felt that it was wrong or not completely right and that OTHER explains it better since we are a combination of different races even though they are not visibly apparent. I know from now on I will check OTHER. Can't wait to see your show. I know what you mean about being the blackest and the whitest. Keep up the awesome work!
San Antonio, TX
Thank you for such a positive and thoughtful site especially the "perspective" page. Really made me sit back and think. I'm definitely an "other" from now on. Good luck and best wishes.
Long Beach, CA
I truly enjoyed our conversation at the Carlsbad Village Comedy Theater. I am in harmony with your concept and enjoy your web site. You are embracing a terrific subject and seem to be "right on the money'" in how to promote it. Please, bring it to Canada, and Edmonton, specifically. You will receive a warm and enthusiastic reception. God bless you in all your endeavors.
Anne I. Edmonton
Love the premise, and your thoughts on "prejudice." I'll watch for you here in the area - I truly want to see "Other. "You are "spot on."
One of the areas I specialize in is multiculturalism and diversity issues and the systemic marginalization and oppression of various groups, so this is right up my alley!
Long Beach, CA
Just filled out my U.S. Census. Checked "other" for our new Kenyan, Irish, Italian, French baby Sophie!
Laguna Niguel, CA
I must say that I am looking forward to the upcoming weeks in which the site will be updated. What I liked most is the music and the diversity that is displayed...AWESOME JOB!!
Your site is fabulous! I think it is an awesome topic and I am really excited you are basing your show around it!
Great website! We love the concept and look forward to see how it develops.
Long Beach, CA
When I came to the USA it used to annoy the heck out of me all these constant questions about race. I am a now a US Citizen, but went through the whole USA immigration process. During that process they ask about your race. There were numerous categories including African-American (how could anyone be one if they weren't already a citizen!), among the other categories of note are Native American, White - European, White - Hispanic. As my family is "racially diverse" (their term!) I choose Black - Other. later in the process they decided that I did not have blond hair and blue eyes (which I've had since birth), but brown hair and gray eyes (a "white" immigration officer decided this with confirmation from a "black" immigration officer!). All very stupid this race categorization none of which is supported biologically or genetically.
New York, NY
You are one righteous multicultural brother. Your website is CHOICE, and you are one "hep-cat".
Valley Glen, CA
I am Danish American (first generation American) and I have more often than not checked the OTHER box. I didn't even really know what caucasian was. :)
San Diego, CA
Your website is so unique, it is refreshing. It is a pleasure to have met such a caring and giving person as yourself. You will go far in this life Michael James Brown.
Chad M. Minden
Los Angeles, CA
I saw you in Carlsbad last night and thought you were great! i was interested in what you had to say. I think we ARE related and maybe I AM black! I was poor, on food stamps, have many relatives in jail and my grandma had that crisco can on the stove too! From now on, it's "Other" for me!
San Diego, CA
I hope we are related!
I get asked all the time "what are you?" or "what are you mixed with?" Often times before they even ask "what is your name?" It drives me crazy, why does it even matter. Very cool site...I can't wait to see your show.
Newport Beach, CA
We really appreciate what you're doing and support you all the way. good luck.
Long Beach, CA
Once again Michael you open my mind to radical new ideas that are fundamentally simple! Your Web Site is awesome....keep spreading the word.
Interesting concept. Something I can relate to being half black, and half Korean. I never really knew what to check off so I always put other.
Long Beach, CA
Your new site works against normal "American" conventions - happy to see someone making a statement about what should be an everyday topic in America: categories and breaking down stereotypes!
Mission Viejo, CA
What a great site. Its really positive a quite funny. You really get it! I can tell by the site that you are naturally funny and surrounded with nice people. I also love the antics of Howlin' Wolf. Of all the blues giants, I think the Wolf had the wildest sense of humor, vocal style and stage presence. He was a phenomenon.
San Diego, CA
I've always bristled at the thought of people seeing me as white. I'm Jewish by descent, and always imagined myself somewhat ethnically semetic, even though my mother's parents are from Russia and Romania. This idea was further confused when, a few years ago, my father told me that my great grandmother was a pure-blooded native American, (or actually First People, since she's from Canada). At the end of the day, there is no other choice. Without a doubt, I'm an "Other!" PS: Thanks for the Pearl/Fats tune. I miss that guy!
Long Beach, CA
I viewed your video. Very interesting... I have long believed that we should do away with racial distinctions. Mine is the belief that there is one race, the human race. We were having a dumb meeting at school last week about "tolerating others' differences." I thought the whole concept was repulsive since tolerance implies that the one showing it is in some way superior, and the tolerated person, inferior.... How about just loving people for the beauty in each one...Yours is a noble effort, and I wish you every success!
San Diego, CA
Thanks for sending the invite to your group for your movie. I am so excited for you. I am really interested in the subject matter, and I think my husband would be as well. My husband is an aspiring film maker. He wrote/produced/directed an independant feature a few years ago and did a few other small things, but he is still working on the big break. He did the film festival circuit as well. More than his experience in the entertainment industry, we both would enjoy your movie as it echoes a lot of discussion we have in our house. While being the first person in my blood family to be born in the US, my identity was always a bit off as I was raised in a really diverse area, and I had been sent to Mormon church along with my step-dad's family and had to learn Spanish at school. My husband's grandfather on his father's side is a son of a slave (also from Illinois). His other grandfather was a Holocaust survivor. One of his grandmothers was also a daughter of the revolution. My husband, Eli, has also been greatly influenced by his father who is in public policy and focuses on race, and he has avoided filling out the race box his entire life. While his father is a bit more conservative than me, I do appreciate his view that we should all be judged as an individual and upon our character rather than the color of our skin.
Anyway, my husband and I laugh because our son, Jack, will be unable to fill in any box on a form to define his race. There is nothing that reflects his Mexican, Black, Jewish, French, American heritage. We have plans to marry him off to an Asian just so our grandkids can be even more mixed.
Please do send me information on the film festival. We would love to support and also enjoy your work.
Los Angeles, CA
What can I say, "Other Awareness Project" is refreshing, on target and one to pass on to others. Thanks, Michael.
Mike, the project is awesome ! Wake em up bro...... it is a new day in USA and world . We need to break, no shatter, no KICK DOWN the old ways of thinking. Your use of comedy to discuss the subject and the documentary will shake the dust off of the robot mental state of mind that most people operate in and they dont even realize it. You point out... Read More the obvious, allow them to laugh about it and more importantly examinie what they otherwise would be to embrassed to admit or hadn't even thought about. Getting people to start defining themsevles iinstead of fitting into a box someone else wants to put them in is critical. This small examiniation in self profiling will be the catalyst for breaking the other stero types and other definitions whose time here in the USA and globally are over. This includes other countrys who use race and class like South Africa and India with the Cass system, who use those definitions to divide their own citizens into little ethic and class camps.
Silicon Valley, CA
Hi Michael, Congratulations on the running success of your 'Other' project... Many thanks for the updates! Just so you too are 'aware' that here in the UK, EVERY form I fill in that asks my ethnicicity, does not actually have a place for ME.. as you so rightly point out, I AM an 'other', because nowhere on these forms does it ask if I am 'White ... Read MoreEuropean', it just isn't there!, Even just 'European'?? I am one of the 'others' and until someone realises I am 'somebody', I will sadly always be an 'other'... Thanks you so much for my birthday greeting! Take care. Em.
"Thanks for doing what you're doing, Michael! I visited your project web site and watched the introductory YouTube video and found myself enthusiastically agreeing with you! I'll watch more later and order the DVD, but I want to thank you now for saying through this project what I, and many others, have been thinking for a long time! Let's move past this absurd categorization and drop the barriers that hinder us from really getting to know one another. Continuing the practice of defining ourselves by race really is contributing to the world-wide problems we face. When people stop thinking in those tired old ways they will likely see that we all share so much in common. Thank you for your work toward bringing down those barriers!"
Hey Mike, just watched your short video. I like it! You know we were blessed by being raised in Rantoul. It was so well integrated in so many ways. I was perplexed when the crap came to town from Champaign back in the day. I didn't really understand it. As a player, my time was spent on the court in a very neutral environment. Did you know Corky, Frank Archey. Played baseball at rths, graduated in eighty I think. went on to Grambling playing ball. He and I are best friends sharing the sport of bowhunting white tail deer. He is a co host to the Muzzy outdoor show seen on the outdoor channel on Monday nights at nine central time.
Your shot looks great to, as mine....I gave it u due to the body wearing out, miss it greatly. My daughter got a ride to U of I springfield playing ball. Daddys proud worked with her since she was very young. She has a great game, handles and a beautiful jumper. Just picture me with long hair and much prettier.......ha ha.
Your attitude is one that I share, I hate the perpetuation of racism.
I do have issues with the current admininstration though. Due to ideology and history. I am also on a mission, some call a crusade. To see Bill Ayers exposed and deposed for the socialist subversion of education. What many do not realize is the radical side of the current administration. The influence of the Chicago Machine. It scares me and has me very motivated as you can see at campconservatism.com.
I have learned a lot about how the far left operates and race is used as a tool to divide, which disrupts and incapacitates our government, their plan. Your efforts are greatly appreciated to my way of thinking. Glad to see your living a happy life. So am I. The good lord is a solid foundation.
I took the time to review your website and watch your videos. I must say, you have offered a unique niché when it comes to the issue of race. I like what you are doing and I pray you will able to help those you touch begin to understand what our culture has done to vilify each other based on skin color alone. We need other awareness. I trust my Table of Nations website will help some understand this as well. Let's keep people looking from the inside out, not from the outside in.
Hi Michael - I don't always have time to read everything you send - however I do what you to know that I agree with you. You point out so many things that go unsaid . . . and I believe you've reached a higher level of understanding, of humbleness and have the courage to make something of it. We as humans must allays be open to change, to bettering ourselves and to be open to admit that perhaps we might have been wrong in the past, but are willing to be in the right NOW . . .
Thanks so much. Glad to see you'll be visiting Portland and Seattle. It's too soon for me to know if i can make it , but would love to be there . . .
Hello, I just listened to your video on your profile page. I so agree with what you are doing! We are humans...what makes people different is more cultural/religious/belief system/values...and I have often wondered what makes us use skin color as the criteria for who is in our tribe? On 9/11 we were AMERICANS...then shortly after we became separate tribes yet again. And, I do believe race/racism is a big money maker...I hope you visit New Jersey sometime...thanks for the work you are doing!
Wow, I am really touched by this since I have a very diverse family. Many people look at me like I am a hoochie mama with all the different children that are in my family, I just call us the rainbow family! I live what you are saying and am on board with this project %110. Love it, believe it, and live it!
If you ever need anything, I will help anyway I can!
Keep rockin the message, we are all related, being human
with my fellow human beings.. You are amazing Micheal
I just watch the video, parabens ,l Beautiful, very interesting because I never felt I got a definition of race in myself I know I have a color mixed with a lot of races, sometimes I think it would be easy if we all were blind, no one would bother with color and look , and than we really have put all the be beautiful insed.
Oh Micheal...that video was wonderful...I hope the message is truly clear...it is amazing how we as a people have felt this way at one time or another....bravo my brother...thanks
You are welcome. I like what you have to say. I have been a social worker for many years and think many of your insights reflect the things I have experienced and learned. I also work with a few people who might be able to learn and help others learn from you. Thanks for sharing the information...
I've been reading your blog; OAP, and we share similar views. I've always felt that most people love to talk about how different we are rather than trying to find our similarities. For a year or so, I lived in Alabama in the early 60's and felt so much anger and hatred from so many people. It definitely awakened my spirit at a very early age. People just don't understand that we are all made of the same stuff. We're just like a cake; we come in different shapes, colors and flavors, but if we gave each other a chance we'd find out how sweet life really is."
Los Angeles, CA
I like what you're about and enjoy listening to your thoughts! In tapping into my "limited" geographical education, I seem to remember that Florida is kinda, sorta between Pennsylvania and New Mexico ;) Hope to see you soon! BTW, I was subjected to butter and sugar sandwiches.
You are very welcome. The team enjoyed your presentation. We are very interested in you speaking at our summer institute in August. Is there any way I can attend a session between now and then. They asked that I and someone else actually see the workshop. Again, great job!!!
Long Beach Unified School District
Hello Michael, I read your profile and watched your OAP video, I love what you stand for and it appears we have similar Central Illinois roots. I would consider it a pleasure to be a friend.
Los Angeles, CA
Reading your perspective on your web site....I have been telling people for years when filling out a form under the race...cross it out and write human...because that is what each and everyone of us are ...equal because we are human..I hope our paths will cross one beautiful day.....peace.
I grew up in a very small town in Connecticut. My grandmother had 12 brothers and sisters and they were mixed in such a way that I never heard any of them refer to their race. Consequently, no one in the family did. Today however, the subsequent generations of our famiy or at least most do refer to themselves as "black". But, they have also gotten questioned about it if they look "doubtful" by others. So yes, it's all so interesting to me.. Thanks! :
Hey Mike. Most poeple who look at me think I'm some sort of "hispanic". I hate the term btw... but my father is Alabama-Black and my mother Spain-White. I've never really identified with any race nor do I care for labels either. I completely agree with your movement to check "other". It's what I always check bcus they is no box for me. Once ... See Morewhen I was in a Gov office filling out some form; I even possed the question to the worker; "which box should I choose?" He said, if you have any black in you, you should check Black. Needless to say, I stuck with Other. Loved your video, lets get together soon.
Los Angeles, CA
You seem very well rounded, intelligent and in contrast to your appearance of being very straight laced, you're surprisingly relaxed...and flirtatious, nice sense of humor.
Hi there! Great video. It was hard to balance what you said with a conversation I had yesterday with a NV system of higher education Regent. He wants me and the other faculty and administrators to in Nevada to implement a strategic plan to "Increase the Number/Percentage of tenured and promoted Black and Hispanic faculty in 5 years." The VP and Provost at UNLV asked me yesterday to apply for the job of VP of Diversity and Inclusion at UNLV. I said No. I am committed to diversity, but I am also committed to overall improvements for All faculty, staff and students and that job would be a headache and heartache for me to do well. Lol So, sorry to disclose my issue of the day, but it was pure irony to hear your video on a day when I am processing the pros and cons of someone like me being a VP for such a contentious topics as increasing ethnic minority representation... Keep up your good work, and pray for me and my work! Cheers
Las Vegas, NV
WOW! What an inspiration. I am so proud of the man you have become and I will share your story with the young people and their parents. What is your fee to speak to young people? If you are ever in the area, I would love to have you speak at the junior high if I can arrange it. They have become real selective about who talks to the students. Thank you so much for sharing and I will share a portion of this with my grandchildren.
Elementary School Teacher
That is wonderful. The work that you are doing around cultural awareness is truly thought provoking. I'm glad that someone is raising these types of important questions. Also I want to set some time aside to meet with you next week. Please let me know your availability.
Office of Steven Neal
333 W. Ocean Blvd. L.B., CA 90802
Thanks, for sharing this information. I believe she was present at the "CCEJ" Interfaith Prayer Breakfast I attended a couple of weeks ago at the Convention Center. You are really doing some wonderful work. Will you be attending Jordan High School, African-American History & Culture Club event tomorrow (2/26/11)? I'm one of the many honorees that will be recognized. Just in case you do not have the information & you have nothing better to do. Here's the address: 3012 Long Beach Blvd, from 3pm-6pm. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you soon.
Ivy Arlinda Goolsby
Long Beach, CA
Good morning Michael,
I see you continue to share your message, and that is a great thing. I know we have talked many times prior and you presented at one of our Male Academy Principal's meeting. You also did a great job at Jordan (under the direction of Lionel Gonzalez). We would like you to do some work at some of the other Male Academy programs in the Long Beach Unified School District. Let Lionel and I know when we might be able to dialogue sometime in October 2011. Keep up the great work!
Long Beach Unified School District
NCORE 24 Responses:
I really liked the presenter’s point of view. He’s very optimistic, and I was really able to relate to his way of approaching diversity and like, it’s all up to you.
The message was very good. I am concerned that it may be lost to the response of questions from those in academics that ‘race’ is their identity.
Very interesting, engaging and thought provoking and eye opening presentation. Appreciated your unique approach to looking at race, ethnicity and culture.
-I appreciated the vision, challenge and tenacity with which the session was approached. This is the most intense and beneficial discussion I’ve had about race in a while.
I think Michael Brown is onto something huge. Everyone is focused on the problem. MJB is focused on the solutions. This was an amazing session. One suggestion I have is to reserve questions from the audience until the end since they can be time-consuming. I wish this session was longer with breaks in between. Fantastic idea.
This guy keeps it real and keeps it fresh. Brings a perspective that is uplifting. Impressive speaker. Interactive.
I just completed viewing the introduction video to your project. I must say that I could not agree with you more on the subject on which you spoke so eloquently. I work for a school district, specifically in an adult school atmosphere and sometimes filling out those forms you speak of are tortuous at best. I address the issue of ethnicity in my own manner and I hope you find the humor in my description. I tell the students to color in all the "Bubbles" that apply to their specific background. You would not believe some of the queries I receive, remember now these are adults. My response to them is generally this, " If I had my way there would be two 'bubbles' one would say HUMAN and the other ALIEN" after all isn't that truly all that there might be? I believe that the late great Dr. Martin Luther King said it best.........judge a man on the content of his character not by the color of his skin............... Abundant Blessings to you and congratulations on your project............ warm hugs and soft kisses
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