I Take My Coffee Black {A Book a Day 18}

You might know Tyler Merritt from his Instagram account. Or his viral video “Before You Call the Cops.” (Haven’t seen it yet? Watch it here.) Or maybe now as the boyfriend of Jen Hatmaker.

However you know him—or even if you don’t know him at all—listen to Tyler’s bottom line message:

Get close enough. To see each other. To hear each other. To love each other.

I’ve been rereading my notes from Tyler Merritt’s book, I Take My Coffee Black: Reflections on Tupac, Musical Theater, Faith, and Being Black in America. (Tyler is also an actor, entrepreneur, social activitist, and a Youtuber.)

I Take My Coffee Black

Tyler says:

“Proximity for the win. Because proximity breeds empathy. And with empathy, humanity has a fighting chance.”

There are some things we can’t just phone in. We need to get near each other in space and time.

Who can you show up for today?

3 Excerpts from I Take My Coffee Black 

“I was thinking that maybe if you got to know me, you wouldn’t be frightened. Or better yet, maybe you’d see that we have more in common than you thought. Or better yet, at the end of this book, you would think to yourself, ‘Man, that Tyler Merritt. We could kick it. For real.’ Or at the very least, the next time a six-foot-two black man comes near, you might think to yourself: ‘Maybe he’s listening to Bring It On: The Musical.’ And maybe we’d grab a cup of coffee, and you and I could laugh about it. Because I think you’d like me if you took some time to get to know me.”

~ * ~

“Because I’ve been black all my life, and that happens so much, you think maybe by now I’d be used to it. But I’m not. It still hurts. Why did that couple that was jogging smile at me, when this lady in the blue-and-white older-model Ford truck got so scared? I don’t know. I was only a few feet away from her, but the separation was immense. Worlds apart. If she would just get close enough to really talk and really see me, I bet we’d realize we have so much in common. So much. Like you and me.”

~ * ~

“And I would hope that if things got tough for me… Maybe really tough… Maybe because of the color of my skin… Maybe because some people don’t see me as a real person because of my melanin… It’s my hope that you’d stand. And that you would say. In a loud and clear voice. Stop. I know that man. He’s a mix of the good and the bad, for sure. But I know him. And he’s my brother. I hope that you’d stand with me. You better believe that I would stand for you. That’s what I hope for, that somehow by sitting across from each other, we’d end up side by side.”

Who are you near today? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Read More:

You are on Day #18 of the series, A Book a Day {Nonfiction Favorites}.

A Book a Day - Nonfiction Favorites

The Book of Joy” {Book 17}

Stories I Only Tell My Friends” {Book 19}

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