Let’s Be Brave and Talk About Race: Interview with Krystle Cobran

My church friend and I were only about 7 years old when she leaned over in my ear and whispered, “Sometimes black people are so … scary.”

We were standing in the hallway of the rented central New Jersey auditorium where we had church services. It was a diverse congregation – much more so than my suburban neighborhood – and a bunch of black kids had run by us, laughing and shouting, raucous in play.

It was the start of my first conversation about race. I can still remember the shock of that moment, the twist in my stomach at the word “scary”.

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Breakthrough to Purpose

Stop Feeling Stuck and Start Trusting Yourself

Every time I start feeling stuck and unsure, I remember a woman I’ve never met.

Her name was Te-lah-nay, a Native American woman displaced during the Trail of Tears. She was forced to march from her home in Alabama all the way to Oklahoma. 500 miles, minimum.

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I Was Brave, I Resisted, I Set Myself on Fire

I had my first panic attack in the first grade, when my teacher returned my paper with “See Me” written in red ink.

Getting a “See Me” meant lining up by the teacher’s desk and waiting to talk to her privately … in front of everyone.

I’d always had “Excellent” on my papers before, and I thought a “See Me” meant that I’d screwed up.

At six years old, I couldn’t handle that. When I walked to the front of the room, my breath came in short, fast gulps.

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