3.1
May 22, 2020

What if Kerouac Was Black & On the Road in 2020.

*This is part of a series. Head to the author’s profile to read the rest! Check out part two here.

~

On November 21st, there was no turning back.

The plan had been laid. We’d head south to Florida in a Hertz rental car, seeing friends, colleagues, and strangers along the way.

On a Kerouacian journey with penciled destinations, meetings, and meanings outlined between.

Watch and read on: 

~

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by actually curious (@actuallyc_rious) on

From that day, before Thanksgiving, to March 13th, before the lockdown was a thing, was a cross-country adventure that would change lives in immeasurable ways. 

Jamaican American immigrants nurtured from Bed Stuy Brooklyn in the 80s and 90s don’t do these things. You grow up watching your back. You grow up with teachers and cops as the only white people you know. You grow up on cautionary tales of the consequences of being at the wrong place, at the wrong time. 

Watch and read on: 

~

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by actually curious (@actuallyc_rious) on

Determined to let go of these narratives, we hit the road.

We sent notes out on the interwebs letting folks know we were on our way.

After the past few years, mired with social anxiety and angst, each time we hit send felt like an act of defiance against the patterns of our past. “I am not my feelings of anxiety,” we might have told ourselves. “I am not your expectations of what will happen next,” might have followed next in the mental role play.

From Philly to Richmond, to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, we met with professors, a judge, local reporters, and a menagerie of students, creatives, and some of the most inventive restaurants and shops that our fine country has to offer.

~

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by actually curious (@actuallyc_rious) on

New Stories of the Crazy Kid

It continued to Atlanta and all over the sunny state of Florida. It led back north through the Panhandle, Alabama, and Tennessee, crafting new stories of the crazy kid with the funny cards, running loose in the deep south. We’d even head west through the “show-me state,” Texas, Arizona, and into L.A. and S.F.

What was the point of all this? We didn’t know at the start, but new data points arise as we contemplate if the last curious jaunt would be the end. 

I learned about self. I learned about neighboring cultures. I broadened the scope of people I call pals. Even businesses became friends. I indulged in a sixth sense called empathy. I choose to let go of fear, and to let curiosity in. I learned to notice delights at every turn. Like a child lives. Wondering what’s around the bend. Then again. And again. And again.

~

Join Michael Tennant on Instagram for more on this journey and for inspirational quotes on empathy!

 

~

Read 6 Comments and Reply

Michael Tennant  |  3 Followers

author: Michael Tennant

Image: Author's own

Editor: Naomi Boshari