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Looking for the Helpers: ‘Coffee with a Black Guy’ offers a space to discuss racism

Timothy Teague
Coffee with a Black Guy

As our area is faced with ongoing changes due to a growing pandemic, we are bringing stories of people doing good in the community during a time of uncertainty.

Help us look for the helpers!

'Coffee with a Black Guy'

'Coffee with a Black Guy' is a social movement created by Santa Barbara's James Joyce III, which aims to bring greater understanding, compassion, empathy and love in the community.

The events - now virtual because of the pandemic - are a way for people to get a better understanding of a black man's experience in America.

“There’s value in the story and perspective of an African-American,” said Joyce. “I think people are afraid to say the wrong thing, but it’s important that I create a space where we fell forward and we learn from teachable moments.” 

Joyce has been addressing race since his early years in  elementary school, but he acknowledges that it is not an easy topic for many people to approach. He says that a truthful conversation is a good starting point.

“Just thinking of the 4th of July - we’re celebrating independence day every year, understanding we’re celebrating our nation founded in 1776 - what was the reality in that time right?  Let’s just rethink all of the things we know from a truthful context,” said Joyce.

His movement is growing, bridging a gap now on a larger level.

“We’ve  had a couple local businesses that we’ve been in communication with that have a pretty large employee base who are reaching out and saying, James can you come out and talk to our folks we don’t know how to have these conversations,” Joyce said.

Joyce hopes that by having conversations with people about race, it bring greater understanding, compassion, empathy and love in the global community.

"Treat me as a black man, understand what my experiences are, and then forget Im a black man,” said Joyce.

For more information, click here.

Hear more about "Coffee with a Black Guy" tonight at 6:30pm.

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Genelle Padilla


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