Coffee with a Black Guy Prompts Difficult but Necessary Conversations

Cross-Racial Dialogues Enter Fourth Year

James Joyce III holds a group talk Coffee With a Black Guy | Credit: Paul Wellman

Your browser is blocking the Transact payments script

Transact.io respects your privacy, does not display advertisements, and does not sell your data.

To enable payment or login you will need to allow scripts from transact.io.

Last March, James Joyce III was attending Santa Barbara’s annual State of the City event, where local dignitaries toast the successes of the town and look ahead to the future. During a break in the action, an older white gentleman approached Joyce, one of the few black people there. “How do you like having a noose around your neck?” the man asked. 

“I gave him the benefit of the doubt he meant my tie,” Joyce remembered afterward, “but I didn’t respond. That’s the kind of ignorance that still exists out there.”

To counteract such cluelessness and to illuminate the experience of Santa Barbara’s black community, Joyce created a cross-racial series of dialogues in 2016 called Coffee with a Black Guy, a riff on the national Coffee with a Cop program. The sessions, where Joyce holds court and keeps the conversations honest and civil, are a chance to share stories, explore hard topics, and, most importantly, “just listen and learn from fellow citizens,” he explained.

As a free community newspaper, we must evolve to thrive in the digital space. If our reporting on Santa Barbara County matters to you, we hope you will support the Independent through a digital subscription to Independent.com. Breaking news, critical content, and our print publication will always remain free.

Login

Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.