For this, the inaugural “FBW Fellas We Love” post, I wanted to take over the keyboard myself. This is because anybody who knows me well knows how I feel about LeVar Burton. Yes, I was three when ‘Roots’ (the ground-breaking mini-series based on the novel of the same name by Alex Haley), first aired. Yes, I was nine when ‘Reading Rainbow’ (which ran for 23 seasons, making it one of the longest running shows in PBS history), showed up on our (black and white) television and made my long, boring ass summers bearable. I was a teenager when ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ captured my weird-kid, budding sci-fi nerd interest and made me super envious of Chief Engineering Officer Geordi La Forge’s visor. But all of that is beside the point. I have always loved me some LeVar Burton.
I’ve dedicated my life to the power of storytelling. Whether I’m acting, directing, writing or podcasting, I believe sharing stories is what I was born to do because storytelling is what brings us all together.
The list of awards, accolades and achievements of this man is long and well-deserved, but for the purpose of this post, we’ll talk about a LeVar Burton rarely experienced by the public: LeVar Burton—O.G. That’s right. I said it. The super nice guy that taught us all to love reading and who introduced us to some of our favorite stories has a gully side. And now I love him even more. Also, he has aged just beautifully. But I digress…
On May 29, 2020, political unrest, the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, and all of the caucasian hand-wringing about looting Target stores climbed on Mr. Burton’s last nerve. And babbbyyyy. Let me tell you. The gentle man with the soothing voice who wrote “The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm” snapped. And. I. Am. Here. For. It.
As you can see, Mr. Burton had time that day.
When the world has pushed my boo—so named with all respect. He’s been happily married to renowned, professional make-up artist, Stephanie Cozart-Burton since 1992. The two have a daughter: Michaela, and a son, Eian Burton, (from a previous relationship)—to the point where he’s dropping F-bombs, shit has gotten real. Everyone has their limits. And apparently, the unchecked murders of Black people in America by police has pushed LeVar Burton to his. Amen, Sir. I totally get it.
To wrap up, (cuz Lord knows, I could write two-thousand words on the impact of this man’s career, his on-going work raising funds for COVID-19 relief, the fact that ‘Reading Rainbow’ is so beloved that a 2014 Kickstarter campaign to bring the show back raised over $5 million and his work with AIDS Research Alliance), I will let the man who repped Africa for our parents, who taught us all the value of a good book, and who was arguably our first introduction to the world of STEM speak. And although he spent 23 seasons assuring us “you don’t have to take my word for it”, this time, I think we actually should…
— LeVar Burton (@levarburton) May 29, 2020
A. Rozelle is a freelance writer and author of one short-story collection, two novels and a screenplay. Her work has been featured in The Dallas Morning News, The Dallas Weekly, Rollin’ Out Magazine and Eclipse Magazine. She resides in Atlanta, GA, where she is hard at work on her third book, which can only be classified as a supernatural-historical-erotic work of genius…or something like that.