Column: Seek first to understand in uncomfortable conversations

Burt Reynolds flew into Tallahassee in a private plane back in the early 1980s with a 17-year-old high school running back for an official visit. Yes, it was legal for alumni to provide transportation back then, which the NCAA later put the kibosh on. The prospect and I apparently hit it off and he began to ask me questions, one of which stopped me in my tracks.

“What’s it like to be black in the south?” he asked.

My mind raced with words but my lips didn’t part. After an uncomfortable . . .

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