Levar Burton: Reading Rainbow Bae


I LoVe-ar Burton

I met LeVar Burton at Florida SuperCon.

And I cried. Real ugly. Snot and all. Bad. Not a singular thug tear rolling gracefully down my cheek, but an awkward choke-sob. Bad.

I managed to be partially coherent. I did my best to form sentences in front of someone I hadn’t even realized was so important to me.


I stood in line, and it moved pretty quickly. From behind two other fans I saw his prices, and after scoffing repeatedly, I decided I would just talk to him. For free.  As I opened my mouth, my eyes filled with tears.

I’d spent years worth of Saturday mornings with him. For a three-year-old that could read it was like Oprah’s Book Club. The Reading Rainbow was a weekly wish list for the literate toddler elite.


LeVar Burton is black excellence. All in one singular pop-culture era he was our past, present, and future. He was history, literacy, and science fiction all in one breath.


He embodied Alex Haley’s “Kunta Kinte” turned “Toby”, hosted the world’s most diverse children’s show, and starred as Geordi La Forge; Chief Engineer and Lieutenant Commander of the USS Enterprise. All at once he was the unyielding  spirits of our ancestors, a buttress for our imaginations, and the ingenuity and hope of our future.


LeVar Burton was IT for me. And obviously, as evidenced by my tear-stained twenty-six-year-old face, he still is. Standing there in front of my pre-k idol, I cried unexpectedly. It snuck up on me clenching my throat and burning my eyes like an expired 4 Loko.

I loved him. I love him still. He was so effortlessly fly in his linen fit and 90s-magician jewelery.  His brow wrinkled in surprise and confusion before his eyes softened. He smiled and I felt a little less like a freak. He gave me two fist bumps and a handshake.


I wish I could have said all the things that I’ve written here. I wish I would have said any of this. What I did manage to squeak out was a snotty apology peppered with mutterings about the importance of representation and Saturday morning cereal binges. What I should have said was nothing.

He encouraged us to explore our ancestry. He encouraged literacy and incredulity. He showed us that we too have a place in the stars. His show highlighted characters, authors, and children of color. He showed me, me.


But hey, don’t take my word for it.

I love you. Go read books!

Roze Goes

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Roze Goes

When Roze first went in 2012,  it was kind of like a journal ... that other people could read. Embarassing. But I'm realizing that my voice, my experiences, my representation and narrative are valuable. There's room enough for me too. My talents and interests. My time is now. Roze

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