This winter, Glanville stepped out of his Hartford, Conn., home to shovel his family's driveway when his day took a sudden, shitty turn:
Just as I was good-naturedly turning all this over in my mind, my smile disappeared.
A police officer from West Hartford had pulled up across the street, exited his vehicle, and begun walking in my direction. I noted the strangeness of his being in Hartford—an entirely separate town with its own police force—so I thought he needed help. He approached me with purpose, and then, without any introduction or explanation he asked, "So, you trying to make a few extra bucks, shoveling people's driveways around here?"
All of my homeowner confidence suddenly seemed like an illusion.
Glanville explained to the officer that he owned the home, and was eventually left to get back to his shoveling. No, Glanville wasn't thrown to the ground or pepper sprayed, but as he explores in his essay, it's tiny injustices like these that add up to make even the most successful black men in America feel like they will never fully belong:
In a sense, the shoveling incident was a painful reminder of something I've always known: My biggest challenge as a father will be to help my kids navigate a world where being black is both a source of pride and a reason for caution. I want them to have respect for the police, but also a healthy fear—at least as long as racial profiling continues to be an element of law enforcement. But I also want them to go into the world with a firm sense of their own self-worth.
Glanville is a very thoughtful guy, and his essay is worth reading.