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Emmanuel Acho will make you uncomfortable—and that’s his point

Steve Yount, a senior fellow with the Denison Forum, is a former newspaper editor and public-relations executive working with Christian ministries.

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Philadelphia Eagles tight end Trey Burton (88) has a photo taken with former Eagles linebacker Emmanuel Acho
In this Nov. 19, 2017, file photo, then-Philadelphia Eagles tight end Trey Burton (88) has a photo taken with former Eagles linebacker Emmanuel Acho prior to an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth, File)

When Minneapolis police killed George Floyd last summer, leading to racial protests around the country, Emmanuel Acho seized the moment. In fact, he called it his “Esther moment.”

He began hosting a series of videos featuring conversations about race with guests like Matthew McConaughey and Chip and Joanna Gaines. The videos quickly went viral, attracted the attention of Oprah Winfrey, and led to a book, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.

Acho, a Fox sports analyst and former NFL player, is the son of Nigerian immigrants. Although his father is a Dallas pastor, Acho’s book is not explicitly Christian in content. However, Acho writes in the acknowledgements: “I’m honored that God equipped and called me to be a messenger in this moment. Jesus’s love for me has set the bar for the way in which I’m called to love people, and the way in which I’m called to love you, the reader.”

Acho tackles subjects like White privilege, implicit bias, and systemic racism. Each chapter begins with a question from an email he received, such as “Should I teach my kids to ‘see color’?” and “How can I have white privilege if I’m not wealthy?”

“Getting uncomfortable is the whole idea,” he writes. “Everything great is birthed through discomfort.”

If you’re White, as I am, the book will make you uncomfortable. But it will also lead to a greater understanding of your brothers and sisters in Christ.

That’s worth a little discomfort.