An Open Fan Letter to Michael B. Jordan / by Lauren Rascoe

Dear Mike,

You may never see this. May never even catch a glimpse of this have or the opportunity to read and interpret these words that are meant for you, but if you do I hope they embrace you lovingly. I hope you are filled and feel that you are seen. If nothing else, I hope you feel appreciated. For your craft, for your time, for your talent, and for your efforts because you’re making a difference. Who you are and what you are doing matters.

Your existence matters.

I want to say that I am proud of you. From the depths of my soul, I am so, so proud of you. Not because of your fame or your “celebrity.” (Although it warms my spirit to see you shine.) Nor for your beautifully crafted physique or face. (Although I do thank God for making you all the time.)

No.

I am proud of you for simply being and always becoming. You are a force to be reckoned with and the real YOU seemingly always shines through. I have watched you for a LONG time through television and movie screens with awe. With hope. And somewhat with attachment, because you do make people feel something in everything you do. It amazes me how a brown skin boy from Newark has risen to the occasion and made his dreams become reality by fully being everything he puts his mind to. And now, you’re paving the way for others to be able to do the same. I understand it takes a lot of work and dedication. And as long as you’ve been in this game, I know it was not an overnight success, but a lot of nights that led to your success. I am sure there were plenty of set backs and uncertain steps, but Michael Bakari Jordan, you are doing it. Seeing you pave this road makes me feel like this brown skin girl from Indianapolis can do it too. And that it’s okay that my spirit doesn’t want to settle on one thing like society sometimes tells us to. I can do as little or as much as I desire as long as I continue to put my mind to it.

I’ve watched and read most of your interviews, because it intrigues me how much you walk in your truth. How human you are. How planted your feet are in self and how deeply your passion runs through your heart! You literally remind of the kind of guys I had as best friends growing up. Real funny, goofy, and chill, but definitely knew how to handle business when it came down to it. Even in your truth, you truly are an Outlier. (which make Outlier Society Productions make sense). You always bring you to the forefront and it’s refreshing to see a black man who loves God connected to such a strong support system of friends and family having success in a way the world can see. Your life’s narrative paints a picture that the world, let alone most black people, don’t get to see often. From your upbringing to your every day realities, you always show up as a human being. You show us all the time that you have worries. You have concerns. You have dreams. Things that you want to see happen. You haven’t forgotten where you came from. Humbly, you’re not bigger, better, or above anyone or anything because you carry this air that you’re just like the next guy; just trying to make a difference. I see so much of myself in you and your family/friends reflected in my own life. You all are a a positive representation, that let’s me know that its possible to kill the crabs in the bucket mentality so all of us can eat. It inspires me to keep going, keep creating, and keep working at my passions — even if I don’t know exactly what it all will amount to.

To see you growing in this “new,” but not so new and ever changing, untraveled space is a blessing and I hope that “we” never push you off the edge. I know that when your words and your intentions are misconstrued and your audiences won’t let you enjoy life just being you, it becomes tiring. It’s got to be frustrating. To feel like the world is holding you on a pedestal with expectations that aren’t yours and demanding you carry out your life how they see fit because you’re “famous” is off-putting, maybe even discouraging. I bet that feels like sometimes the world is pretending to hold you up so that they can watch you fall. I know it’s rough, but I see you. I see you trying to figure it out. And from one creative to another trying to navigate uncharted spaces, I pray it gets easier for you. I empathize with the struggle, even if I don’t know it exactly. And I pray you find your balance and that you truly take care of you too. I pray that as you continue to excel — the love and dating nuances lessen. I will say this as a black woman, your choice in a life partner is yours. Quite frankly, it’s none of my business and will never be. Even though you’re my husbae in my little world over here — I know the right person at the right time will meet you exactly where you are supposed to be met. And it won’t matter what none of us, fans or critics, think. You deserve a love that’s true and I pray you find it when it’s right.

To close this I want to reiterate again, how proud of you, I am. For never giving up on this thing, even when you felt like it. Thank you for using your gifts. For dedicating your self to each and every role. Writing back stories. Challenging yourself physically and mentally to embody each and every character fully. Getting behind the camera. Directing. Producing. Being a change maker with inclusion riders. For starting Outlier Society Productions and encouraging people like me to create my own stories.

For being true, to you. Even when it’s difficult.

I am grateful for you and always excited about what life will bring. Keep on doing the damn thing.

Thank you for making a difference.

With love always,

Lauren Rascoe