Across the Fence

Couple things about this video:

1. I've heard this story somewhere between 40 and 640 times, and it gets better every time I hear it.


2. I actually do incorporate it in my book. (My version of the story is much, um, different though.)

3. If this happened today — a Black couple and a Black grandmother getting racial slurs hurled at them, and responding by trashing the store, breaking an arm, and getting arrested — I have no doubt someone would have captured it and shared it on Facebook. And WorldStar.

4. The Isaly's deli apparently never opened up again. (I'm not quite sure if they shut down because of the incident. But I want to believe that so that's what I'm going to believe.)


#AcrossTheFence (Damon's parents shut down Isley's) from Damon Young on Vimeo.

Anyway, if you can, please record stories with your own families. It could be your parents or grandparents. Aunts or uncles. It could even be your own kids. Tomorrow is national #AcrossTheFence day, and we'll share as many as we can.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a columnist for, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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