You must understand that my Dad, in his time, actually carried guns, and from the time I fully knew what it meant to serve in Vietnam, to come home and become a Panther, to point a rifle at a cop, I was fascinated. I still am. I think part of it is knowing that while you may one day write for the Atlantic, you will never knuckle up on the streets of West Philly, fly off to Vietnam and take a lover, come home toting guns, talking Fanon, and then say, "Meh, I've got kids. Time to work at a library."
Do you know, I never think about it, Tavis, as sacrifice.
I'm particularly blessed and gifted. I went to library school, Atlanta University. I went to get a master's degree so that I could come back and hopefully work at Howard University, work in their Black history collection, and thereby satisfy the inner part of my soul, you know, see? And in doing that, the way was made for Ta-Nehisi and for my other kids to go to school.
So it wasn't a sacrifice at all. I loved going to work every day, working at Howard University.
Both the column and the interview are worth reading, and are about very different things from the bits I quote, but those parts were the ones I wanted to post and juxtapose.