WATCH: ‘Talking About Race’ -- an important conversation

Bridging the racial gaps that pull us apart

A high school student looking toward college.

A trained chef.

A therapist and mental health advocate.

A senior VP for a tech firm.

And, a bishop.

Watch the special program in the videos on this webpage.

As part of WSOC-TV’s ongoing “Talking About Race” initiative, reporter Ken Lemon sat down with five Black men from different walks of life. The conversation that resulted is an eye-opening perspective on bridging the racial gaps that pull us apart.

From colorism, to microaggressions, to having to use their “white voices” — the similarities in their experiences defy their 47-year age range.

“I’m very cautious of when I walk in that room and I’m the only Black person. It changes,” explained Leaton Harris, the tech company VP.

“It puts us as Black men to have to always be at a place of defense,” said John McCullough, the bishop and community leader.

From chef Chayil Johnson, on losing a friendship over racial differences at age 8: “His grandfather brought him over to my house to tell me that he couldn’t play with me anymore.”

“I felt like at no point I was allowed to slip up,” recalls therapist Rwenshaun Miller, who says racism played a part in his three suicide attempts when he was younger.

Seventeen-year-old Raymon Curry, whose participation in last year’s protests included an exchange that went viral, believes he and his peers have a great responsibility.

“I’m like, they rely on you. You are the leader of your generation. So what can you do to better the world that we live in?”