Created by Cyrus Webb for Shadow Play Entertainment in April 2006, Conversations Magazine is a colorful combination of the arts, entertainment, fashion, food and health. Get exclusive interviews, great tips and suggestions for the entire family. To see how you can be featured or to advertise with Conversations, contact Cyrus Webb at email@example.com or 601.896.5616.
Click cover to order Conversations Magazine's Anniversary Issue 2019
Feeding Your Love of Life!
Sunday, July 28, 2019
LeRon Barton: Using His Gifts to Make a Difference One Milestone at a Time
by Cyrus Webb
It's hard to believe I first
interviewed LeRon Barton some six years ago, and in the years that have
passed we both have grown and expanded in our work. As an author, contributing
writer and motivational speaker he is able to use his platform to not just
inspire others but get them to thinking about issues that matter to him and affect individuals around the world.
In 2018 he was able to fulfill a
long-time dream: deliver his own Ted Talk. In this conversation we talked not just
about that experience what’s to come.
LeRon could you have imagined when you
began this journey as an author in 2013 that you would be where you are today,
achieving the things that you have?
No! I mean it's funny how like life
sort of takes you right? I mean I started out with my first book. I wanted to
write something, as I said in the first interview, that was really impactful.
And Straight Dope was a labor of love. I learned how to write a book, then
going on to becoming a contributing writer to a lot of sites.
And it's just been like everything just
seems to be building up to this moment and it's going to build further. I am
just truly grateful. God has really blessed me, and I love the movement, I love
the struggle. I love how far I have come, and because I am so busy, Cyrus, and
because I am moving all of the time, I don't really get a chance to step back
and look at okay what have I done before. I am not really that kind of person
to brag on myself, but like when you brought it up like when we first talked in
2013 I was like wow it's been awhile.
And I think the consistency is
important. I can definitely appreciate that about you, LeRon. You have been consistent over the years as
well as dedicated. Even for those who don't know about Straight Dope I think we
should tell them even from the very beginning when you introduced yourself to
the world as an author you were bringing attention to causes even then. Do you
feel as though now some six years later that your voice has just become more amplified
and that you are able to do that in such a bigger way?
Absolutely. I am constantly talking
about social issues, whether it be drug abuse, racism or others. At the end of
the day I am just being of service, and I am speaking for people who do not
have a voice. I think that's so important. As many accolades as I get or as I
may get in the future, at the end of the day everything stems from the writing
and also giving people a platform and speaking for those who may not be able to
speak for themselves.
An obvious question would be then for those who are looking at this path that
you have been on is how does it begin? When did you first realize that you had
a message you wanted to share in some form or fashion, because even though the
methods have evolved, whether it's going from books to contributing writing to
now speaking you've known that you have this platform. When did that become
clear to you that you had something that you wanted to share?
It's crazy. At my basis I am a writer
and a poet. It just comes from my mother. She always said if you are not helping
out you are not doing anything. I love to talk about things that are going on
around me. I am very fascinated with people. I am pretty sure you know this, I
am a pretty inquisitive dude. I just like hearing what people have to say.
So my being a writer, I also know it's
a responsibility for me to talk about what's going on. I love writing fiction,
but I kind of got away from that so now I just write about social causes,
things that are happening. I write about being a young black man in America in
addition to speaking for those who can't quite articulate what's going on but want
to express themselves.
So it's all about telling a story as well as giving people a peek into my life.
You did that in a very big way, LeRon,
in 2018. I was so proud of you when I first saw on Instagram about you were going
to be giving a TED Talk. You talked about even online how that had been a dream
of yours. What was it like for you to have that dream realized?
I love that question. I always was
really fascinated by TED Talks. It was one of those sort of like pie in the
sky things, and so what happened was my now fiancé and I we went to one of
her friend's house. She had a book how to give a TED Talk, and it just kind of made
it real, like okay this is actually attainable. I applied to about two or three of them, and I
got in to one in Florence, Alabama for Tedx Winston Park.
I knew that I wanted to talk about
something that was very personal. I had been putting off talking about my
stutter, but I was like you know what? Let me be as honest as I possibly
can. So I started to talk about it and formulated a speech, and I
delivered it, and it was truly like one of the greatest moments in my life. Being
on a Ted stage, I mean, the name is just synonymous with just brilliant ideas.
I am not saying that mine was brilliant, but just being there was an amazing
And I will tell you, Cyrus, as great as it was to deliver it the response was
just as great. I mean I have messages all of the time saying ‘hey man your Tedx
it really inspired me. You showed me that we can live with stutter and do these
things.’ I’ve been talking to so many people. And it's something that I kind of
thought of recently and it's like act as if you are an inspiration to everyone,
move as if you are inspiring someone.
What a great example of what we can
achieve if we are willing to take the first step. Since that Tedx talk LeRon
has achieved other milestones, including walking in a fashion show! This goal is to continue to motivate and
inspire others to go after their goals and dreams, using his gift with words to
reach people online as well as offline.