Last week, in the first days of Black History Month, a collection of essays written by luminaries in the black community was published. The book, BLACK COOL, is an anthology on cultural aesthetics edited by a national best-selling author, and has a forward written by a Harvard University professor with numerous honorary degrees and awards. The most surprising aspect of all of this is the matter of my own involvement—I wrote an essay that appears in the book. I’ve written two novels, two plays, three screenplays, many short stories, several TV scripts, and dozens of poems in my writing life, but prior to last year, I’d never written an essay. What’s more, I’d never written an essay that I didn’t want to write. But I did. And it got published. I’m going to tell you why.