Jesse Iwuji knows what it’s like to be different, especially as one of the only black drivers in NASCAR.
So when he heard the story of a particular young boy known as “JT” back in 2015, he knew he wanted to help.
According to Iwuji, JT experienced some “traumatic” events in his childhood that once led him to tell his parents he no longer wanted to be black. Iwuji was heartbroken when he “caught wind” of JT’s story, and decided to write him a letter.
In the letter, Iwuji told JT he was “worthy,” “incredible,” and “the strongest kid I’ve ever heard of.”
“You are more powerful than you will ever imagine, and I see it,” the letter says. “I want you to save this letter, because years from now when you are doing positive and great things in the world as one of the greatest African Americans of your time, I want you to remember that I and all of your new family around you believe in you, JT, you are the one. Promise me you’ll never forget that.”
Iwuji shared an image of the boy and the letter Thursday on Instagram, and pondered where the young man might be today.
“I hope he’s on top of the world 10 yrs from now as a prominent African American helping shape our world for the better. Your character and heart should be the only thing that defines you JT, never forget that 🙏🏾.”
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In 2015 I heard that this child had been adopted by a very nice Christian white family in Texas and his past home was a broken home where he experienced some traumatizing events. Due to the past events in his life, his new parents heard him say words no African American should ever say “I don’t want to be black anymore”. This hurt me so bad when I heard about it. His parents knew that this was serious and they reached out for help. When I caught wind of it through a mutual friend, I wrote JT this letter. I hope he’s on top of the world 10 yrs from now as a prominent African American helping shape our world for the better. Your character and heart should be the only thing that defines you JT, never forget that 🙏🏾.
Thumbnail photo via Peter Casey/USA TODAY Sports Images