Black At 32

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A man discovers his new identity in mid-life.

Michael Sydney Fosberg was 32 years old when he decided to call his
father for the first time. After dialing the first number on his list
he discovered the voice on the other end of the line was his dad. This
father Son reunion was surprising as Fosberg’s father soon revealed
that he was African American; shaking Fosberg’s understanding that he
was white.

According to Fosberg the
realization explained his strong connection to African American people
and culture that he often took for granted. Fosberg’s friends often
joked that he had to be black as he recited Richard Pryor routines, a
famous African American stand-up comedian. His realization answered the
questions he often asked his mother as to where he acquired his curly,
afro style hair.

Fosberg stated
that searching for his family allowed him to look for the final piece
of the puzzle. He stated that walking through his grandparents home for
the first time, was like walking through a museum because they kept
many sentimental artifacts. Fosberg learned that his great, great
grandfather was the 54th regiment of the colored infantry unit and his
great grandfather Charles Lefty Robinson was the star pitcher in the
Negro League for the ST. Louis Stars.

For Fosberg telling his story was more than necessary. Through his one man play Incognito and recently published autobiography Incognito: An American Odyssey of Race and Self Discovery,
Fosberg tells his perplexing story while challenging people to question
the ways in which they identify themselves and other people. He says he
hopes his work will encourage people to have open and fearless
conversations about race.

 For more information about Incognito, go to


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