Christopher Rivas is a multi-talented, multi-dimensional writer, speaker, and storyteller to name just a few of his skills. He’s the author of the soon-to-be published book Brown Enough and creator of the Rubirosa podcast. His work encourages us to ask deeper questions about our culture, our histories, and our relationships to the people in our lives.
Today, he’s the first man I’ve had on the Embodied podcast in two years. Christopher and I talk about how we both relate to our Brownness, how whiteness and capitalism have, intentionally or not, separated us from aspects of our cultural heritage, and how storytelling can connect us with pieces of our history we feel removed from.
Christopher shares story after story with us in this episode, from humorous anecdotes about a ridiculously placed shower to heartfelt recollections of how his work allowed his father to reflect on his own assimilation into white culture.
I hope this episode encourages you to keep digging into your own healing and your ancestral history, to keep reaching out with empathy and understanding to those around you, and to learn to build your own stories that can connect you with your own individual culture and your inner self.
In episode 401 we discuss:
[01:19] An introduction to Christopher and his work on storytelling
[08:43] How Christopher’s dating life helped him to reevaluate what he’d been taught about whiteness, beauty, and culture
[13:02] Defining “body of culture” and how it affects Brown people
[17:31] How Christopher’s father and his assimilation into white culture influenced Christopher’s work
[21:22] The healing effect that Christopher’s storytelling work has had on his father and his ability to connect to his original culture
[27:38] The craziest story about LA and inappropriately installed showers from Christopher’s book
[33:32] How learning a new language can be a deeply humbling and empathic experience
[40:41] How Christopher views climate and infrastructure reform as an opportunity to express empathy and care for our neighbors
[44:15] How Christopher discovered the real James Bond (he was Dominican) and why he became so determined to share this story with the rest of world
[51:39] Why stories like Rubirosa offer everyone, regardless of their culture, an opportunity to challenge their heroes and ask better questions about their history
[59:33] Why accepting your multidimensionality and rejecting the “boxes” society places us in can open you up to new realities
For full show notes and resources, head to https://untameyourself.com/podcasts/401
If you’re feeling it, subscribe to the show, and leave us a review wherever you listen from. You can also keep up with show updates and community discussion on Instagram here.