Back in 2016, while at a festival in Chicago, Crim and his wife Cassie Crim, a math teacher at Joliet West High School, were the victims of a hate crime Crim said went viral.
The incident was caught on camera and shared on social media, he said,
“After that was posted, mentally, I was just not in a good place, “Crim said., “More than 20 million people saw the video. It was not a video of me in the best state. I’m used to being composed. I’m used to preparing for things and putting my best food forward. This is how everybody saw me. Now I returned to work knowing most people probably saw that. It was vulnerable for me.”
Crim said as a professional African American man, he often feels as if his professionalism alleviates the racism he experienced in the past, racism that other African Americans often experience.
The realism that he wasn’t shielded hurt.
“It hit me real hard,” Crim said. “Not getting much progress with the [court] case – that didn’t help either.”
So one day in March 2017, shortly after Crim decided to see a therapist and had trouble finding one, he decided to write a book.
Writing a book was a longtime goal of Crim’s. He had never read a complete book until college, just excerpts of books in school, where he relied of Spark notes for the rest, he said.
But after taking a black history course and reading the writes of people like Frederick Douglass, Crim became inspired to write his own book.
“I graduated in 2009 and I still wanted to write a book,” Crim said. “I just really didn’t have anything to talk about or discuss. But I was so inspired by what I had learned in my black history class, I wanted to talk about something related to the topic. I wasn’t sure what I could add. I didn’t think I had any unique insight that was not already published.”
Now he had.