Forty two years ago, LeVar Burton played the role of Kunta Kinte in Roots and told the story of racism in America. Today, the actor is continuing to use his art to address matters of race.

As part of his lifelong effort to bridge the gap between races, the 62-year-old went to Twitter on the first day of 2020 and launched a video series titled This is My Story. The series has been uploaded to his Twitter. 

"I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the state of race relations in America," Burton wrote on Twitter. "One thing I learned from the success of ROOTS (if you don’t know, you better ask somebody) 42 years ago, was the power of storytelling as a way to bridge the gap between races … Like ROOTS did so long ago, my intention in sharing these stories is to provide anecdotal context for being Black in America.”

The actor, also known as "the Reading Rainbow guy," said he "believes in the power of storytelling to move the culture forward."

"To that end, some friends and I have created a few videos, 6 in all, that chronicle some of the racist experiences most Black people who live in America, have in common," Burton tweeted. 

The first installment of the six-part series details Burton's experience as a Black student at the University of Southern California, where he was continuously profiled by Los Angeles police.

"One night he was walking and seemingly from nowhere his path was cut off by an LAPD cruiser," the actor said as he told his story in the video. "The doors fly open and suddenly he is staring down the barrel of a shotgun at point-blank range. Once again, he fit the description of someone wanted by law enforcement for committing crimes in the neighborhood."

What happened next became a defining moment for Burton.

"He recognized the officer who was demanding to see his identification," the acclaimed storyteller said. "He had been detained by this very same cop only a few nights before and the week before that. A dawning realization hit him that they didn't see him at all. They only saw the color of his skin and to them, that meant he didn't belong there. I'm LeVar Burton and that's my story." 

The rest of the series chronicles real-life experiences from Burton's friends. 

Another part of the video series tells the story of a 15-year-old Black boy from South Central Los Angeles who faced racial abuse when he went to play basketball with a few teenagers in the rich neighborhood of his white, Jewish friend in Woodland Hills, California.

"A large, clearly intoxicated Caucasian man staggered out of his home and without warning, yells out 'you take your pet n****r and get the f**k out of our neighborhood," Burton said. "The four teenagers decided to approach the man. But before they could act, another man of similar size stepped out of the home and joined in on the verbal barrage. 'You know what we do with n****rs and Jew boys around here? Y'all are about to find out.' The four teenagers bolted. The parents called the police and nothing came of the matter." 

Burton's video series also includes the story of a boy who was spat on by a “grizzled old white man” in a fast-food restaurant in Georgia.

"Unless you have walked the walk of the African American experience in this country, it is difficult — not impossible — but difficult, to know what that journey is on the daily," the actor tweeted. "Trust me when I say, being Black in America is not for the weak of heart. Neither is it for the weak in Spirit. For, being Black in America oftentimes means living in and loving a country, that does not love us back. You may take exception to my premise but you cannot discount my experience."

"In the series, it’s clear Burton isn’t just a storyteller; he’s carrying the stories and their residual pain inside of him," Teri Weigel, PR director at The Creative Group, said in a statement to Blavity. "The project is his invitation to America to see itself through the lenses of Black folks, whose daily experiences of racism outnumber the grains of sand on the Atlantic seashore."

The Sacramento native was honored in his hometown in June when a park was named after him, as Blavity previously reported.

“Mr. Burton’s career accomplishment shows the possibilities that are open to all residents, no matter where they come from,” Councilmember Larry Carr said in a statement. “He is an inspiration to our youth, to people of our community and to everyone in Sacramento.”