Days of Dialogue:
A Southern City Speaks

Knoxville, TN


Michael Fosberg

Michael Fosberg's Biography

Chicago native Michael Fosberg has been working to create a national dialogue on race and identity since 2001 when he launched his one-man autobiographical play Incognito. The author-activist has used the unique presentation, along with engaging interactive training sessions and speeches, to embrace diversity in an effort to change corporate and organization cultures.

He has been a frequent guest in the national media speaking as an expert on race and identity issues. His travels have taken him across the country facilitating meaningful conversations at educational institutions, corporations, government agencies and military bases. His highly praised memoir; Incognito: An American Odyssey of Race and Self Discovery was published in 2011 and his newest book, Nobody Wants to Talk About It: Race, Identity, and the Difficulty in Forging Meaningful Conversations addresses his efforts to provoke conversations about race over the past fifteen years.

His work with organizations such as United Way Worldwide, the FBI, The Boeing Company, The Dept of Homeland Security, Harvard College, Purdue University and others, is reshaping the way organizations converse about race, identity, diversity, and inclusion. He has given Keynote addresses at conferences, conducted workshops and trainings for the “C” suite, and has spent time in classrooms modeling courageous conversations with students and teachers.

His early career work in the fields of acting, writing, teaching and directing prepared him expertly for a life of prolific storytelling. He has worked at a number of prestigious theater companies including the Chicago-based Goodman and Steppenwolf Theaters, and has had small roles in film and television over the years. In addition he has taught theater-based classes at Northwestern and Carnegie Mellon University, as well as an assortment of high schools across the country.

The Book: Nobody Wants to Talk About It

Nobody Wants to Talk About It:
Race, Identity, and the Difficulties in Forging Meaningful Conversations

by Michael Sidney Fosberg

For the past fifteen years, Michael Fosberg has performed an autobiographical one-man play at middle & high schools, colleges, corporations, government agencies and community organizations across the country. The play chronicles the journey to find his biological father and discovering his family’s African-American roots. Having been raised thinking he was White, this sudden discovery of his Black roots had implications beyond simply his own identity. By performing both Black & White characters, intentionally incorporating suggestive racial stereotypes, candidly examining passing, covering, White privilege and code switching, he challenges audiences to openly discuss these issues while also acknowledging their common bonds. In both his show and memoir, INCOGNITO: An American Odyssey of Race and Self-Discovery, published in 2011, he purposefully sets a course to engage people in meaningful conversations about how we see ourselves and others, and the ways in which we do and don’t talk about race & identity. In Nobody Wants to Talk About It, Michael shares stories of his travels across the country to provoke conversations about race & identity. His 15+ years of fostering constructive dialogue lead him to craft seven helpful tools to navigate difficult conversations around issues of race and identity. The book also includes the script of his one-man play Incognito, suggestions for creating space for meaningful dialogue, resource materials and more.