My name is Bill O’Neil, and I’m a lawyer for Wayne, Rothstein, and Lincoln. My girl is a sergeant for NYPD in the six precinct, and I take care of my disabled Mom who is suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. My dream is to be a named partner in my firm.
What is your role in the story?
My role honestly is to show that being White, I face biases and discrimination from my own race and other races also. My role shows that in this world stupidity from racial prejudices and biases affect every race and until people embrace it and acknowledge it, there can’t be effective change.
What is your favorite hobby?
My favorite hobby is playing basketball. In my old neighborhood in Queens Bridge, NY I’m known as “Ill Bill” because my skills are sick on the court!
What challenges are you trying to overcome?
When most people see me, they think I’m some spoiled, privileged White boy that had an easy life. They don’t know that my Father left my Mom and me to fend for ourselves when I was young, and I grew up in the projects with my Mom who is still to this day suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. I work my ass off to take care of my Mom, and every day I have to defend my relationship with the world because people assume that the love I have for my African American Girlfriend Ebony isn’t real. Lots of people think that it’s a power thing, but when I look at her, I don’t see race. I just get tired of some minorities assuming that I’m a racist asshole because I’m White or that I don’t care about minorities and what they go through. It’s a battle I have to fight every day.
If you could make one wish, what would you wish for?
If I could make one wish, I’d wish that I could cure my Mom of her sickness. I hate watching her suffer every day. She’s gone through enough in her life. She’s strong, and she puts on a good act like it doesn’t bother her, but I know she’s angry and feels like her MS has ruined her life. I wouldn’t want a wish for myself; I’d only want to make my Mom healthy again.
Title: Black and White
Author: Ben Burgess Jr
When the prestigious law firm of Wayne, Rothstein, and Lincoln catches two major cases—a rape case where a White NBA star allegedly raped a Black stripper, and a murder case where a Black rapper allegedly killed a gay couple and two policemen—Bill O’Neil and Ben Turner are tasked to handle these racially charged litigations. The cases hit emotional chords with the two lawyers and force them to reckon with their interracial relationships and families. Will the racial tension of their cases destroy them or make them stronger?
“Black and White” won the Literary Titan Book Award.
Ben Burgess Jr is the author of the award-winning novels “Monster,” “Wounded,” “Love and Happiness,” ” Daddy’s Girl,” and the new novel “Black and White.” He is an active performer of spoken word poetry. Ben Burgess Jr uses his love of writing to inspire and influence youths to strive for what they believe in and to never give up on their dreams. His novels “Monster” and “Wounded” are currently used in schools on the lower east side of Manhattan. Ben Burgess has a BA degree in Business Management and an MA degree in Educational Leadership. He is the proud father of his daughters Jaelynn and Jaclyn and he is active in trying to improve urban neighborhoods and communities.