A deep spiritual connection, inner strength and intelligence have guided Hart from severe trauma to a present filled with compassion and professional accomplishment.
"I started using poetry as a way to let people have access the emotional truth of it without being overwhelmed."
"Take an acting class. For what reason? To develop your empathy and your compassion."
"I said my name is Hart, and I'm a survivor of sexual abuse, and thanks for being here. And that broke the dam."
"I had a interesting encounter at my mother's funeral—my childhood abuser showed up."
"Sexual assault...throws us off course. But that's all it does...It doesn't steal our potential."
"When we walked out the door, all those projections are put on you. But in that particular space, I felt like a human being."
"I could feel them, but I couldn't express them."
"We can talk about domestic violence. We can talk about alcoholism and addiction. But this is taboo."
"Humanity is in great need of the healing wisdom that this tribe of silent thrivers must quietly hold."
"I thought about all the little girls & boys who were living through what I had lived through, and that it needed to be talked about."
"The question was—well, what's gonna happen?"
"I got...Well you know he must be gay...You know he's not a real man...You know he is just a weak person."
"That moment of—we can do this, together we can do this—was really great."
"I thought that the abuse had stolen all of me, and there was a very specific moment when my spirit taught me that it was still there."
"There's a spiritual spark inside of all of us which is an imperative to survive, to thrive, and to heal."
"What I knew was I could live through this trigger because I lived through other ones."
"The journey from there to here has been a pretty long, difficult, challenging, but worthy journey. And I'm thriving."
"I woke up, and this gentleman was in my bed and trying to assault me."
"At first I thought—wait a minute, I had to live through this, and you mean to tell me you can't even read about it?"
For years, Hart believed that the abuse he suffered “had stolen all of me,” but a profound experience taught him otherwise. It was a Wednesday night meeting of a men’s Survivors of Incest Anonymous group. It was during the Easter season. The spiritual, “He Would Not Come Down From the Cross Just to Save Himself,” was resonating in his mind, and for days it had haunted Hart. He took a break from the meeting and went into the men’s room. In the mirror Hart saw a vision: a cross, and a man on the cross, and the spiritual playing over and over in his mind. And then the man on the cross morphed into a four year old child, the same age as Hart was when the sexual abuse that scarred his childhood began. And in the instant of that vision Hart understood that the abuse had not stolen all of him; that a spirit had always been there, a part of him, protecting and guiding him. Decades later, as he recounts this, Hart is filled with emotion, the meaning of that vision still deeply resonant.
Guided by that spirit, and relying on his inner strength and intelligence, Hart has successfully navigated these challenging waters. He is a man who suffered childhood sexual abuse and adult rape in a world struggling to accept that men too are sexually assaulted. Hart is a black man living in a country that still struggles to acknowledge the profound depth of its long history of racism.
Today, he is an attorney, a professional actor, a poet, and the CEO and co-founder of Hart Learning Group, an executive coaching and corporate consulting firm.
He first spoke publicly about his sexual abuse on BET’s Our Voices, and stood with 200 other male survivors in the final season of the Oprah Winfrey Show. Hart continues to speak, and shares his “poetry with a purpose,” with groups and conferences around the country.