In 1967 Dr Matin Luther King was expounding on his “non-violent” philosophy inside of a speech he gave at Stanford University. In he stated and I quote. “We’ve got to get rid of one or two false notions that exist in our society. One is the notion that only time can solve the problem of racial injustice” Dr King continues by saying and I quote. “I am sure you’ve heard of this idea. It is the notion almost that there is something in the very flow of time that will miraculously cure all evils. And I have heard this over and over again; there are those and they are often sincere people who say to negroes and their allies in the white community. That we should slow up and just be nice and patient and continue to pray and in a hundred or two hundred years that the problem will work itself out. Because only time can solve the problem. I have an answer to that myth” Dr King says and concludes by saying. “Time is neutral, it can be used constructively or destructively”

We are now facing the year two thousand and twenty. Fifty three years after Dr. King made this speech titled “The Other America” in which he suggested there were actually two Americas. One was the home of the free and the land of the brave. The other America was home too many who were not brave at all. They were scared. And that these scared people; all shared an appalling silence of a people who witness injustice and say nothing. Or suggest that we wait on time. Since time is neutral and it can be used constructively or destructively; I have been using my love of language to speak on injustices poetically. I have been on many stages in America and halfway around the world and I discovered that poetry alone was not enough. It was very effective in its message but not my most effective use of time. I needed something bold, I needed something that would shake things up. I needed Jane Elliott. She is most known for her “Blue-Eyes Brown-Eyes Exercise” which she conducted the day after Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. I flew out and got her on film. She shared a lot. I am blessed to have a woman as renowned as her on this channel.

However, the experience made me ask myself a few questions.

  1. 1)How do I consistently use this platform and channel to use time constructively, educate, share wisdom and speak out against injustice?
  2. 2)Along with having Jane Elliott on board, could I pull together the community leaders, artists, mentors and business owners of my own back yard to take part in the discussion?
  3. 3)Should I be successful, could I put it in a show format that would focus on solutions instead of the typical debate over the semantics of the problems? 

The answer to these question was “Yes” and “What Needs to Happen” was born. The very first episode aired on this channel on June 26, 2019. And although we we hit ground running with poets like Malik Saunders and myself, authors like Jacqueline Smithson Howard, educators and mentors like Sean King and entrepreneurs with innovative minds like Deanna Vestal and Phillis Clements. Something was missing. We shot seven amazing, thought provoking episodes yet something was missing. The wisdom was there, so was the personality and chemistry of the ensemble that was brought together. The filmmaker in me told me what was wrong. I never let the viewing audience get to know the people from whom the wisdom was coming from. To fix this I asked everyone to tell a story on camera for our season finale of “What Needs to Happen” I also asked the ensemble to have this story outline something in their personal lives that would give the viewing audience an insight into their character. How they really were as a person. An insight into their logic, perspective and how they think. The ensemble responded and I couldn’t be more proud of the stories they have shared. Open your mind and buckle your seat belts. Next stop is the 8th episode and season finale!