(Photo Credit: Jonathan Mannion)
‘I ain’t forgot that I’m a legend/and I know where I come from and I know where I’m headed’ –Murs “3:16 Pt.2”
A few years ago I had a meeting with Steve Stoute. He’s one of the masterminds behind Jay-Z’s mega business brand outside of the music. He tried to take Nas there back in the day, but Nas is too much of an artist to take that route as a thinking man’s musician. Anyway, in Steve’s old office, which had this judge’s chambers feel, were these huge ass, high ass walls. They seemed to go on forever. On the left wall was a gigantic blown up speech, framed just right, of Sidney Poitier’s acceptance speech for an Honorary Oscar for his body of work at the 74th annual Academy Awards. It shocked me to see it in such prominent space and the words given a powerful stance of largeness and weight, cause as I remember him delivering the stirring words of wisdom I felt empowered. Mr. Poitier made me feel like anything is possible, like my own journey is an impossible dream of a sliver of a vision born on a low-income block in Brooklyn, NY.
Please View His Amazing Speech Here
There’s been bigger dreams fulfilled from way humbler beginnings though. That’s why those words stuck with me so hard, even before that day at Steve’s office. To understand what Sidney endured back in the 1950s and 60s in the face of oppression makes me ashamed to complain about the things I do in place of the advancements we’ve made in the entertainment industry today. Now I’m not taking my right to be mad at flagrant dealings and situations, I’m just saying compared to the days that Sidney had to endure I don’t have much to beef about now.
This brings me to the legend quote by the rapper Murs that starts this blog. Recently on a “Follow Friday” addition of Twitter I was listed with an esteemed group of urban writing folks. I’ve strived to be placed in such high regard, yet feel as though there is so much more to accomplish and being among some of the greats in anyone’s estimation is reward enough. It still rattles around my head that greatness lies in the work that comes forth and experience from previous efforts spurs the new. With that outlook I plan to see things before me as fresh for creation and not just another project to consume. I hope you do the same, as you never know how your acts of self-assurance can help others
Thank you Mr. Sidney Poitier. I hope t