ULM: What inspired you to write your book, Dark Skinned?
I was inspired to write Dark Skinned after listening to some people share on Youtube who had went through similar situations growing up that I did. Hearing their stories helped me heal and deal with some issues I had been holding onto. I was eager to share to so could be that motivation for someone else. I started out writing the stories for blog entries but I soon realized the content was more in depth and needed to be housed in a book. Being Dark Skinned was specifically what I had to deal with but that issues are interchangeable- one could be over weight, too short, too tall, not athletic etc. I believe talking about your issues can help others deal with theirs.
ULM: Did you always want a career as an author?
That desire came later. I always wanted to motivate and inspire people around me so I have always been in the light. Becoming an author was a natural progression to building greater influence.
ULM: How would you describe your writing style using only three words?
Open. Honest. Transparent.
ULM: What is the message you would like readers to take from reading your novel?
You can control everything that happens to you but you can control your response to it. Don’t let dark moments make you dark. Use those moments to create light in dark places.
ULM: Why is it challenging to get African American men to share their experiences caused by their darker skin tone?
From youth, African American boys are told to stop crying and to man up. Showing emotions not equated to masculinity. Little boys are often forced to grow up to fast becoming man too soon. It’s easier to suppress the hurt then risk being viewed as weak.
ULM: Do you think the racism in America will ever end?
Honestly, I do not. I think it will become harder to openly display it. Racism is a legacy. Racist pass those ideas down to their children.
ULM: You mentioned holding a B.A. in Ethno-Musicology. Can you explain what it was like studying for that?
Half of my academic career was spent in the music department and the other was spent in the history department learning about the African Diaspora. Not only were Africans shipped off like cattle but the oppressors tried to erase their history. There is evidence in the music of African American Music that supports Deculturization was not successful.
ULM: You mentioned that African American men are supposed to be big and strong all the time. That they are not supposed to cry. I’ve also noticed that this stigma sticks to all men despite color of skin tone. Why do you think society view men in this way?
We are what we see. Men have traditionally been the head of the house hold, the primary provider, and the stronger sex. That image is everywhere in history and media. Anything that doesn’t fit that norm is not accepted.
ULM: How did your masters in entertainment, help prepare you as a newspaper executive, singer, songwriter and being an author?
It helped me pay more attention to presentation and packaging. A good idea will stay that if you do not connect the right people and get others to buy. We can limit our growth because of our inability to reach out. We do not have to be masters of everything.
ULM: What songs have you written?
My most recent song is one called “Flawed” that sums up many of the emotions I dealt with growing up dark skinned. I went through a phase where I questioned God’s intentions in creating me flawed. I want my music to articulate feelings people are sometimes reluctant to express.
ULM: Do you have more books planned, if so, can you share that with us, readers?
I want to do another book of “Dark Skinned” stories. I want to change the approach by interviewing others who have stories to tell. I also want to do a children’s book describing how great the world would be if we follow the rules we had on the playground. Be nice and wait your turn.
ULM: What lead you to the media and entertainment industry?
I love to create content for others to enjoy and/or scrutinize. I like tough conservations this career path welcomes those types of conversations.
Sound of David LLC