And so I have officially produced my second hip-hop video here in Conyers Georgia. And if I wanted to put any emphasis behind the effort I would say that i've made history (again), except this time in another nook of the world. And Conyers is, well, special.
Remember, we're talking Ku Klux Klan, lynchings and segregation of Black folk here in the deep South; and I'm right smack in the center of it all.
Yes, I know slavery and segregation is so far behind us, however everything here is a result of the past. People who came up then have children who are succeeding because of that "come up." They own businesses, real estate, stocks, etc. Generations of success much of which was built on the backs of enslaved Blacks. Lets keep it real. And still today, if a Black man wants to set up a business here he's gotta be "in the know" both on the city & county level to insure he won't be harassed. I've seen it first hand. They will try and rush that ass out of town, but-fast. And its not just good old boy Whites, its also the Sambo-Blacks that have been embraced by the so-called "superior race." Sure, diversity is growing, and times are a'changin. But this is still one of those "Blue states" as we've seen in the past 2 elections. This is still the land of Paula Dean, and that Paula Dean mentality is well supported and practiced. The town of Conyers has been experiencing White flight for some time now. Folks just intimidated of Blacks & Mexicans, afraids of communicating, understanding or growing together.
Its just what it is. Human being stuff. Nobody is good or bad, its just the reality of the past and the present. This is what Steve Stout might recognize as "the coloring of America," my filming hip hop videos in the heart of post-segregated Conyers...here in the Dirty-Dirty, the deep South version.
And while many major productions have been filmed East of Atlanta, I enjoy working with these regional and local businesses, many of them not familiar with that great digital divide and what it takes to cross over. I'm working with all diversities of people; people who have a product, service or message to share. People who, so far, have maintained their brand, their identity and initiatives. From the local Botox clinic, to the Moroccan butcher, to the NAACP, to the local chiropractor, to the local mixed martial arts fights, to the local fitness gym to the local Starbucks…
I am very local and I enjoy what I do. My environment is very controlled, allowing me to be selective with who I communicate and to associate with credible people. I consider myself secluded as well as very connected, and I STAY productive. So, I ask you what else do I possibly need? Nada!
And while many people look at me and wonder "what happened to him?" and "why isn't he doing this, or driving that, or at that award show…" while you don't see me on any humongous platforms like TMZ or the Jimmy Kimmel show, family, you need to know that my focus is on peace of
mind and progress. If you notice most of what you see on the main stage is controversial or related to big business. And quite frankly, as I just mentioned, I am dealing with local and regional business. I am building their brands and making a name for myself in other ways besides what the world knows me for/authoring books, publishing, etc. This new life took some time to win at; to settle in. Locals were apprehensive about my presence, my voice online and what I was capable of. But how I live is far from controversial.
This area of my life is extremely peaceful and it allows me to work on my health and my mental well-being as well as I am quite productive on writing on publishing on being the "Gordon Parks" that I've always wanted to be.
While the world is focused on all-things-Rihanna and Miley Cyrus, I can feel comfortable in knowing that my life is in check. I can write what I want without any hesitation and I can continue to deliver content that teaches underneath the sensational storylines or plots or subject matter. Naturally, some folks out there haven't read a full-length novel of mine, and maybe they haven't
read ANY novels or books in recent history. But that doesn't lessen your value as far as I'm concerned. I am encouraged in dealing with and helping everybody I can, no matter what skin color you are. Even if you only send/receive text messages or maybe you're dripping in social media (as I am). Perhaps you still read full length physical books, even if they are on the ipad... maybe you're still sending snail mail… I want to embrace you all and help you and be of service to you all if not merely entertaining you or raising your level of awareness.
As usual, I am Relentless
Related: A few other music videos I've produced here in Atlanta