I’ve been involved in Television since the late 1970s. In those days of yesterday, I worked in television news at the local CBS affiliate in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. I was young, fresh, and somewhat of a hit in town because I had made a name for myself as pioneering black athlete at Auburn University. I was also one of the first two blacks anchors to be featured on the television evening news in Birmingham. It was fun! I learned a lot from very experienced people who were outstanding at what they did. I’m grateful to them for what they taught me.
In the 1980s I did my first paid acting gigs. Some were for big screen movie theatres and many were for the small screen of television. I occasionally continue to do these, working as an actor for the big three networks, CBS, ABC, NBC, and pay channel HBO, among others. These jobs have always been fun, paid well, provided work opportunities throughout the United States, and opportunities to attend dress-up, star studded premiere parties in Los Angeles. I’ve worked with stars Carroll O’Connor, Della Reese, Brad Pitt, Ed Norton, Candice Bergen, Luther Vandross, Sally Field, Alfree Woodward, Lawrence Fishburne and many, many others.
One season, I hired on as a radio sports analyst for a Canadian League football team and traveled all across Canada broadcasting games.
Never satisfied, and always seeking more, I’ve written a play, had it produced in Los Angeles, and wrote an autobiography that was published and sold in national retail outlets.
So it seems only natural, at least to me, that an evolutionary move would be to write, produce and direct a film for broadcast television.
That’s where Quiet Courage comes in. Quiet Courage is the story of James Owens, the first African American college scholarship football player in the powerful Southeastern Conference Deep South states of Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. Owens made history by signing with Auburn in 1969. He says now “I didn’t know what I was getting into.” My two favorite taglines from the film’s promotional materials are, “Owens loved his University. She learned to love him back;” and, “He was Bo Jackson before there was a Bo Jackson.” The film premiered on Auburn’s campus on November 10 to a sold out crowd of 350 excited and very appreciative supporters, who laughed, cried, and stood to applaud as the ending credits rolled.
Back to television. The film Quiet Courage will make its broadcast debut on November 26th on the nine-station network belonging to Alabama Public Television. To say I’m excited is an understatement. Working as talent on television is a role I enjoy, but producing, writing, guiding and directing this project from ideas, to concept, financing, preproduction, hiring, collaboration, post production and identifying a broadcast partner is a joyful feeling of immense satisfaction.
Quiet is quite a story. It’s a story I’ve always wanted to tell. James is my friend. We were roommates for a couple of years at Auburn. I lived much of his story with him. To be entrusted with it is quite an honor. If past experience is an example, Quiet Courage will be around for a while. Talks with other broadcasters continue. DVDs are for sale at bestgurl.com.Check it out. You’ll laugh, cry, and gain a full appreciation for the film’s title and its relevance to the protagonist. Quiet Courage, “the ability to face difficulty, uncertainty, or disturbance without being deflected from a chosen course of action.”