S: You’re coming to UNF to speak at the MLK Scholarship Luncheon, and you’ve been able to direct a musical about his life in Atlanta. Having grown up in Atlanta and learned a lot about MLK and his legacy, what does it mean to have the opportunity to do things like that?
JG: I did grow up as a contemporary with MLK’s children and I [knew] his parents, and he was always a real man to me. And as time has gone by he’s become iconic, and in some ways we forget that this is a man. This is a man with inner conflicts, outer conflicts, reluctance that he fought through to do what he did. And for that reason he is that much greater.
This wasn’t a saint that flew down and did this, this was a man that fought obstacles in his own inner life: reluctance, and I think that’s an important message for me to bring to the audience. I don’t know how old my audience is going to be. And I tie it into the show because I know everybody loves A Different World, and Whitley, and I learned a lot doing that show so I have a lot of good stories.
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