With acting, I started very young, and I'd performed for a lot of children in boarding schools, late at night after the dormitory lights were out. I'd have a flashlight, and I'd be Count Dracula, or Shakespeare, or Yogi Bear, and leap from bunk to bunk. I loved the laughter; I liked the way it made people feel.
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I don't feel that no big stone should be put over my head, saying he did this, he did that. Unless there's something that I really did do. I believe I'm just ordinary. And I'd like for people to think of me that way, as just a guy that tried. Wanted to be loved by other people because he loved people.
The only way I see the world now is through coming out of and growing up and living in Somalia. In the time of war, everyone was basically trying to live and manage the best they could. But you also had another period which was not a hard time at all – it was just a beautiful time. I lived in both eras.
It's about people rising up in Ferguson and in Egypt and in Occupy Wall Street and in every place where a community has had enough and decides to make change happen. It's not about praising one charismatic leader but celebrating thousands of them… 'Black Messiah' is not one man. It's a feeling that, collectively, we are all that leader.
So many people think that if you're writing fantasy, it means you can just make everything up as you go. Want to add a dragon? Add a dragon! Want some magic? Throw it in. But the thing is, regardless of whether you're dealing with realism or fantasy, every world has rules. Make sure to establish a natural order.
Back when we was in school in Mississippi, we had Little Black Sambo. That's what you learned: Anytime something was not good, or anytime something was bad in some kinda way, it had to be called black. Like, you had Black Monday, Black Friday, black sheep… Of course, everything else, all the good stuff, is white. White Christmas and such.