October 12, 2017 

By Lapacazo Sandoval 

Contributing Writer 

 

We live in an ugly world and as human beings, our very survival means the death of another species.  To say it’s a “dog-eat-dog” world where only the strongest survive is saying it very mildly. For the past 30 years, award-winning journalist Ed Gordon has been reporting the good, bad, ugly, and the hopes of the world—he is a walking and breathing living legend and he’s known and regarded for his no-nonsense interview style and his ability to land exclusive interviews with top headline makers.

 

Perhaps the name doesn’t ring as loud as Oprah Winfrey but I suggest that you take a second listen.  Mr. Gordon has covered stories for BET, Dateline, NPR, and 60 Minutes Wednesday, among countless others. Thank the heavens for the world-wide-web because you can go back and listen to some of his most notable interviews, which include an exclusive with Janet Jackson discussing her secret marriage, one-on-one interviews with Presidents Obama and Clinton, and the highly anticipated first interview with OJ Simpson following his murder acquittal. He’s also sat down with the late actor/director Sidney Poitier, and rapper Tupac Shakur, and the late singer Whitney Houston.

 

Ed Gordon is a very tall man with light soulful eyes and a voice that drifts into your ears and settles in your soul.  He is the voice of authority and we trust him because—frankly—he’s truth-worthy and in these curious times, finding someone that speaks “the-truth-the-whole-truth-so help me God”—is needed like air in the lungs.

 

Mr. Gordon is back with a new newsmagazine show, “Ed Gordon”, which airs on Monday nights on the Bounce network.

 

Keeping it 100—I was not familiar with the network which is six years old.  According to their press release, Bounce is the nation’s fastest-growing television network designed for African-American audiences.

 

Make no mistake, Mr. Gordon will be bringing the fire to every episode, he told me as much. The October 2, show featured a well-documented conversation with famed comedian and talk show host Steve Harvey, outspoken U.S. Congress­woman Maxine Waters, rising star of ABC’s Black-ish Yara Shahidi, and GRAMMY®-winning singer-songwriter Gregory Porter.

 

In New York, I had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Gordon about the direction of his show — Ed Gordon, while waiting inside the sales offices of the Bounce network. 

 

Here is a very brief excerpt from my hour-long interview with living legend—Ed Gordon.

 

L.A. Watts Times (LAWT):  What do you want people to know about your newsmagazine show, Ed Gordon, which is on Bounce?

 

Ed Gordon (EG): Bounce has given me a great opportunity to do the kind of show that I’ve always wanted to do. I hate to use this as a comparison but the format is like 60 minutes. In the 4th edition, we decided to do some profiles. Very eclectic the people that we have.

 

LAWT: Eclectic is right.  I’d never think that I would see a show with [U.S. Congresswoman] Maxine Waters, and a teen actress.  Miss Yara Shahidi has received a lot of love from the media, and the First Lady Michelle Obama providing her with a college letter of recommendation.

 

EG:  Yara Shahidi (Black-ish) is a remarkable young lady. She and I have gotten to know each other over the last year-and-a-half.  I was so impressed the first time that I met her. [I] loved her on Black-ish but I wanted to sit down and show people who she is, not [the character] Zoie, but who she is.

 

LAWT: It’s interesting that you choose to highlight an artist like GRAMMY®-winning singer-songwriter Gregory Porter. Why?

 

EG:  People are now just starting to him in America. He’s one of those voices that come along, once in a generation.  I told him that the first time that I heard his voice, is reminiscent of the first time that I heard Luther’s [Vandross] voice.  It stops you and you say, ‘who is that.’

 

LAWT: It is exciting to introduce new talent, it’s one of the things that I enjoy about being a journalist. Hard news is too much for me, frankly and I have severely edited reading the negative news.

 

EG: I understand. There should be a balance but I don’t think we should shy away from the negative. It’s certainly more pervasive in our society and our communities, unfortunately, than it needs to be. 

 

LAWT: Yes, Mr. Gordon you are right but I must protect my soul.  Good news deserves more attention and this “fake news” statement makes my blood, just boil. It’s called a lie. A lie. It's just lying. 

 

EG: There are many people doing good for our community and we need to highlight them more. We are doing a one-hour special that will air in December or January, and we’ve entitled it: “Am I Black Enough For You?” 

 

LAWT: Brilliant title. What’s at the core of this one-hour special?

 

EG:  What I am doing is asking the question, for us to define how “we” define “Black.”  It’s not just the color issue, but we deal with that too.  But, it is an issue of what makes you Black and who gets to decide, what it is?  So we deal with the color issue still; that is still very prevalent in our communities, but we also deal with the idea of interracial dating and marriage. We deal with the idea of an interracial Black person.  Why do we except some of them as fully Black?  President Obama is an interesting study in that, because in the beginning, there were some people that said: ‘he ain’t Black enough.’  By the end of his terms, he was the iconic Black person that Grandma put on the wall next to Jesus, King [Martin Luther].  and Kennedy [John].

 

LAWT: Can you share some of the guests that will appear in the winter, hour-long special on race? 

 

EG:  Sure. We are still booking the guests and it will run the gamut. I am going to sit with Samuel Jackson, he will be a part of it.  Wayne Brady, for instance, who was close to tears when he spoke to us.  He said ‘here I was from the poorest section of Oakland [CA]. No one knew my backstory and because of the way that I presented myself and the show that I was on, everybody thought that I wasn’t Black enough. It wasn’t until I did the Dave Chapel show that people came over to me and said, ‘ahh man you are cool.  You are down. I didn’t like you until then.’ He talks about how he had to explain this to his daughter, why they were saying that he wasn’t Black enough and she is bi-racial. We talked with Taye Diggs and we are going to talk to Boris Kodjoe and just regular folks that we are building stories around. 

 

LAWT: Regular folks are interesting. Can you share a bit about that?

 

EG:  We have two young girls. One who is mixed and very light and a sister whose family is from Cameron [Africa] and they sit together and they talk about how within our community, both of them get grief from two separate sides of the coin; one, because she is ‘too dark’, and the other because she is ‘too light’. And it’s interesting to see how many of their stories intersect.  You could see the connection that they were making, immediately.

 

LAWT: So viewers should expect a well-vetted show on Ed Gordon and may I also say, we should expect to be surprised?

 

EG:

 

(smile)

 

On Bounce, the new newsmagazine show, Ed Gordon http://www.bouncetv.com

Category: Arts & Culture



Taste of Soul Sponsors