As the producer and a director of “Interview With A King,” I am deeply honored to be part of a project that pays tribute to the extraordinary life and enduring legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This film holds personal significance for me, as my connection to Dr. King’s legacy goes back to my childhood.
I vividly remember the day of Dr. King’s funeral, standing in a crowd of thousands outside Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. I was six, almost seven years old, when my father, recognizing the profound impact of Dr. King’s life and work, chartered three buses to carry members from our church and our North Carolina community to attend the funeral. We embarked on a long journey, filled with profound grief, anticipation, and a deep sense of reverence for Dr. King’s immense contributions to the Civil Rights Movement in America.
Upon arriving at the church, we joined the multitude of mourners, patiently waiting in line for hours to view Dr. King’s remains and pay our respects. However, as fate would have it, just as we reached the doors of the church, they closed, marking the start of the service. Despite being unable to actively participate in the funeral and having to listen to it through loudspeakers outside the church, the impact it had on my young mind was profound.
As an adult, looking back on my adolescence during the Civil Rights Movement, it’s apparent to me that the adults in my life faced challenges in finding both the time and the appropriate words to convey the profound impact of those moments in a way that I, as a child, could fully grasp. Due to my initial naivety, I lacked the necessary tools to effectively process and make sense of my inner emotions regarding those experiences. It took several decades and many missteps for me to develop a better understanding and find a way to reconcile with those feelings.
Those memories served as a catalyst for my husband and me to embark on a journey of crafting and nurturing educational and entertaining projects for young people. This endeavor led us to create “The Little Flower Literacy Project” and establish Little Flower®, a children’s brand that draws inspiration from my own cherished childhood remembrances and the profound influence of the Civil Rights Movement on my young psyche.
Growing up in a North Carolina town during the 1960s, Little Flower, derived from the Spanish interpretation of my name, Florita, comes to life as a talented 10-year-old artist. Her vibrant illustrations and unwavering dedication to advocating for others embody the essence of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the transformative era of the Civil Rights Movement.
Little Flower explores a range of themes, including anti-bullying, positive self-esteem, diversity, hope, courage, happiness, and more, through a variety of creative outlets. The Little Flower Different Deserves Special Club Book and Educational Series, Little Flower Dolls, The Little Flower Artist Movie, and other artistic expressions serve as platforms for her to delve into these important subjects. In her personal journey, Little Flower learns the importance of advocating for causes in the right way, finding inspiration from the historical context and significant events of her time.
I was honored in 2016 to receive the Zora Neale Hurston Award from the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association for what they deemed exceptional contributions of The Little Flower Literacy Project to African American Literature.
Now, as the producer and a director of “Interview With A King,” I have had the privilege of immersing myself in the life and teachings of Dr. King once again. This film is a culmination of my personal journey and my unwavering belief in the power of animated storytelling to inspire change.
Once more, the committed crew at ARC Communications, LLC, displayed unwavering dedication as they collaborated with me, investing their utmost efforts and passion into a project that surpassed geographical boundaries and conquered time zones. Their meticulous work resulted in the creation of an exceptional endeavor, this time honoring the enduring legacy of Dr. King.
I am profoundly grateful for the extraordinary team of voice performers, musicians, 2D and 3D animators, artists, and other creative collaborators who have contributed their talents and unwavering passion to this project. Through the flawless amalgamation of AI-powered technology and various software, encompassing character customization, photographic facial modeling, animation, real-time facial motion tracking, motion capture integration, and a comprehensive suite of 3D tools, we have achieved the remarkable feat of bridging the gap between history and the present. This innovative approach, seamlessly blending the realms of art and technology, infused vibrant life into the captivating presence of Dr. King on the screen, ultimately allowing us to forge a profound and enduring connection between audiences and the timeless wisdom and guiding principles that Dr. King bestowed upon the world.
Our ultimate goal is to create an intimate and authentic portrayal that not only educates but also deeply resonates with viewers on an emotional level. Additionally, we hope that this work will ignite a spark within our audience, encouraging them to reflect upon the profound influence that an individual’s unwavering dedication and courageous spirit can wield in shaping the world we inhabit.