Music Super Star Kirk Franklin Re: Trayvon Martin Tragedy & Other More
By: Janice Malone
Kirk Franklin is the #1 selling Gospel artist of all time. For the last two decades, he’s been a pioneer in gap-bridging musicianship, uniting gospel, hip hop, pop and R&B audiences. His rhythms have resulted in albums that have consistently topped Billboard‘s Gospel, Christian and R&B/Hip Hop charts. He is a New York Times best-selling author for “The Blueprint: A Plan for Living Above Life’s Storms (Gotham/Penguin). To date, Franklin has garnered nine GRAMMY® Awards35 Stellar Awards, an American Music Award, 14 Dove Awards (CCM), six NAACP Image Awards and two BET Awards. And if that’s not enough, he was Franklin was named GQ’s “Best Dressed Men” at this year’s GRAMMY® Awards. “There were a total of 10 names on that list and I came in at number ten, so it wasn’t quite like I was the only guy on the list,” says Kirk with a laugh. In addition to his music talents, Franklin has now extended his talents over into acting, as he was one of the co-stars in the film Joyful Noise, starring country music legend Dolly Parton and singer/actress Queen Latifah. Each week viewers enjoy the talents and sometimes the non-talented, contestants of the hit TV show Sunday Best. Kirk hosts and executive produces the gospel music talent show, which is now heading into its fifth season. The show is the highest-rated gospel program in BET network’s history. Kirk Franklin is also a dedicated father of four and a happily married husband. “My wife (Tammy) is my queen. She’s my boo–my best friend. Sometimes we’re just silly together,” he reveals. Here in this interview, (my 12th one with him), Kirk shares his insight on some topics that are continuing to trend and make headlines throughout the world.
TRIBUNE: Your music is loved by people all over the world but you especially reach the youth. What do you have to say about the tragic death of young Trayvon Martin?
K. Franklin: “Regardless of all the other things that are being added on to the story to try and make it different, the premise of it is there’s still racism in this country. It’s still unfortunate that we’re still dealing with this issue. But that doesn’t mean all people who are not African American are racist. Unfortunately, there are some of us who often do that by saying all people outside of our community are racist and it’s not fair to do that. But this doesn’t stop the fact that we still have the issue we needing to communicate and to discuss. Whether it’s the disrespect we see happen to President Obama or this tragic incident that’s happened to this young man Trayvon Martin, communication is needed. This young man was somebody’s son. Let’s not ever forget he was somebody’s child. For those of us who have kids, this tragedy really breaks our hearts because any day or time this could happen to one of our children too.”
TRIBUNE: How have you and your wife talked with your children about this tragedy?
K. Franklin: “What we’re doing right now as a family, is answering the questions our kids are having about all of this. We’re having discussions about how painful this tragedy is for everyone. We keep our kids very aware of what’s happening in the news. We try to walk through some of the things that have been said and the different spins that are being placed on the story, versus the fundamental truths. We’re trying to explain to them what’s real in this society and how to separate some people from all people. Sometimes it’s easy to lump people into the same category and that’s what we don’t want our kids to think or believe.”
TRIBUNE: To further speak of news headlines, there have been countless numbers of Christian leaders, in all areas of the Body of Christ, who’ve been in scandals that have made national headlines. How has this impacted you and your ministry?
K. Franklin: “I think this has affected us all as Christians—especially those of us who represent, and are trying to be ambassadors of the faith. We often find ourselves trying to encourage and maneuver through the most difficult parts of these incidents. I often tell people this: there will always be imperfect men and women who will stand in front of us on Sunday mornings in the pulpit. There will be challenges, whether it’s in the African American community or other races, among people who say they represent God. Some of these people will fall. They will make mistakes. But what always amazes me is that we also have bad politicians. We have crooked police. We have men in government who do very scandalous things yet, we still stop at red lights and we still vote. But when it comes to church, if we see that happening to people in the faith or Christianity, we want to cancel God out with those people. The individual and God are two separate things. So the same respect that we still give to the laws of the land, should be the same respect that we give to God’s people. Ok, these particular people have fallen it doesn’t mean that God has fallen nor has God failed me or you or whomever. So we cannot put man on the same level as God. That is my observation and that’s my encouragement to people. Again, if we still continue to stop at red lights, if we still continue to vote, then we should continue to let God be number one.” To listen to the entire interview of this chat visit this link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/film-festival-radio-/2012/03/27/gospel-muic-legend-kirk-