I think I want to show our humanist. I don't think we really seen that. I think that for the most part, black people specifically have sort of been used as props in TV shows as a way to move story along or as a way to make things more entertaining. And I really wanted us to be the protagonist of our own story, and I really want to go in and Empain us with early tiny brush. So that way people to get a real accurate depiction of what it means to be black in human and living in America are. And particularly on the south side of Chicago because that's what I know pretty well. Um, and uh, I just really wanted to show our faces and really show our souls. So let's set the ball rolling in terms of the plotline is murder of a great man. And. Like several people and several families get involved because this murder has affected them. And several of these people end up with guns either for self-defence of for revenge. And so we know part of the stereotype of the south side as I everybody's got a gun in, everybody's got an addiction. So did you worry that you might be perceived as feeding into that by creating this as something of a crime story? No, I think to me, I always wanted to tell the truth. I never wanna sugarcoat brings are never been accused of poet punches. I wanted to really just tell early on artists story, and I'm aware that a lot of our physically black men, But at women as well have fallen victim to gun violence. And a lot of us have been touched by. And I would I really wanted to do was get him. Faces a little bit about that. And then what I wanted to do was pull back really, really wide and show the entire picture of how these things happen and what the effect of these things happening can be. I really wanted to show the ripple effects, honestly. And because I think that's the thing that nobody seems to focus on the cameras seems to move away. Once the person has been shot and killed a wants to trigger has been pulled. Almost the the good cop comes in and save the day. I wanted to go into the living rooms and see the moms. See them missing their children, see their siblings, grappling with the decision of. Should I just accept this? Or should I do something about it? And I want to see how that persons for significant other. Has to deal with that in the fear of what happens if they go to avenge their brother or their son's death. So I wasn't trying to feed the stereotype at all. I wanted to face the stereotype head on and then turn it on its head or them force you to look at where stale types will come from because there's a truth in all of them, Obviously, or they wouldn't start. I wasn't would exist. But I really wanted to examine it from a real human perspective. Were you and your family affected by gun violence when you were growing up on the south side? Now directly, No. But I think when I was growing up, It wasn't as bad as it is now. It also wasn't We I don't know if we were the center of attention. I grew up in the early nineties. I was born in 84 And also the neighborhood I grew up in was really claimed and Velika community. And I think that's a thing that I don't think people ever see. I think they just of assume Chicago, which is why. Big jungle and that little black boys are born with a gun in their right hand. Apologize and I left and I just That's just not true. We're all little black. Children are born with the same amount of hope and love enjoy as every other kid. And we were not affected by, but there were but by family definitely was effective with substance abuse. And we were affected by a bit of a separation. You know, my father left the home quite early and we we lived in my grandmother's house And we had to lean on others, uh, here and there to to survive. But I think for me, I really wanted to tell the story of what's happening in Chicago right now. So you were raised by a single mother and grandmother. He's a beer from I had to lean on others to survive. What do you mean? And I don't mean the financially either because we never had a Rican, We want it, but we never wanted for anything. But what I say lane on people, I mean, if I were out in the streets, Emma mother was a home. You better believe the next door neighbour as keeping an eye on me. We didn't call the police. We policed ourselves. My grandmother hosted a lot of neighbourhood, watch meetings. Uh, we She had weekly poker games at the house where people will come and fellowship and communique and gossip and tell jokes and drink and smoke. And I say, we leaned on each other to survive because even though we were and neighborhood made up of many different families, We were almost as if we were one big family. And so that's that's really the the Chicago in the community. I know very well and I know that the community still exists. They. Air, But it's only something you know, if you're if you're if you're born and raised in that city. But if you're a foreigner from outside looking in, you can never imagined that those stories even exist in the shy, There's a twelve year old who I won't get into all of his issues. I don't want to do any big spoilers here. Well, he gets unlisted to be in a school production of the whiz men, men. Um, I really enjoyed that part of the story And a figure the must be some personal residence for you since you are always so deeply interested in being a TV writer. And also one of your aspirations us to do a TV series called the 20s loosely inspired on by your life when you're in your 20s and there's a pilot actually is just called 20s. It is called Vonleh. Yes, Ray at the twenty sounds like 1920s. Yeah. But it anyway. So there is a pilot for it. The That is living on YouTube and a presentation. Yes. And in that, a character says that they prefer the Wizard of Oz to the whiz, even though the Wizard of Oz, had the white cast in the whiz, the black cast, correct. Does that speak for you to? Well, it's interesting because Rick from a you a who does a phenomenal job directing the pilot, I'm very grateful to him. Always call him the black Superman. He sort of swooped in in in saved us and in really elevated. What was on the page? He really suggested that we do a play, and the whiz is really a a shout out to my mom because I did prefer the white one, so to speak. I I love the Wizard of Oz. It was like Jassem kids, They're crying and they put on people front on frozen to get them to jail and just be quiet for my family. It was the Wizard of Oz. They would literally tell babysitters if she gets like and she started behaving or should I agreed with the Wizard of Oz on. But my mom one day came home because you know her brain is like, Oh, my black child loves the wiz. That was it a vast so much. I should introduce her to the whiz Like I should show her, Hey, there. There's a group of people that did a black version of this thing that you love so much. How could it be for you to see yourself in this this movie? And so the thing about the whiz, though, which I now as an adult understand. And how genius It is and how beautifully done it is. Even those who may say it's and perfect, It's a really be beautiful effort. And um, really brave actually as well and vicious. And so but my mom showed it to be and I was like, I don't know what this is, But I want Judy Garland, Knack And I never want to speak of this again and a really, I think, broke our heart a little bit. She was like, Oh my God, like she. She has no love for the Diana Ross the quiz, he gelled Michael Jackson version. I'm even know that was Michael. Jackson has a scarecrow. I couldn't interpret any of it. And so, um, with the kid cantonale early traumatic to see it was if, like, No, It's it's like showing little black either black version of frozen what? Which might go over better now. I don't know. But a for me, I was just like, I need the white people, The black and white in the thing that I know very well. But to me, I was really happy that Rick push me to do that. And, uh, and I thought the play was a beautiful way that also to it does it takes us through the entire first season? You see that that it's a it's a beautiful touch-point for for the kids in a place of refuge as well. Not unlike from me you there, which was like watching TV or being in place. Uh, and I was in place high school as well, but I really kind of wanted to do something that was unapologetically black with when it came to choosing the play and Riggles I what you want the plate of the and I was like, Why don't we do the Wiz? And and he really loved that, And I really was a nice way to pay tribute. I think to that moment, that heartbreaking moment when my mom tried to convert me to the Wiz and I wasn't ready, and now I have a lot more appreciation for that version. So there you go, Mom. I'm sure she appreciates. Yes. Yes. Okay, Let's take a short break. Let's take a short break here and then we'll talk some more If you're just joining us. My guest is lean awaith. She created the new Showtime series. The shy and won an Emmy last year for covert riding the Thanksgiving episode of his. He's on sorry, series master of non. We'll be right back. This is fresh air.