by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World
Many of you have seen Jumping the Broom by now, I am sure. I am not so certain, however, that many of you are familiar with DeVon Franklin, one of the driving forces behind the production of the film. He is an African-American young man in his thirties and one of the youngest Hollywood producers. In addition to his great progress in the film industry he is also a preacher and the author of Produced By Faith: Navigating the Road to Success Without Compromising Your True Self.
What is most striking and admirable about Franklin is his openness about and great respect for his faith as a Seventh Day Adventist Christian. There are many great people doing great things, but not all make it to the top without choosing to sacrifice some of their beliefs or moral values. Franklin refused to succumb to such weakness. He is a man who, from what he has shown us thus far, stands on his beliefs firmly and will not waver. He says that contrary to popular belief, Hollywood is very understanding and accepting of religious beliefs and practices. The following is one of the examples he shares:
“On that shoot they wanted me to help with the camera, but when I told them I couldn’t work on the Sabbath, they were okay with that. I have found that people in Hollywood have been very understanding of my beliefs. I’ve talked about them at times with members of the film crew, and we’ve prayed together and such. People sometimes think of Hollywood as being so full of evil and such, but it’s not been that way for me.”
What makes this aspect of Franklin shine is the fact that we live in times where people are continuously and gradually being convinced that anything can go. Before some know it, they have totally lost all the morals they once cherished and revered. Some people have allowed the world to convince them that it is okay to cheat in order to get a promotion. In Franklin’s situation, he could have persuaded himself that finishing a film was worth ignoring the Sabbath. With Christianity and the church being a strong pillar in many African-American homes, Franklin serves as reminder that Christians should never forsake their Christian roots. He is also proof that it is not necessary to dishonor God for the sake of success. Franklin shows Christians that honoring God’s word and climbing to the top can be done simultaneously without one hindering the other.
Ayvaunn Penn is a spoken word artist and an award winning writer degreed in English and philosophy. For more of her witty-word works click here. To have your original poetry featured by Ms. Penn on Your Black Poets, click here.