New Sammy Davis Jr documentary is a must-see

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Went to see a special screening this evening of “I’ve Gotta Be Me”, a truly wonderful documentary about the incredible life and talents of Sammy Davis Jr which will air next Thursday February 19th on PBS at 9/8c. I had no idea what a gifted man he was – an incredible tap dancer, singer, impressionist, actor, photographer and all around top performer – and how he fought so hard to not only make something of himself but to be himself in such a segregated and hostile America. When he was with his first love (Kim Novak, a Hollywood star and a white woman), the head of the Columbia Pictures basically threatened to kill him and demanded that he marry a black woman – any black woman – within 10 days. He ended up marrying an old friend and paid her $10,000 to do so. Can you imagine? Such was the threat of an interracial relationship. And there was also his very Kanye-esque embrace of President Nixon, which left him very painfully ostracized from the black community. Not his finest or most thoughtful moment I must say, especially when you hear Nixon stop himself from describing Sammy Davis Jr as a “n—r” in a phone call. He couldn’t read or write but was extremely eloquent and a master of words. A child star (he started performing at 3) who grew into a prolific adult. Funnily enough, he grew up a street away from where I live. I left feeling moved and deeply inspired. It was even more of a treat to hear from the executive producer, director and editor afterwards. It’s a must-watch. Catch it if you can! (Saw you @jasonkingsays in the film – nice work!) Thanks to my culture bae @barbararomer for coming with me ❤️ Thanks @symphonyspace for the invitation. #sammydavisjr #sogifted #blackhistory #americanhistory #soinspiring

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