Christmas 2021

Host & Executive Producer – Latasha Morrison
Senior Producer – Lauren C. Brown
Producer, Editor & Music By – Travon Potts
Transcriber – Sarah Connatser

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Patricia Taylor:  instagram.com/patricia_a_taylor

Travon Potts:  instagram.com/travonpotts
ientstudiosatl.com

Not all views expressed in this interview reflect the values and beliefs of Latasha Morrison or the Be the Bridge organization.

The full episode transcript is below.

Latasha Morrison  0:00  

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Narrator  1:08  

You are listening to the Be the Bridge podcast with Latasha Morrison.

Latasha Morrison  1:12  

[Intro] How are you guys doing today? This is exciting!

Narrator  1:16  

Each week, Be the Bridge podcast tackles subjects related to race and culture with the goal of bringing understanding.

Latasha Morrison  1:23  

[Intro] …but I’m going to do it in the spirit of love.

Narrator  1:26  

We believe understanding can move us toward racial healing, racial equity, and racial unity. Latasha Morrison is the founder of Be the Bridge, which is an organization responding to racial brokenness and systemic injustice in our world. This podcast is an extension of our vision to make sure people are no longer conditioned by a racialized society but grounded in truth. If you have not hit the subscribe button, please do so now. Without further ado, let’s begin today’s podcast. Oh, and stick around for some important information at the end.

Latasha Morrison  2:02  

And we’re back!

Patricia Taylor  2:04  

Hello, hello!

Latasha Morrison  2:05  

2021!

Patricia Taylor  2:07  

Yes, it’s a new season.

Latasha Morrison  2:09  

Last year we had our All Things Christmas on Instagram.

Patricia Taylor  2:14  

Yes. And that was so much fun.

Latasha Morrison  2:16  

So good. But this year we done moved up. Patty, look.

Patricia Taylor  2:20  

Yes! I know, look at us.

Latasha Morrison  2:21  

It’s all looking like Christmas in here.

Patricia Taylor  2:24  

We’re in Christmas land. We’re in a Hallmark movie right now.

Latasha Morrison  2:27  

This is a hallmark movie!

Patricia Taylor  2:28  

It is. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  2:29  

This is like one of the shows. We could actually write a movie about this.

Patricia Taylor  2:32  

We should.

Latasha Morrison  2:33  

We should.

Patricia Taylor  2:33  

We should.

Latasha Morrison  2:33  

Okay, we should. Well, I am so excited because all my friends know that I am all about Christmas. You know, all about Black Santas. All about all the things of the holidays. This season, I love everything about it. Family, food, Jesus. All of it. Just in case someone wondered. I thought I’m a unicorn amongst my friends.

Patricia Taylor  2:54  

Right, right.

Latasha Morrison  3:00  

So I’m thinking, are your friends into Christmas?

Patricia Taylor  3:05  

They are, but not to the extent when it’s like, “Oh, October 22nd we get to start watching Hallmark movies!” and they all tune me out. And they’re like, “Yeah, we’ll see you in January.” (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  3:16  

So you said October. You see and that’s the other thing. I start watching in October. Some people are saying we’re rushing Halloween, Thanksgiving, all of that. Like I start prepping in September.

Patricia Taylor  3:30  

Oh, I start prepping for sure.

Latasha Morrison  3:32  

Well, really July. Because they have the Christmas in July.

Patricia Taylor  3:35  

Christmas in July movies. And then when you have them DVR’d, then you can have some like throughout the year because you just need like a Christmas pick me up anytime.

Latasha Morrison  3:43  

And if anyone should understand that, we should understand that.

Patricia Taylor  3:46  

Right.

Latasha Morrison  3:46  

Because we can celebrate Christmas anytime.

Patricia Taylor  3:50  

Exactly.

Latasha Morrison  3:50  

I say it’s Christmas 365.

Patricia Taylor  3:52  

Yeah, I’m with it. Which is why we bonded, because we found out that we’re unicorns when it comes to that. We don’t have to disregard or diminish any holiday.

Latasha Morrison  4:01  

Exactly.

Patricia Taylor  4:01  

But we can stand Christmas. And be like, “Thank you Hallmark for having like 40 movies always.” (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  4:09  

I mean, like, okay, let’s let’s talk about the progression because okay, now the movies are starting in October.

Patricia Taylor  4:15  

Yes. Really. That was the real date. October 22nd this year.

Latasha Morrison  4:19  

But before they would have like one premiere when it first started out. Because I’ve been watching since ’09. So when I think two years ago, they had their 10 year anniversary. And I started in 2009. And I was thinking like, okay, it would be like one over the weekend. But now this year, did you notice? They’re like Friday,

Patricia Taylor  4:42  

Yes. Friday night, Saturday night.

Latasha Morrison  4:44  

Saturday, and Sunday, brand new ones. So I could hardly keep up this year.

Patricia Taylor  4:49  

Right, same. And on the other channel, because you have a main Hallmark Channel where they do Friday, Saturday, Sunday. But then you have Hallmark Movies and Mysteries where they always do like one new weekend premiere as well. Or maybe even two. So it’s a lot. We haven’t watched them all.

Latasha Morrison  5:04  

We’re bonding on Hallmark. Yeah.

Patricia Taylor  5:03  

We’re behind. We’ve been busy. We just had training for for work this week.

Latasha Morrison  5:09  

Everything!

Patricia Taylor  5:10  

Yeah, life has been a lot.

Latasha Morrison  5:12  

And not to mention, although we’re talking about Hallmark here, there are a lot of other stations:  Lifetime, VH1, OWN, BET, TV One, Up, and many, many more… 

Patricia Taylor  5:27  

Many more! (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  5:28  

…that are showing Christmas movies, like what is it? What do you think? Why do you think like Christmas is a big thing as it relates to movies now?

Patricia Taylor  5:36  

Oh, well, I mean, I honestly feel like Hallmark set the bar.

Latasha Morrison  5:40  

Yeah, I think so.

Patricia Taylor  5:41  

And as much as there are people who, you know, will roll their eyes. And, you know, the thing is, we’re watching Hallmark fully aware of the cheese factor and just embracing it.

Latasha Morrison  5:50  

And we’ll talk about it. We understand.

Patricia Taylor  5:53  

We understand. We get it. But I do think all these other networks are realizing this is what people want.

Latasha Morrison  5:58  

Yeah, I want a bow on it. I want a bow.

Patricia Taylor  6:00  

Because, you know, life is challenging. And life is hard. And the last two years, let’s not even go down that road, but the last two years. And we just want to be able to say, “This was nice. I can watch some it’s not going to trigger me, it’s not going to be traumatic.”

Latasha Morrison  6:13  

Yeah, yeah.

Patricia Taylor  6:14  

You know, it’s going to actually like have that spirit that we say we want all year round where people are kind to each other and love each other.

Latasha Morrison  6:21  

You know how it ends.

Patricia Taylor  6:22  

And you know it’s gonna be a nice ending. Like there’s nothing wrong with having that comfort, you know? (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  6:28  

Some of you’re listening like, I know some people they’re like listening, and they’re gritting their teeth, because they’re like, “I cannot stand them. They’re so predictable.” That’s what I love. I love that it’s predictable. (laughter)

Patricia Taylor  6:40  

I like good surprises, but I don’t need any bad surprises. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  6:44  

When I watch TV I want to escape. So I don’t want the same trauma that’s happening in the world on my TV, especially Christmas movies. And so this year there were a lot. So we are behind on some of them. And we’re gonna give some shout outs to some of the ones on some of the other stations that we also wantched to share them. But we are ready. I’m telling you, I think, I was trying to think about the progression because I remember in ’09 it started. And I could look at some of the Hallmark movies and then realize that they’re using the same like costumes and some of the other props. (laughter) Like that reindeer and that sleigh. I’ve seen that in about 50 movies.

Patricia Taylor  7:34  

Right. Or that pea coat. It’s that same shade of baby blue. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  7:38  

You know, and the same commercials and all of that. But now, like Hallmark’s on the come up. Like I mean, the commercials, they have Etsy commercials, Target, they are really doing it. And I’ve seen the progression. Because back in 2013, I know I wrote a blog post that really talked about the lack of diversity. Because when you think about Christmas, I think Christmas is very inclusive. You know, a lot of people unless you’re of a different religion, celebrate Christmas. It’s a staple American holiday in that sense. And all the Christmas movies I would watch, you know, you think back to Elf, or the Santa Claus, It’s a Wonderful World, White Christmas, like all of those there was really no representation. And I’m like, “Don’t they know we like Christmas, too?” I love Christmas!

Patricia Taylor  8:33  

Yeah, and even regardless of the faith tradition, for some people this is when you slow down and you spend time with family. And you know, I think that’s one thing that I appreciate that I understand, especially in the work we do, we are always looking for progress. And it’s difficult, though, because there is a big part of me that’s like, this is not happening fast enough. Like we see a problem. We want the solution, like we need to move fast enough. We’re not moving fast enough. But then when it comes to Hallmark, like they were a little late on this. Like this is not something new. It’s 2021.

Latasha Morrison  9:09  

Yup.

Patricia Taylor  9:09  

Yeah. And to be able to still be like, “Oh, wow, they’re getting there.” So can you just briefly speak to like this idea of progress and change? And like the timetable? Because that can really be frustrating. Like, “Well, that’s great they’re doing it now. But you know, why did it take this long for them to get here?”

Latasha Morrison  9:26  

Right, right. I think that’s really good. Because I think, you know, a lot of times we lack the patience. We want things to change, but we have to realize that ships don’t, if you just turn around sometimes they sink.

Patricia Taylor  9:28  

That’s good.

Latasha Morrison  9:28  

And so I think you know, it’s just like I think a lot of them have to have strategy.

Patricia Taylor  9:44  

Right.

Latasha Morrison  9:44  

And then it depends on who’s in the room. And I can tell when the room changes versus just some ideas flying around.

Patricia Taylor  9:51  

Yes!

Latasha Morrison  9:51  

We can tell, we can always tell.

Patricia Taylor  9:53  

Absolutely.

Latasha Morrison  9:53  

And I can feel with Hallmark there’s some changes happening in the room.

Patricia Taylor  9:57  

Yes.

Latasha Morrison  9:57  

And I think you know you’re seeing that because before when we would see the Christmas movies, it would be a Christmas movie where you can tell the script wasn’t probably written about us or for us.

Patricia Taylor  10:08  

Right.

Latasha Morrison  10:09  

But they just put some brown faces in it.

Patricia Taylor  10:11  

Yeah, exactly. They just plop them in there. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  10:14  

The jokes weren’t the same, the music was disconnected. It’s like, you know, we can tell that, right? We know. Because we’re gonna connect to it with just certain sayings that they would say. I think last year, there was one where everything about the movie, it was kind of like, I don’t think this was like written by someone that was a person of color. But there was one when the guy walked outside, it was an older Black man. And he walked outside and he said, “Whew. The Hulk is out here.” (laughter) And my grandfather used to say that all the time. And I was like ah! And right then it was like, okay, it made a connection.

Patricia Taylor  10:54  

It made a connection.

Latasha Morrison  10:54  

It made a connection.

Patricia Taylor  10:57  

He’s the one who owned the Christmas tree lot. I saw that one. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  11:00  

Okay, we could play trivia. I would know none of the characters names or the titles, but I can describe them. And so Patty is the one that knows the names of the characters, and their real names, their on stage names.

Patricia Taylor  11:16  

Right. I got the details. I have the notes. I got the checklist.

Latasha Morrison  11:17  

I have the highlights.

Patricia Taylor  11:17  

Right, exactly. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  11:17  

And that tells you a little bit about our personality, like I can talk in circles about it, but she can give you the details about the show. But you know, one of the things I would say is I’ve seen there’s just this change in you know, from just having Black people just on the show, on the movies, but also I’m seeing there’s just this a lot of Latinx community…

Patricia Taylor  11:46  

Yes, Asian community.

Latasha Morrison  11:48  

…Asian community. And it’s not just what the Christmas movies it’s with all of the communities. Even our Indigenous community. 

Patricia Taylor  11:55  

Yeah, I was going to say that.

Latasha Morrison  11:56  

So, we’re going to be speaking to it from a racial standpoint as we’re dealing with ethnicity, but even LGBTQ, you know, all of those. I’m just seeing the world is being represented, the world that we live in.

Patricia Taylor  12:07  

Exactly, and age, too. You know, not everyone is finding love at 29.

Latasha Morrison  12:11  

You mentioned that!

Patricia Taylor  12:14  

You know, “Looking back on our first love, like I’m in my 60s, and I wonder what happened to her.” Like, there’s a movie about that this year.

Latasha Morrison  12:20  

And everyone’s not a widower, you know. (laughter)

Patricia Taylor  12:23  

Rigth? People get divorced. I mean it’s just the reality!

Latasha Morrison  12:25  

Things happen. People sometimes, you know, there was a representation this year of someone who they couldn’t have children. And just to bring that into the storyline, you know, even at Christmas, they did a great job.

Patricia Taylor  12:38  

Right.

Latasha Morrison  12:38  

But, I want to find out from you.

Patricia Taylor  12:42  

Okay.

Latasha Morrison  12:42  

So there’s been a lot of progression. We’ve seen the transformation that’s happened. And we’ll even talk about even what they did last year as it relates to leadership with Hallmark in a minute. But, what is your favorite so far this year? Your favorite Christmas? And why?

Patricia Taylor  13:02  

Okay, you know, I don’t like to choose a favorite. There’s too many.

Latasha Morrison  13:05  

I know, I know. You said that last year!

Patricia Taylor  13:06  

I know I did. I say it every time. Okay, but I will say, okay, there are a few that I’m like, I’m saving this one. I’m never getting rid of it. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  13:16  

I do have a lot of them on DVR.

Patricia Taylor  13:15  

I do. I have some recorded. (laughter) But I would say the first one I actually saw this season has stuck with me. And that was called Christmas in My Heart with Luke Macfarlane, who’s one of my favorites, and Heather Hemmens. And they had a lot of representation that again connects with me because it was about interracial love and there was a biracial girl. So let me say this first because again, if you know me, I will not be your friend if you do spoilers, okay?

Latasha Morrison  13:16  

Right, right. (laughter)

Patricia Taylor  13:18  

Like, I want to sit and watch a movie without anyone telling me anything. I don’t want you to ruin anything. But if you’re listening to this podcast, spoilers are coming. So be warned. (laughter) Okay, so he was a widower, but he was married to a Black woman. 

Latasha Morrison  14:02  

Yeah.

Patricia Taylor  14:03  

And they have a biracial daughter. And then there’s this other story of a biracial woman who just lost her Black mother, and she was a violinist. And so like that was, you know, they ended up meeting and his daughter played the violin. But I really appreciated the representation of just the family structure, but also Sheryl Lee Ralph was the grandmother.

Latasha Morrison  14:21  

Yes!

Patricia Taylor  14:22  

And there were moments like, I almost teared up because the daughter, the little girl, they had like their grandma daughter time, and it was about hair, doing her hair. And she said something to the effect of, “Well, I think my hair should be straight because it looks more professional. And you know, when I watch videos of violinists and people and in the concerts, their hair doesn’t look like mine.” And just to see that moment happen, and we know like the fact that we have to have…

Latasha Morrison  14:48  

In a Hallmark movie!

Patricia Taylor  14:49  

…in a Hallmark movie, okay! Where she was affirming her and, “You can wear your hair however. And who says that? And why do you think, why would you think that’s professional? Who’s defining that for you?” And in a time where we actually have to have something called the Crown Act to protect, you know, Black women in the workplace to be able to wear our hair as it actually comes out of our head. Like that was a huge step to see that on the Hallmark channel.

Latasha Morrison  15:15  

That was huge. And then the grandmother’s mannerisms, Sheryl Lee Ralph, if you know her. Yes, she’s big on camera.

Patricia Taylor  15:18  

Yes, she has that presence.

Latasha Morrison  15:23  

Yes, she just has a presence. When she made that face when she was doing the girl’s hair. And then to see the little girl sleeping in a bonnet.

Patricia Taylor  15:32  

Right! I was telling you she had a bonnet on.

Latasha Morrison  15:34  

I was like, I know we were in the room. We wrote that script. Like, I mean, just different. things and how it was addressed.

Patricia Taylor  15:41  

And the Black angel. You know, that was, yeah. I made my husband watch that one with me. I was like, “Look. It’s our family! We can be on Hallmark!” (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  15:49  

That was one of mine, too. That was one of mine. I think the other one that I like this season, and I’m not trying to say that all the ones with Black people were my favorite.

Patricia Taylor  16:01  

Right.

Latasha Morrison  16:02  

But it’s the things that I connect with. So it makes it my favorite because there’s things that I connect with and to see the progression was Christmas in Harlem.

Patricia Taylor  16:11  

Yeah. Oh Holiday in Harlem.

Latasha Morrison  16:13  

Yeah, Holiday in Harlem. There you go with the details! There you go. (laughter)

Patricia Taylor  16:16  

With Olivia. I got you covered. Olivia Washington, who you just told me is Denzel Washington’s daughter.

Latasha Morrison  16:21  

Denzel Washington’s daughter was in it.

Patricia Taylor  16:23  

I like that one, too. She also had a satin scarf on when she went to sleep. I was like, “Go sis!”

Latasha Morrison  16:27  

Exactly. And just that story of her going to see her grandmother and just what they were doing for the community. I think it showed a lot of the collectiveness in our community and how it is different. When you don’t come home for Christmas, or you don’t go to grandma’s or auntie’s, it is kind of like this thing like, “Why don’t they come home?” You know? And we have some of that in our family now. Where it’s like, “Why such and such don’t come home? Like, you know, I want to see her. What’s going on?” You know? And so I think that was some of the that you saw in there just about her coming home…

Patricia Taylor  17:02  

Yes.

Latasha Morrison  17:02  

…and reconnecting with her community and not being disconnected. Like you can be successful and do the things but still being able to connect back with your family and your community.

Patricia Taylor  17:12  

Absolutely.

Latasha Morrison  17:13  

And what I loved about that is because she’s a chocolate girl, she’s dark skinned.

Patricia Taylor  17:17  

And she’s curvy!

Latasha Morrison  17:18  

Yes! And I loved that about that.

Patricia Taylor  17:21  

Different body types. Yes.

Latasha Morrison  17:22  

And she was a lead role in there. And so that was something different because sometimes, you know, in the movies, you know, you don’t have the diversity of body types. And then, you know, colorism is big.

Patricia Taylor  17:34  

Right. Because yeah, you can still say well, we have a quote unquote, representation. But my sister likes to say the Disney approved kind.

Latasha Morrison  17:41  

Yes!

Patricia Taylor  17:42  

You still, like, again, you still have the same shape and can’t be darker than a certain shade.

Latasha Morrison  17:47  

Right, right.

Patricia Taylor  17:47  

So to see that brought in was really great.

Latasha Morrison  17:49  

Because I was feeling some kind of way because when I went this year, when the movies came out, I started looking because I was trying to get Rukiya. 

Patricia Taylor  17:55  

Right. Rukiya Bernard! I love her!

Latasha Morrison  17:56  

Because I wanted to interview her because she had done, what’s the movie?

Patricia Taylor  18:04  

Oh, the Christmas in Evergreen series. It ended last year, but she was the lead in that one last year.

Latasha Morrison  18:12  

And I like her and I follow her on social media. So I was following her. And I wanted to have her on, and then I looked through and I was like, she’s not in any of them. So I was feeling a little, some kind of way because you know she got that skin. 

Patricia Taylor  18:25  

She got that chocolate dark skin. She has the representation.

Latasha Morrison  18:26  

Yeah! And I was like, okay, I feel a little better you had Olivia Washington in there. So I think that was one of my favorites. And then the other thing that they did they were talking about food.

Patricia Taylor  18:39  

Yes.

Latasha Morrison  18:40  

And you know the kitchen is really sacred in our community. So they were talking about food, and they said it was time for her to get the mac and cheese recipe. And we know like let me tell you. Let me just tell y’all. Black folk in our community, I don’t know how it is in the Latinx community, I can’t speak to the Asian community, but I’m pretty sure like if you mess something up, you know. Like I got fired, I got fired from the collard greens and I make collard greens good but they said that my aunt makes them better and I got fired. And then they fired my great art from making mac and cheese because like they would like it was a little too crispy. And I mean how are you gonna fire your great aunt? (laughter) And then they tell you and make you feel bad. And so we know that cooking is just like sacred.

Patricia Taylor  19:31  

Yes.

Latasha Morrison  19:32  

We don’t play. Like the first thing is not about “Oh, what’s this dish right there?” The first thing, “Who made this?” (laughter)

Patricia Taylor  19:40  

Right. Exactly. Whose is this? This is auntie’s or this cousin? This is grandma’s? Like whose is this? Who brought this?

Latasha Morrison  19:47  

(laughter) Who made it? Who brought it? So they want to know all those details. But I got fired from the collard greens. (laughter) Which I have no problem, I’m like fire me from some more things. But I still can make the dressing, not the stuffing but the dressing, you know. And I just saw that translate in this movie. And so because when you can identify with that, you know, off screen and then when you’re watching the movie, it just makes you feel seen.

Patricia Taylor  20:14  

Oh yeah, that part really hit. Bcause I’m not a cook and I own that. But mac and cheese is my responsibility in the family. And I just, I made it for Turkey Day. And I was like, “Oh, see, that’s me.” Like I got passed on the family recipe for mac and cheese.

Latasha Morrison  20:32  

You can’t put too many noodles. You can’t put too much cheese. 

Patricia Taylor  20:34  

You have to have a good ratio.

Latasha Morrison  20:35  

It has to be a good ratio. Yes.

Patricia Taylor  20:38  

A little crisp, but not too much. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  20:40  

But I thought it was really good. You know, it showed them as business owners.

Patricia Taylor  20:44  

Right.

Latasha Morrison  20:45  

And caring for their community. And I think there’s sometimes we can show just one side a lot in our community. You know, as it relates to movies and everything. So I love the diversity of just experience that you’re seeing in those. What if you…like because we talk about movies all the time, and I was like, sometimes I’m watching I’m like, “I can write this. I can write this.” You know? So if you could write a Christmas movie for Hallmark ,maybe BET, OWN, let’s say anyone (laughter) not just Hallmark. But we know Hallmark is the staple. Like what would it be around?

Patricia Taylor  21:30  

We really need to collaborate and do this for real.

Latasha Morrison  21:33  

I know. (laughter)

Patricia Taylor  21:34  

That’s a good question, Tasha. I think that mine would center on this wonderful nonprofit organization that’s trying to bridge, (laughter) trying to be the bridge between different… (laughter) 

Latasha Morrison  21:45  

I think that would be a great movie! That would be a great Christmas movie.

Patricia Taylor  21:48  

I mean, it would be. That’d be a great movie, you know, of bridge builders and the holiday spirit.

Latasha Morrison  21:54  

And what we’re doing around the world and connecting people.

Patricia Taylor  21:58  

And connecting people. And somebody can fall in love, too.

Latasha Morrison  22:00  

Yeah, yeah. Exactly.

Patricia Taylor  22:03  

We can do it all.

Latasha Morrison  22:04  

I think I should find the love though, but. (laughter)

Patricia Taylor  22:06  

Yeah, I agree. Yes for that. Are you listening?

Latasha Morrison  22:11  

Who would play you?

Patricia Taylor  22:14  

I would play me. (laughter) We would be the stars in our own film.

Latasha Morrison  22:20  

Oh we would be the stars. Okay. So we want to write it, we want to play in it.

Patricia Taylor  22:23  

We want to write it. We want to star. We want Hallmark to do the things like behind the scenes. We need some fresh blood. We need some new life. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  22:31  

Okay, so we’re not gonna say, okay, okay. So we’re gonna write a movie.

Patricia Taylor  22:36  

Okay, yes.

Latasha Morrison  22:37  

And we’re gonna play in it.

Patricia Taylor  22:38  

Okay.

Latasha Morrison  22:39  

So I think, because they need to add to…

Patricia Taylor  22:41  

I mean, we could let professionals do it. As long as I’m an extra in there somewhere though. Like, I want to have that one line where it’s like, “It’s Christmas time!” (laughter) 

Latasha Morrison  22:52  

So they had so many this year. And I’m thinking they…okay. So I wanted to mention there was one called Nine Lives of Christmas, I think it was. Or Nine Lives. And it was about, it was probably about four or five years ago they did this one when it was about a lady finding a cat.

Patricia Taylor  23:12  

Oh yeah, that was like seven years ago. Yeah, that was one of my favorites.

Latasha Morrison  23:15  

The lady finds a cat. Or the guy, the firefighter finds a cat. And then he connects with this girl and all the things.

Patricia Taylor  23:25  

Yes.

Latasha Morrison  23:26  

And so you see it goes off. And then they’re like together and so you think, in all these movies they’re together.

Patricia Taylor  23:32  

They live happily ever after.

Latasha Morrison  23:34  

But they actually did a remake. Well, not a remake, but they did a part two.

Patricia Taylor  23:39  

Yes. The Nine Kittens of Christmas.

Latasha Morrison  23:40  

Nine Kittens of Christmas.

Patricia Taylor  23:41  

This is the one that stars Brandon Routh and Kimberley Sustad.

Latasha Morrison  23:45  

Okay, yes, she’s in a lot of them.

Patricia Taylor  23:47  

Yeah, she is.

Latasha Morrison  23:47  

Yeah. And so that one right there. I thought that was neat how like seven years later to kinda see what happened. And to see that they didn’t end up together.

Patricia Taylor  23:59  

Right.

Latasha Morrison  24:00  

But then they ended up.

Patricia Taylor  24:01  

But they came back.

Latasha Morrison  24:02  

Spoiler alert. (laughter)

Patricia Taylor  24:02  

Spoiler alert, they came back together. But I mean, she went and pursued her career. 

Latasha Morrison  24:06  

Yeah.

Patricia Taylor  24:06  

And he was very content where he was. And, you know, they tied in a lot of that. So there was a part of me that I love that first movie. So I’m like, how is this one going to be? (laughter) But it was really cute.

Latasha Morrison  24:17  

There was one that you had with the Asian American lead.

Patricia Taylor  24:20  

Oh I loved that one. That was the oh, The Boyfriends of Christmas Past I think.

Latasha Morrison  24:27  

Yeah, I saw bits and pieces of it.

Patricia Taylor  24:28  

Yeah, that one was really cute. It was, I believe that, I don’t have the actor’s name for that one. But I believe the lead was Korean American and the female, and then the male was Indian.

Latasha Morrison  24:39  

Okay.

Patricia Taylor  24:40  

And it was just, it was really cute. So yeah, it was just really cute. And again, like just tying in you know speaking language and culture. And they had a lot of focus around food, too, and having a family buffet. And who’s gonna bring what, and you know, she got to bring the drinks because apparently she couldn’t cook either. (laughter) But yeah, that was a lot of fun. And that was great to see.

Latasha Morrison  25:03  

I think they have about 30, over 30 films and now we’re gonna switch channels

Patricia Taylor  25:10  

Before we do, though, I do want to say just because you mentioned this. You know, just like what we come across often in our work is people think of it with like a Black white binary.

Latasha Morrison  25:19  

Yeah.

Patricia Taylor  25:19  

And, so I also got excited to say, oh, like there’s an Asian leader. Not just the silent, not just a friend, but like an Asian lead. And even with like the interracial relationships it’s not just Black and white, there’s, you know, Asian and white or you know, Black and Latina. You know, and so it’s just, so I just wanted to mention that.

Latasha Morrison  25:38  

They are doing that a lot that. And I saw that in the the one with the sisters. Her husband is African American, she’s Asian American. They did a lot around adoption this year, too.

Patricia Taylor  25:49  

They did, yes.

Latasha Morrison  25:50  

A lot around adoption and fostering. And I would say, okay, I love the one Holiday in Harlem, but I want to take it back, because I just saw, well I’m not gonna take it back.

Patricia Taylor  26:02  

Our Christmas journey? 

Latasha Morrison  26:03  

I just saw Our Christmas Journey.

Patricia Taylor  26:07  

With Holly Robinson Peete. Yeah.

Latasha Morrison  26:08  

Yes. And that one was about a family who has a son who’s autistic.

Patricia Taylor  26:12  

Right. And that’s personal for her because her son RJ.

Latasha Morrison  26:15  

Yeah, is autistic. And, I think they’re taking him to this, kind of like a boarding school, but they’re like testing it out. And it’s hard for her to let go. So you see the struggle that she’s having, where a lot of her identity has been placed in her son. She had another daughter, which I think Holly Robinson has like four kids in real life. But on the show, there was only two. And I don’t think this was her story. I think she played in this, but I just loved how they were bringing out like families that where kids are different, you know? And how they navigate that and the struggle within the marriage. 

Patricia Taylor  26:57  

Right.

Latasha Morrison  26:57  

And there was some layers in this one, because a lot of times in the Christmas movies, there’s not a lot of layers.

Patricia Taylor  27:02  

Yeah, it doesn’t go that deep. (laughter) 

Latasha Morrison  27:04  

But they had these layers of the dynamic between her and her son, the daughter feeling like she was kind of second class or second place. And so her dealing with her dynamic. And then dealing with the grandmother, they were staying at a cottage where a woman had lost her mom at Christmas time. So there were these layers where sometimes the layers where you try to bring out too much too quick too soon.

Patricia Taylor  27:31  

Right.

Latasha Morrison  27:31  

And I see that happen in a lot of movies where you can get lost. But I love the fact that they were dealing with some issues that I hadn’t seen dealt with, especially in a holiday movie, and it was still a holiday movie.

Patricia Taylor  27:45  

Yes, absolutely.

Latasha Morrison  27:46  

It was really good. And so, and I know families who have children like that, that was something that they’re going to connect with. So I also look at, like, maybe it’s not a movie that I connect with, but then somebody else can connect with it.

Patricia Taylor  27:46  

Yeah, exactly.

Latasha Morrison  28:02  

So yeah. So I had to give a shout out to Hallmark for really integrating that. And the one where the young lady she had had a foster child that went back with their mom.

Patricia Taylor  28:17  

That one was interesting. That was one of the Mrs. Miracle ones. And that’s also been one that’s been done several times from Debbie Macomber’s books, I think. So there are a lot of them. And those tend to be like very like light and like fun. And so this one was interesting, because she’s grieving. The mom, you know, talks about her struggles with infertility, and they had a foster son who they thought they would adopt. And then he ended up being re reunified with his mom. And so watching it now with like, knowing people who have been in that situation, and again, like, I don’t know, if five years ago, I would have thought of this. Yeah, but thinking about it through the lens of I wonder how this is being received for those who have been in foster care or who have been adopted. And so there was just one thing I was waiting for, which was to say very clearly, like your feelings are valid.

Latasha Morrison  29:11  

Yes.

Patricia Taylor  29:11  

And your grief is real. And he is back with his mom.

Latasha Morrison  29:15  

Yes. 

Patricia Taylor  29:15  

And and so I was like waiting, you know, for that to happen. And it came, it came. But that was just so important to acknowledge that.

Latasha Morrison  29:21  

Why do you think it came?

Patricia Taylor  29:22  

Because someone had to be in the room to say that because otherwise it was going to be fluffy and like oh, she’s sad and then okay, we’re moving on. But let’s not forget about the birth mom. Let’s not forget about this little boy is now back with his mom. 

Latasha Morrison  29:35  

Right, right.

Patricia Taylor  29:36  

And that’s important.

Tandria Potts  29:39  

If you are listening to today’s podcast and would like to become a bridge builder in your community, guess what? Be the Bridge programs are available for youth, college students, adults, BIPOC, and transracial adoptees and adoptive parents. Our desire is for people to have healthy conversations about race. So we’ve provided guides to lead people through these discussions, visit our shop at BeTheBridge.com to grab a guide and start conversations in your community.

Latasha Morrison  30:11  

I think that’s good. Even with the one with the three sisters. One of the storylines is that she, all of them were adopted. And one reconnects with her biological mom, and just the kind of struggle of that. And her family being angry. And I remember seeing, it was like a reality show where the guy was interested in finding his family. But his actual adoptive family were angry at him for even attempting. You know, they really centered themselves. And I could just feel his pain where it didn’t have anything to do with them. And he loved them. And it didn’t change his love for them. But it was just something he wanted to know, he needed that for himself.

Patricia Taylor  31:03  

He needed that.

Latasha Morrison  31:04  

And the fact that they couldn’t understand that. And so he stopped the search, because he didn’t want to cause any tension with his his mom or his brother. And that was just really sad. So to see that, and they actually displayed a little bit of that, where her sisters were angry because she didn’t tell them.

Patricia Taylor  31:25  

Right.

Latasha Morrison  31:25  

And so I think pulling out these real life situations and circumstances, even around Christmas, because it’s gonna end well. (laughter)

Patricia Taylor  31:35  

It’s still gonna end well! And it’d be a little lighthearted. But we can still talk about complexities and not act like we are not multi dimensional, dynamic people. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  31:44  

Right, right. You know, we can’t have a Christmas podcast without mentioning a little bit of Falala Lifetime or what’s the other one? A Wonderful Lifetime.

Patricia Taylor  31:55  

It’s a Wonderful Lifetime and Falala Lifetime? (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  31:58  

There’s so many. 

Patricia Taylor  31:59  

There’s too many to keep up with.

Latasha Morrison  32:01  

And there was an article that came out that where there were 45 African American leads in Christmas movies this year. So there was, you know, where…

Patricia Taylor  32:15  

And they break it down, like in channels and like where you can find them and everything.

Latasha Morrison  32:19  

Yes. Exactly. I don’t know if they have that for other ethnicities, but I was sent that one. And I thought that was just a good start. Because, I mean, 10 years ago, we could name it on one hand. And we’re going to talk about a little bit of another one a little bit later, but I wanted to mention the one on Lifetime, Merry Liddle?

Patricia Taylor  32:42  

Yes, Merry Liddle Christmas and Merry Liddle Wedding. And then this year is the Merry Liddle Baby.

Latasha Morrison  32:49  

This one was pretty good this year. And you have Kelly Rowland, and she’s not singing in it. She’s just acting. And just all the family dynamics…

Patricia Taylor  32:59  

Oh, yes. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  32:59  

…from her being this tech, very successful tech head. And you know, then getting married and then this year is about her having a baby. And I thought that one was really, really cute. And I’m gonna talk with Travon Potts about another one that’s on VH1 one a little bit later that he actually did the score and the music for. We gonna talk about music, we’re gonna talk a little bit later about that. But I’m so excited. Now we didn’t mention any from the mysteries channel.

Patricia Taylor  33:35  

I know. Well, gosh. There are so many, Tasha!

Latasha Morrison  33:38  

I know, I know. Okay, so if we’re talking about all things Christmas, all things Christmas. What is your favorite all time Christmas?

Patricia Taylor  33:51  

I can’t answer that. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  33:55  

You don’t like anything that says favorite. (laughter) What do you play the most? 

Patricia Taylor  34:02  

Okay, I can say that it does not feel like the Christmas season until A Motown Christmas is on.

Latasha Morrison  34:07  

Okay, okay. 

Patricia Taylor  34:08  

It has to happen.

Latasha Morrison  34:10  

Is it Silent Night?

Patricia Taylor  34:13  

I mean, just the whole soundtrack. Like A Motown Christmas. Gotta press play start to finish. Jackson Five. Diana Ross. Silent Night. All the above. We have, you know, Stevie doing Ave Maria. Come on. Come on. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  34:28  

I went to see Ain’t Too Proud, it’s a story about, a Broadway play about The Temptations. And so it was great. But I’m like, they didn’t do Silent Night. Like, I don’t know all their songs. But they didn’t do Silent Night. Yeah, you know, so. And I’m glad to see that some of the music you know, when we talk about that connection, when we start talking about inclusion like connecting some of the music in the movies. That’s really huge.

Patricia Taylor  35:00  

That’s huge because it just shows that through line, you know. Not that people were just stuck out there and say, “Look! Diversity.” I think even when you mentioned A Holiday in Harlem, like the mailman had swag walking down the street delivering mail in the opening scene with Dizzy Gillespie in the background. And I was like, what? (laughter) Even like the murals in the background, even like seeing the art in the house, and you’re like, “Oh, okay!”

Latasha Morrison  35:06  

Yes, all of that. All of that. And there was one it was, I think it was, I can’t remember it. Um, Harmony? 

Patricia Taylor  35:32  

Oh, yes.

Latasha Morrison  35:33  

Yes. And even in that one, they were, I saw the wine that they were drinking. It was the… 

Patricia Taylor  35:33  

It was the Black Girl Magic wine! Yes, that was Christmas in Harmony.

Latasha Morrison  35:37  

…the Black Girl Magic! Yeah, Christmas in Harmony. And they were drinking the wine. They were like, the family was sitting there, I mean even to the placements, you know, that’s key. You know, where it wasn’t just something but that was like, and you can see it it was prominent in the movie. So I think those are, you know. And that was a cute one, too. It had Michelle Williams in it. And they were singing and yeah. Luke,

Patricia Taylor  36:08  

Luke James. Luke James and Loretta Devine. Yes.

Latasha Morrison  36:13  

Loretta Devine like she is just, she’s, I think of her and Sheryl Lee Ralph that have been in this.

Patricia Taylor  36:22  

Iconic.

Latasha Morrison  36:22  

Iconic. Yes. 

Patricia Taylor  36:23  

Yes. Absolutely. Can I just tell you how stunning you look by the way? I was like oh you got your glitter. And those earrings are cute. Someone has some good taste. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  36:35  

Actually, Patty gave me these earrings.

Patricia Taylor  36:37  

Oh, I did! (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  36:38  

They’re so cute. We have our Christmas colors on.

Patricia Taylor  36:41  

I know, we have to be coordinated.

Latasha Morrison  36:43  

Tell them a little bit about these earrings, because they’re lightweight. And these are cute.

Patricia Taylor  36:47  

These are cute. Yeah, so the earrings that we’re both wearing are from a shop called Chosen and Free. And it’s a black woman owned shop. Her name is Lena. She’s based out of Minnesota. She hand makes everything and so I just you know, got to bring a little Christmas magic. And there were just so many things that we love about Christmas. Like we could spend hours talking about just Hallmark alone and breaking down the movies. But there’s so many things that we love. So we’re gonna share more about that, right, on our socials? About some of our favorite things and…

Latasha Morrison  37:15  

Oh you’re gonna share your favorite things? I thought you don’t have it, you don’t like sharing your favorites.

Patricia Taylor  37:18  

You know what, I have to narrow it down for the purpose of the graphic. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  37:22  

That’s why we couldn’t do it on the show. Because they’re too many things.

Patricia Taylor  37:27  

My favorite things plural. Not singular. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  37:30  

I had like a list of so many things. And we’re like, okay, we’re gonna have to do that separate. So you guys have to stay tuned and watch out for a list of Patty and Tasha’s favorite things. Some of this are things that you can get people for Christmas, some of it’s Christmas related, some of it’s not, some of it’s really lifting up some of the young entrepreneurs that are out here or up and coming.

Patricia Taylor  37:55  

Great work and books. There’s so much. So many things. There’s so much.

Latasha Morrison  37:59  

So we’re gonna have those things. So make sure you pay attention to our socials after playing this podcast. And so was there anything else when we talk about all things Christmas? I mean, we didn’t get to go over all of the movies because we would be here for five hours. (laughter)

Patricia Taylor  38:18  

Until next Christmas. We would be here until next Christmas. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  38:21  

But take some time during the Christmas season with your families to watch. I know it feels like Christmas starts. I always will…And I want to find out what movie do you always watch at Christmas time? Like I know a lot of people they watch Elf. Or they watch A Miracle on 34th Street. Or they watch The Santa Claus or the Peanuts Christmas, you know Charlie Brown Christmas or a Snoopy Christmas. But mine, and you know, you think about this as a relatively new movie. This Christmas. I love This Christmas. You know, I love that version of I think it’s Donny Hathaway’s song, you know that Chris Brown does. And he does a great job with that. And when I think of This Christmas I think of my grandmother because that was something that she, that was one of her favorite songs. And my mom, you know, until recently, we had a record player that looked like a chimney. Not a chimney, but like a fireplace. But it was when you open it up, it was a record player. And she would put on her Christmas, you know, music and, you know, stockings. And she would incorporate a little of the German traditions into our family like putting the treats in the shoes because my grandparents lived in Germany for a little bit because my grandfather was in the military. So I remember all of those things. 

Patricia Taylor  39:56  

I love that.

Latasha Morrison  39:56  

So it brings back so much just warm feelings about my grandmother. She’s no longer with us. And just the food and all those different things. So that’s, I would say, that’s probably one of my favorite songs. How about you?

Patricia Taylor  40:13  

Whew, as far as movies. Well, I think, again, there’s so many. But I think a new one, which we did talk about last year, which is Jingle Jangle. With having three daughters, like that is now a new staple. I was telling some of the team this week, I have this dress that every time I wear it, one of my girls says, “You look like Journey.” And so for them to see that representation. And for us to watch that together. Like, every year going forward, like that is definitely on the list.

Latasha Morrison  40:44  

And Jingle Jangle came at the right time.

Patricia Taylor  40:45  

The right time.

Latasha Morrison  40:46  

Last year was such a hard year, you know, with the pandemic and everything and just having Jingle Jangle and just having that type of fun, full of music movie was great. So I think they need to do like, everything good I want a part two.

Patricia Taylor  41:02  

Right. You want another one. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  41:05  

Or either not another one, but something similar to it. (laughter)

Patricia Taylor  41:08  

Right. I know. And I think you know, I think the last thing I want to say in general (because, again, we could say so much more) why we love these movies for a lot of reasons, but the joy. And especially in the work that we do. It is a heavy, heavy, heavy load. And I know for me, I have to be intentional about pressing into joy, and not feeling guilty for just relaxing, for just laughing. You know, I’m so cognizant of what’s happening in our world and our nation and just having empathy and feeling so sad and heartbroken for things that aren’t going well. But I also just want to relax and have fun and have joy. And this is such a great, easy way to do that. And to be reminded of the season, be reminded that Jesus is with us all the time. That even as we go through these trials, it’s okay to smile and laugh and have joy.

Latasha Morrison  41:25  

Exactly. And I think it’s a form of self care. You know, for me, I look at it as a form of self care, a little bit escape from (not so much disconnecting from reality) but just a little pause in reality. And I think that’s why I like the movies. And you know, it’s like a tradition. I think it’s important, even as a single woman to have my own traditions.

Patricia Taylor  42:33  

For now. (laughter) Remember our Hallmark movie, right?

Latasha Morrison  42:38  

In the Hallmark movie we’re gonna write my story. Right?

Patricia Taylor  42:41  

Exactly. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  42:42  

But I think, you know, just having my own traditions, and a part of my tradition is Hallmark. Like, you would not believe how many people know about it, and they send me when the list comes out. 

Patricia Taylor  42:53  

Same! I get tagged all over. I get tagged on Facebook. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  42:57  

It’s just this, everybody talked about it. But then my mom now is watching the movies. My aunt is like, “I’ve already seen that one.” You know? So all these people are watching the Hallmark movies, because you know, we’re talking about it. So you guys, you know, I know, you know, everybody doesn’t love, some of you probably turned it off because as soon as we start talking about Hallmark you’re like, “I do not want to hear it.”

Patricia Taylor  43:22  

We still love you though. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  43:23  

But we are connecting with all the women who feel like unicorns, especially women of color, who feel like unicorns because they like these types of movies. But I think there’s so much more to why we like them. I think it is an escape. And so now that we can see ourselves in them that’s like even a cherry on top.

Patricia Taylor  43:45  

Exactly.

Latasha Morrison  43:46  

And we were going to mention before we go, Hallmark made a change. And I don’t know if we have the information.

Patricia Taylor  43:53  

Oh, to the CEO? Oh, I think Wonya Lucas is the CEO of Crown Media Family networks.

Latasha Morrison  43:59  

What’s her name?

Patricia Taylor  43:59  

Wonya Lucas.

Latasha Morrison  44:01  

Wonya. See I hadn’t even looked that up. (laughter) 

Patricia Taylor  44:03  

Wonya Lucas. Yeah. See what you do? So change has to happen from the inside.

Latasha Morrison  44:06  

They do! I think it’s if you want to see change on the screen and you want to see system change, you do have to change the power. Right, you know, and so I think that’s important. And you’re seeing that in there. And it’s not to say that you want to see all the movies where you connect to all of them. But at least let me connect to some of them. You know, I love that, I want see…

Patricia Taylor  44:15  

Have something for everybody.

Latasha Morrison  44:30  

Yeah, have something for everyone. And I’m glad that people are connecting in various ways to different stories. They don’t have to be as cookie cutter. But you know, cookie cutters come in all sizes, shapes, and colors.

Patricia Taylor  44:44  

That’s right. That’s a word. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  44:48  

Oh, cool. So we gotta take us out, Black Santa can you know take us out. And you know we can wrap it.

Patricia Taylor  44:59  

Thanks for having me, Tasha! I looked forward to this.

Latasha Morrison  45:02  

We’ll put our favorite song at the end of this. I was gonna sing it but I decided not to grace people with my voice.

Patricia Taylor  45:21  

Oh, okay. (laughter)

Latasha Morrison  45:10  

So you guys thank you for listening. This is an annual thing talking about all things Christmas. Make sure you tune into our social media to take a look at all of our favorite things. And we’re gonna have some great organizations and some, you know, I even have some favorite authors and some books that you can buy for Christmas all on there. But we’re going to continue this conversation because I want to talk about more about Christmas music.

Patricia Taylor  45:38  

Yes, have fun with that. Can’t wait!

Latasha Morrison  45:40  

Okay!

Oh, man, we got the man with the master plan. (laughter) You know I was gonna do it. We got the one and the only from behind the scenes to in front. So you know what Travon has been behind the scenes, but he is the one who is the man with the master plan like I said in the beginning, who is putting the Be the Bridge podcast together. He is a part of the brilliance that does the heavy lifting. And he’s always behind the scenes. And he’s a friend. And he’s also really smart. And he does a lot of different things. And so he had the opportunity to work on a Christmas movie.

Travon Potts  46:34  

Yes, yes. Yes, we did.

Latasha Morrison  46:35  

And so I wanted to talk to him about even the creative process. We talked about a lot of things with Patty. But I wanted to talk music with you.

Travon Potts  46:48  

Yes, absolutely. Absolutely.

Latasha Morrison  46:51  

You know, but who are you, Travon?

Travon Potts  46:53  

Who am I? Who am I?

Latasha Morrison  46:55  

Let the people know who you are so that they know. They can put some respect on your name when they’re listening to the Be the Bridge podcast.

Travon Potts  47:04  

Well, I mean, when it when it comes to the Be the Bridge podcast, being producer, so producing the podcast. So, which entails a lot of the recording and all of that. And so what the Be the Bridge community is hearing, a lot of that is being put together and edited and all that stuff by me. So that is, that is a part of what I do. But I also come from the music world. That’s where I am. You know, been playing music since a kid, a small kid and, you know, playing for church choirs and all that stuff growing up. And then, I got into music, songwriting, and production. And so what is it? Some of your audience, they may know a song that I wrote “Angel of Mine” for Monica. And I’ve written other songs for different groups, different artists. But then moved more into the television and film space, and so working on music for different shows like let’s see Greenleaf…

Latasha Morrison  48:07  

Yeah!

Travon Potts  48:08  

…BMF, Swagger, The Shy. Let’s see, the Whitney Houston movie, and then I was just…

Latasha Morrison  48:19  

You just threw that one out there. The Whitney Houston movie. Just some little things, you know.

Travon Potts  48:28  

We worked on a number of different things. And so, the blessing is to actually have worked on this movie, this Christmas movie that you’re speaking of, Adventures in Christmasing.

Latasha Morrison  48:41  

Okay! That was was written and directed by?

Travon Potts  48:48  

Well, it was executive produced by Kim Fields.

Latasha Morrison  48:53  

Okay Kim Fields.

Travon Potts  48:53  

Who was also starring in that movie along with Adrian Holmes. But it was directed by Troy Scott.

Latasha Morrison  48:53  

Okay, okay.

Travon Potts  48:55  

Yeah. And, it was written by Rhonda Baraka, but it was from a story that Kim Fields, who is a co writer on it, it’s a story that she came up with.

Latasha Morrison  49:14  

Okay.

Travon Potts  49:15  

And so she collaborated with Rhonda to write this wonderful Christmas movie. And so it was a blessing to be a part of it as the music supervisor. She brought me in, as the executive producer, she brought me in as the music supervisor. So that’s my role with this film.

Latasha Morrison  49:35  

So I want to talk about that. But those of you who are listening, you probably have heard of Kim Fields. She’s been in Living Single. That’s the thing that, you know, those of you who are fans of that show, she was iconic. I mean, her comedic timing is just like, it’s just own spot. You may if you’re old enough, you may remember her from Good Times and from the Facts of Life and all these things, and a host of other movies, and then just recently the Upshaws.

Travon Potts  50:15  

Yeah, yeah. She was in the Upshaws. Exactly, exactly.

Latasha Morrison  50:17  

Which has some great writing, The Upshaws on Netflix. And we actually had the privilege of having Kim Fields on last year to talk about another Christmas movie that she was in and just her longevity in this industry and how she’s in front of the camera, behind the camera, she’s executive producer, she’s writing. I mean, and she’s been doing this, like since childhood. She’s incredible. And you know, she has to be gifted, because she’s still sustaining herself in this. So I’m glad you had the opportunity to work with her. And as the music supervisor, because I know you do, when you were doing Greenleaf you did a lot of composing.

Travon Potts  51:05  

Yeah, I did a lot of composing. Yeah.

Latasha Morrison  51:06  

Now tell us the difference. (laughter) Because this is true, because we just talked about this and how this role is extremely important, especially when we’re communicating through films.

Travon Potts  51:18  

Yes, exactly.

Latasha Morrison  51:19  

And so, tell us a little bit about the difference. And I’ll tell you how I know the difference.

Travon Potts  51:24  

Okay. Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, there is a composer and then there’s a music supervisor.

Latasha Morrison  51:31  

Okay.

Travon Potts  51:31  

The composer, brilliant, brilliant songwriter is Paul Wright. So he was the composer for the film. So that’s what you you deal with when you’re dealing with the score.

Latasha Morrison  51:42  

Okay. Okay.

Travon Potts  51:43  

So with the score with a film, like you’ll hear strings in the background, and things that kind of move the mood and all of that? Well, as a music supervisor, I’m concerned about, and what I do is, I find the right songs.

Latasha Morrison  51:57  

Okay.

Travon Potts  51:57  

So like, for instance, in this film, it was looking at different scenes and recognizing that a good song would fit in there. And so then I would do things like I would go and I would find the producers and the songwriters to come up with the songs. I would attach artists to those songs.

Latasha Morrison  51:57  

Oh!

Travon Potts  51:57  

Yeah. So I would do that. And then on top of that, I then have to get the songs licensed. Basically, we have to license the songs from the different songwriters and the producers that do it or the publishing companies that own the songs, all of that. And so it was a blessing because I was able to bring a lot of wonderful artists like Jonathan McReynolds. What is it, Kenny Lattimore.

Latasha Morrison  52:51  

Okay!

Travon Potts  52:51  

Alex Isley.

Latasha Morrison  52:53  

Oh, wow.

Travon Potts  52:53  

And you mentioned Living Single, we actually have TC Carson on the soundtrack. So yeah, so it’s getting a lot of different artists. And we were able to introduce some artists like Penzillathegreat, and there’s an artist named Aerin. They’re different artists that we were able to introduce, as well as some established artists, some names that you already know. And we actually not only put these songs in the film, but we actually were able to create a soundtrack album where we have the score and we have the songs all in this one piece for Adventures in Christmasing. So that’s amazing.

Latasha Morrison  52:54  

And it’s on Spotify, and you guys, I had the opportunity to listen to the soundtrack. And it is really nice. Like it’s really good. And my context when I was talking to Travon before this, I was like, you know, he was talking about, you know, the difference between the music supervisor and the composer. And I know he’s done stuff for like Greenleaf and you know a lot of different shows, but my connection was another Christmas movie, The Holiday.

Travon Potts  54:02  

Yeah, yeah.

Latasha Morrison  54:03  

Jack Black. I think he’s like a music supervisor, either a composer in the movie. He talks about the back end of the movie and putting it, so you see him doing that in the movie. He talks about the famous two notes that are the greatest score of all time.

Travon Potts  54:20  

Yes!

Latasha Morrison  54:21  

And it was the, “Duh, duh. Duh, duh.”

Travon Potts  54:23  

Yeah, yeah.

Latasha Morrison  54:27  

Jaws. But if you remove that from the movie, it’s not the same. And so that’s the importance of the work that you do. You know, when I think about the Be the Bridge podcast, you can have great content, but if the sound is off, if things are not smooth like that can make or break. We see that even with TV shows. I was even watching a couple Hallmark movies and it had the people singing, and it wasn’t matching up. Or if the music doesn’t match it just looks like really weird. And so I’m just glad that you are behind the scenes.

Travon Potts  55:09  

Yes, yes.

Latasha Morrison  55:10  

I know you’ve been doing this for a while. And so what have you seen? What progress have you seen? I know, is there a lot of diversity in this?

Travon Potts  55:19  

It wasn’t. But it’s starting to happen now. Like I mentioned with Kim Fields being the executive producer. She’s the one that hired me.

Latasha Morrison  55:29  

Okay.

Travon Potts  55:30  

And the composer is also African American. So the idea is that…and I found this like with Greenleaf, part of what they wanted is they wanted, it was a church television show, and they wanted it to have an authentic Black church feel in terms of the music. And, so with a lot of the shows that I’m working with, in wanting it to feel very authentic. Like for instance, in The Shy when doing music, when I was brought in, one of the songs that I was working on is they wanted it to feel like this house music from an earlier era. But you have to be kind of familiar with, “Okay, well, what is Black house music in Chicago sound like?” And the way that you do that is you have to get us to do that. 

Latasha Morrison  56:27  

Yeah. Yeah.

Travon Potts  56:28  

And so the more that you have Black directors, Black producers, Black executive producers, and all of that behind the scenes, they’re going and they’re grabbing us – the Black composers, the Black music supervisors, and all of that.

Latasha Morrison  56:38  

They do exist.

Travon Potts  56:45  

Yeah, yes, we do. We do. And we understand what the music and what the feel is, and how to make it authentic.

Latasha Morrison  56:52  

Yeah. And I think that goes to say for you know, if you’re doing an Asian Film.

Travon Potts  57:00  

Yes, exactly.

Latasha Morrison  57:01  

It’s gonna be important of who’s behind the scenes? I think sometimes we look at okay, who’s on camera?

Travon Potts  57:07  

Exactly.

Latasha Morrison  57:08  

But sometimes there’s a disconnect.

Travon Potts  57:09  

Yes.

Latasha Morrison  57:10  

You know, if behind the scenes doesn’t align with what’s on camera and we see that in script writing. I think it applies to music. Music is so key, especially to Christmas.

Travon Potts  57:22  

Yeah, yeah.

Latasha Morrison  57:22  

And how we connect to the audience. But I wanted to find out from you. What is your favorite, what is your favorite Christmas song of all times? Or are you one of those people that you don’t like to name favorites?

Travon Potts  57:39  

Oh, let’s see. Probably “This Christmas,” Donny Hathaway. I absolutely love that song.

Latasha Morrison  57:49  

What do you like about it, though? Because that’s my favorite, too. But you see, you’re probably more technical then I am. I just like the way it feels. And it connects to history for me. Of course, I love the song.

Travon Potts  58:00  

But believe it or not, it is not technical. You know? Us as Black folks, we want to feel our music. And there’s something about that, that you know, just the sound and all that it makes me feel…I feel that the yams and the collard greens and the macaroni and cheese. Just with the sound and the feel and just knowing that that’s what I’m hearing in the background when I’m around family and Christmas time. So yeah, that’s what it is. It’s the same for me as you. It’s not even technical it’s a feel. I just feel it.

Latasha Morrison  58:33  

Okay. Number two. Number two. Number two for me would be “Let it Snow” by Boyz II Men.

Travon Potts  58:40  

Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Latasha Morrison  58:42  

Let it Snow. And I saw they have, I think one of them they have sons. A couple of daughters. But they sing and they’re on Instagram. And they redid that song.

Travon Potts  58:54  

Oh, wow. 

Latasha Morrison  58:55  

They’re incredible. Wanya. Wanya, he has kids. I think they’re the Wanya Group or something like that. But it’s a whole bunch of them. He’s got like a good group of kids. But they can sing.

Travon Potts  59:10  

Yeah. Wow. Oh that’s awesome.

Latasha Morrison  59:11  

And they redid that. So you gotta go find them on Instagram and listen to that. But I think “This Christmas,” “Let it Snow.”

Travon Potts  59:18  

Yeah.

Latasha Morrison  59:19  

And you know, as we talk about these things, I think it’s important for us not just to – for people who are in this industry – to seek diversity you know, and inclusion like on screen but also behind the screen. And not even just limiting you to Black music. You know? I know you. I mean, you were listening to jazz when I came in. It was very diverse jazz. What’s that? That sounds like a little bollywood. (laughter) But I know like you don’t even with you not putting yourself in a box. I’m not putting you in a box where, you know. The same way, you know, like as an author, I’m an author that happens to be Black. But just calling, referring to, and putting me in a section where it’s just Black authors. And you choose that when you’re talking about that particular subject. But there’s a wide variety of things that I can talk on and speak on. The same way with you. 

Travon Potts  1:00:25  

Yeah, yeah.

Latasha Morrison  1:00:26  

So, you know, I think that’s important. What do you think about that, like, having opportunities to work on other films that, you know, maybe people don’t look like us in the movie?

Travon Potts  1:00:35  

Yeah, yeah. Well, I mean, that’s a word because I had 14 years of classical training. So so that’s what I started off with. So it’s kind of like, really, honestly, when it comes to all of the music that I know, and all the music that I came up with, having the opportunity to really go after it and do that in different types of settings, different types of films, it’s amazing opportunity, and it’s something that I love to do and can do. And it’s great that Hollywood’s kind of catching up to the fact that we can do all types of things. We can do the things that are very authentic to us that we know, but also that we we know those other areas as well. And so it’s a blessed time to be able to be a part of all of it and do all of it.

Latasha Morrison  1:01:25  

Yeah. Well, we wanted to take this time to just kind of pause and introduce the Be the Bridge community to the man that’s behind the scenes, as I say the man with the master plan. And bring him to the forefront, especially after I heard that you worked on this Christmas movie. And you know Christmas is like my favorite thing. And then you worked on it with Kim Fields. And I interviewed her last year.

Travon Potts  1:01:51  

Yes, yes.

Latasha Morrison  1:01:52  

And just all the things that technical things that comes into producing and editing and all those things. So it’s just important on screen and off screen.

Travon Potts  1:02:03  

Yeah.

Latasha Morrison  1:02:04  

And so we just wanted to have you on to talk to you about that. And let me tell you guys to check out this soundtrack for Adventures in Christmasing. Check out the movie. It was on VH1.

Travon Potts  1:02:16  

Yes. It’s still on. It’s still running on VH1.

Latasha Morrison  1:02:20  

So check out that movie and check out the soundtrack. And I think it’s on Spotify.

Travon Potts  1:02:25  

Yes, it’s on Spotify. Was it iTunes, any of the Apple music, and any of the music platforms, you will find it. Please, please, please go check it out.

Latasha Morrison  1:02:40  

And if you haven’t heard Brandy’s “Angel of Mine” go ahead and download that.

Travon Potts  1:02:44  

Well, Monica.

Latasha Morrison  1:02:46  

Okay. Well, if you haven’t heard Monica’s song “Angel of Mine” make sure you go ahead and download that.

Travon Potts  1:02:54  

Yes.

Latasha Morrison  1:02:55  

I even called you Trayvon Martin. What is wrong with me? I’m tired.

Travon Potts  1:03:01  

(laughter) That’s being an editor. I’ll edit that out.

Latasha Morrison  1:03:06  

Edit that out. Edit that out, Travon. (laughter) Edit that out. Okay, but thank you so much for joining us.

Travon Potts  1:03:10  

No, thank you for having me.

Latasha Morrison  1:03:11  

Now you guys have a face with what’s happening behind the scenes on the Be the Bridge podcast. Thank you for joining us. Make sure you guys check out Adventures in Christmasing.

Travon Potts  1:03:22  

Yes!

Latasha Morrison  1:03:23  

And check out the work of Travon Potts on all of those shows that we’ve talked about. So it’s important, those things are important. So thank you so much for the work that you do.

Travon Potts  1:03:33  

Thank you for having me. Thank you for having me.

Latasha Morrison  1:03:34  

And Merry Christmas!

Travon Potts  1:03:36  

Merry Christmas.

Tandria Potts  1:03:40  

Go to the donors table if you’d like to hear the unedited version of this podcast.

Narrator  1:03:47  

Thanks for listening to the Be the Bridge podcast. To find out more about the Be the Bridge organization and or to become a bridge builder in your community, go to BeTheBridge.com. Again, that’s BeTheBridge.com. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, remember to rate and review it on this platform and share it with as many people as you possibly can. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Today’s show was edited, recorded, and produced by Travon Potts at Integrated Entertainment Studios in Metro Atlanta, Georgia. The host and executive producer is Latasha Morrison. Lauren C. Brown is the Senior Producer. And transcribed by Sarah Connatser. Please join us next time. This has been in Be the Bridge production.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai