May 3rd, 2011 08:51 EST
Micro-Interviews with Judyth Piazza, Henry Louis Gates and Maya Soetoro-Ng, Sister of Barack Obama
If you don`t like something, change it. If you can`t change it, change your attitude." -Maya Angelou
Thanks to my dear friend, film critic Kam Williams, I have had the honor of conducting micro-interviews with some of the most influential and famous people in the world. Here are a few more of those interviews.
Professor Henry Louis Gates
Professor Henry Louis Gates dominated the national news for much of the summer of 2009 after being mistaken for a burglar and handcuffed for breaking into his own home.
President Obama eventually intervened to defuse the tension by inviting both the professor and the arresting officer to the White House for a glass of beer by Rose Garden. "
Judyth Piazza asks: If you were a student getting ready to attend college for the first time, what would you do differently, knowing what you know now?
Henry Louis Gates: That`s interesting. Me? I`d take a lot of classes in math, science and computers, but I`d also take more courses about Africa, Latin America and other Third World cultures, as well as Western Civilization, which is very important, too.
Judyth has another question: What key quality do you believe all successful people share?
Henry Louis Gates: A belief that they can make a difference in the world. All successful people have to believe in themselves and in the future. That`s a very subtle point. You have to believe in deferred gratification, that, "If I do this today, it might not reap a benefit until the next generation, or the generation after that, but it`s still worth it." Too many black people today have lost the capacity to defer gratification which was one of the qualities which made our ancestors so great. You know what? My father supported us by working at two jobs for 37 years. He worked hard and saved so Paul and Henry, Jr. could become whatever they dreamed they wanted to do. He never bought a Cadillac. In fact, my parents never even owned a car. So, I say don`t be fooled by appearances. Instead, penetrate and try to appreciate what really matters and to understand how things really work.
Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng
"Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng is a lecturer at the University of Hawaii`s College of Education and the sister of Barack Obama. Named after the poet Maya Angelou, Maya has just published "Ladder to the Moon," a picture book inspired by her young daughter Suhaila`s questions about the grandmother she never knew, Grandma Annie."
The Judyth Piazza question: What key quality do you believe all successful people share?
Maya Soetoro-Ng: I honestly think that it`s love. You really need to love something or someone in order to work hard enough to be very successful. You have to believe in something and have a certain optimism. Faith and optimism come from love. So, I really do think that`s the starting point.
More Micro Interviews: Judyth Piazza Micro-Interviews Morgan Freeman, Soledad O`Brien and Isaiah Mustafa
Stay tuned to Judyth Piazza`s America Perspective and The SOP Radio Network for up and coming interviews with Morgan Freeman, Maya Soetoro-Ng and more of your favorite celebrities and Heroes.
To read complete interviews: