Meeting David WilsonApril 14, 2008
A documentary by a Rowan University alumnus recently aired on NBC and sparked a nationally-televised discussion on race in America.
Meeting David Wilson tells the story of David Wilson, a 1999 graduate who traveled south to meet another David Wilson—the man whose ancestors enslaved the filmmaker’s during America’s period of slavery.
Wilson appeared on NBC’s “Today Show” on April 11 to promote the documentary, produced by another Rowan graduate, Barion Grant, who earned his Communications degree in 2000.
“I made this film to change the way black and white people see themselves and each other,” Wilson said in a statement. “And so that we can have a fearless dialogue stripped of the reliance on stereotypes and political correctness.”
Wilson’s plan to open communication worked. The NBC premiere was hosted by Tiki Barber and concluded with a 90-minute live discussion of racial issues in America. Both the premiere and the discussion—moderated by “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams— were shown live on msnbc.com.
This isn’t Wilson’s first noteworthy documentary. As a radio/television/film student at Rowan, he produced an award-winning feature on African-American women who served the military during World War II—a documentary that is still sold in the bookstore at the Women’s Memorial in Arlington, Va.
“Dave was always a highly motivated young media-production person,” said Ned Eckhardt, one of Wilson’s former Rowan RTF professors. “He wanted to take on the big challenges [Rowan] could offer him.”
“With Meeting David Wilson, it seems he never stopped taking on the big challenges after he left Rowan. And he’s inviting America to come together and join him.”
“These issues I bring up are not problems of [just] one race or community,” Wilson said. “Because we are Americans this is something in which we can all engage.”
For more information about Meeting David Wilson or to view clips of the documentary, visit http://meetingdavidwilson.com/.