- Hey, I'm Valerie June.
Coming up on Reel South... [soft vocal harmony] America's complicated history is brought to life in photographs.
One southern photographer captured seminal moments.
- [Burk] These are the contact sheets.
This is Martin Luther King's body being put on a plane and being flown to Atlanta to be buried.
These are the folks outside of the Lorraine Motel, where he was killed.
- [Valerie] Moments that forced him to reckon with deep-seated prejudices.
- [Burk] You start out, perhaps with the mind, and an idea.
If you're lucky, that translates to the heart.
And then all that filters out through the eye.
[reflective music] - [Valerie] This is, F11 and Be There.
Up next, on "Reel South".
[lively music] ♪ [hissing sound] [somber, hymnal music] ♪ ♪ - [Burk] I believe good pictures, they start out perhaps with the mind, and an idea.
[camera shutter clicking] And if you're lucky, that translates to the heart.
And then all of that filters out through the eye.
[camera shutter clicking] [somber, hymnal music] ♪ ♪ [train whistling] [somber, hymnal music] ♪ ♪ When I first wake up, and I stretch out, and I get on the bike, I'm still in that kind of wonderful, semi-conscious state of sleep and awake, and the quietness of it, allows the motion of my feet to bring love flow to my mind, into my heart.
[somber, hymnal music] So this connection happens, it's not only mental and emotional meditation, it's a physical meditation.
[somber, hymnal music] ♪ ♪ There's something about doing portraits in which the face is the psychological landscape.
The face bares the imprint of time.
The face and the eyes bare not only the character, but the joy of a person's being.
If it's not a brand new frontier, and it's certainly is in the history of art, it's probably a new frontier which each and every artist the minute they tackle a brand new subject.
[reflective music] ♪ [classical music] [equipment pops] [classical music] [drum beat music] Okay, that's five feet, seven inches.
[equipment clicking] Now lower your chin just a little bit.
Now do what you do, when you put your hands up.
- [Woman] When I go to church?
- Yeah, just like you're in church.
So, it's gonna be, it's gonna be really important, and I'll tell you, and you'll have to have them exactly the right place, so something like that.
♪ Amazing grace - [Burk] That's beautiful.
Lean back a little, so I see your face.
♪ How sweet - [Burk] Move your hand close to your head.
♪ The sound ♪ That saved a wretch like me ♪ I once - [Burk] Hand close.
♪ Was lost, [camera shutter clicking] ♪ But now I see [camera shutter clicking] - You are so beautiful.
[clapping] [water running, splashing] But this darkroom has a wide sink, so that I can make good prints.
[water running] This will be good for now.
[water running, splashing] [switch clicking] Year '68, story number 18, frame number four.
And these are the contact sheets.
This is Martin Luther King's body being put on a plane, and being flown to Atlanta to be buried.
These are the folks outside the Lorraine Motel, where he was killed.
Here his body, in the casket.
This is where, the room that he was killed in.
I wanna make a new print of this picture, of the people carrying the poster of Martin Luther King, in the actual funeral, in Atlanta.
[rustling] [clicking] [poetic music] In the darkroom, when a picture comes to life, people have described it as magic, so it wouldn't be the first time to use the phrase, but it is magic.
And it's magic, not only because it's happening, but it's magic because I haven't had the faintest idea why it's happening, to be perfectly honest with you.
I mean, I have read all the explanations of why that stuff that they put on a piece of paper is light-sensitive.
And I understand that the light coming down from the enlarger makes a dent, at whatever those contraptions are, by the millions, on the surface of the paper.
And then I know, that when you stick that object in that tray of chemistry, I've read what the chemical and ingredients are, but when it happens, I just can't believe it's happening, and it's just pure magic to me.
And then to go back, and make the print all over again, and it was my hands, hold the light, and shape the light with my fingers, and let the light pour through fingers, pressing the foot switch, and making the enlarger go on, and on, and on, till it just puts more and more light on the paper, and something happens, and then if you do it right, then the print is beautiful, it's magic.
It's a great, great feeling to experience.
[water splashing] I'm really disappointed in America.
They're a lot of people that I hold accountable for it.
I hold churches and religion accountable for it.
I hold the Washington establishment accountable for it.
And I hold all the institutions and the bodies at fault, that are prevalent in our society that offer justification for hatred.
Now you have to wonder, is it even possible for it to get better?
Can we even overcome racism?
But you look at this beautiful man here, in this picture, who was shot and killed, because of the development of a less racial society.
He was killed for his trouble.
[prayerful humming] ♪ ♪ Okay, world, I apologize for that sign, in behalf of, the rest of white America.
It's like we're getting out of here, without me.
I don't think visitation was the plan.
[somber drumbeat music] ♪ ♪ "Life Magazine" wanted me to go to the mountains of North Carolina, since I was a young southerner, and still spoke the language, and a skinny, little white guy with a crew cut, that I am.
They thought that I would be able to be amongst my people, and photograph the KKK, and I was doing a story on Robert Shelton, the grand dragon of the KKK.
The rally started, and he made the announcement that there was a "Life" photographer there taking photographs, and that I was following him around, and it was okay, don't hurt him, it's okay, he's there, I've invited him to be here, so let him take his photographs, and so I did.
And I moved around the crowd, taking photographs candidly, and then they did the ceremonial cross-burning, and they lit [loud blast] the cross, and they went to all crazy with flames, they had on their hoods, and they did what they do.
And I was very happy to have gotten a good shoot.
I decided to unload my film, as I've been doing all along through the event, [camera clicking] [somber drum music] Take the rolls of film out of the camera, and stick them in my sock, and put a fresh roll of film in, so if something happened to me, at least the film wouldn't get stolen.
As I was doing that, I'm looking down, and thinking to myself, wow, what an amazing thing to see.
All of a sudden, this fierce hand from behind, grabbed my shoulder, very, very strenuous bodily contact, kind of gesture, and I said, "Oh boy, "this is gonna be the end.
"What's gonna happen?"
And I turned around, and this big guy pulls his hood off, and he said, "Hi, Burk, you remember me?
"We went to high school together, in Dunn, North Carolina.
"It's been a long time since I've seen you, boy.
"How you c'mon?
"I just wondered how you were, "up there, working for all them damn Yankees, "and 'Life Magazine', that's a terrible thing, "working for 'Life Magazine', "but anyway, you doin' okay?"
And I said, "Yeah", and I said, "Well, how you doin'?"
And he says, "I'm doin' fine, I got myself "a nice little lady, we got some children, "I got myself a milk route, and everything's just fine.
"And I like being here with my people."
One of the things that I have learned many times was that, you never know who people are.
You know, you can decide you think you know there is to know about them, and so, there you go, you never know.
There's something about, believing whatever you believe, full out, you know, you see that focus in a pair of eyes.
And these eyes can be worn by a lot of different sensibilities, and a lot of different faces, in different parts of the world.
When we have that capacity to be who we are, with some degree of intensity, it's worth taking a really good look at, as a photographer for sure.
♪ Pray for me ♪ Pray for me ♪ Pray for me, yes, Lord ♪ Pray for me ♪ Oh-oh-oh ♪ Oh, my brother, pray for me ♪ When you bow down ♪ When you bow down - [Burk] My love for the black culture, was probably born the first day I went to Martin Luther King's, little church, in Atlanta, Georgia, and not because what Martin Luther King had to say, but because of the music that I heard.
♪ Nothing you ask will be denied ♪ ♪ Lord, we'll take care of you ♪ I know, I know God will ♪ God will take care of you ♪ Through everyday ♪ Through everyday ♪ Along the way ♪ And he will take care of you - And not that I'm a religious person, but when I go to black church services, and I hear the music, and I see the joy of the people, it just, it lights a fire in my being.
♪ That's what he say ♪ Say, oh Lord, and yes you do ♪ Lord, yes you do ♪ I cried Lord ♪ Lord you've been good ♪ You've been so good ♪ Lord, you've been good ♪ Been so good ♪ You've been so good ♪ You've been better to me ♪ Than I've been to myself ♪ I gotta tell somebody else ♪ You've been so good ♪ And you saved ♪ Saved my soul, yes you did ♪ Oh, yes you did ♪ Woo ♪ No, no, Jesus, I need ♪ I need just a little more Jesus ♪ ♪ I need just a little more Jesus ♪ ♪ I need just a little more Jesus ♪ ♪ I need just a little more Jesus ♪ - [Disc Jockey] You are tuned in to WOOW, 1340 am, on your am dial, right here in the city of Greenville, North Carolina.
Also, ladies and gentlemen, don't forget, don't forget, we do have a black history gala setup right here, and inside WOOW, 45 Evans Street, Greenville, North Carolina, uptown, you can come out and check out some black history, native Americans, slaves, Buffalo Soldiers, we have rich, rich history that goes back.
Ladies and gentlemen, I wanna introduce my son, Abdul, Jr.
He's gonna be taking over in the near future.
The same way my father used to interview me on the radio, asking me the same questions, and he used to always say, you know, this is gonna be your job, one day.
So, as you can see, this is gonna be your job one day.
You wanna give a shout out to Mommy, say, "What's up, Mommy?"
She listening to you in the car.
- [Burk] Raise your chin a little bit more.
Turn your chin this way, a little bit more.
Right there, eyes bright.
[camera pops] That's it, hold on, keep right there.
You are to be in this picture, what every man wants to be in terms of the black community.
I mean, it's just, it's just, and you, as an audible light of the future, sir.
[camera beeping] [camera pops] [footsteps tapping] - They were back here.
- [Burk] Yes, sir.
- And he ran, and did the jump, and landed right here.
- Right here.
- That would be maximum, great, okay.
Well, that's the battery.
The card should be.
Ah, it's right in there, I was moving the... All right, go, go, go, go, go.
- [Group] [chanting] - I don't want it to be just a passive thing.
Get your hands up high.
Yeah, that's right, just see some emotion, let's see some energy.
Now, you look up this way, a little more.
- [Group] [chanting] - More, more, more, more.
- [Group] [chanting] - [Burk] Oh, ho, good, good, go, go, go, go, go.
- [Group Leader] Today.
- [Group] [chanting] One, two, three, hut!
[steps echoing] - Okay guys, just do that jump, again.
[fast drum beating] - [Burk] Here we go.
[group chanting] - [Group] Sit back and watch the show.
[clapping and stomping] [drum beating] [chanting] [drum beating] [clapping and stomping] [chanting] [drum beating] [clapping and stomping] - [Burk] All right, thank you so much, wow.
[applauding] You guys are incredible.
And continue clear in March.
You look, I mean, you know, you would find the story of the '60s in this box.
There's stuff that's never been printed.
How do you become a photographer?
How do you work as a photographer?
What's going on in order to make good photographs?
The first thing you have to know is who are you?
What defines you and your values, as a person?
How do you take that, and you relate it to a subject?
If I'm to give myself, to conveying them, that implies respect.
And once I've done that, then I can have a dialogue between myself and that subject, and that can go in many different ways, depending on the eloquence of the medium that you have at your disposal.
A range of tools, 'cause a tool is not a tool, until it has craft.
A tool is only something you can hold in your hand, until you can play it like a violin.
A tool is Stradivarius.
Until you know that, you're worthless.
You have to use whatever tool comes to mind, to solve the problem, I guess.
[hammer tapping] This is not the typical approach that I used with art directors when I was showing them my new portfolio.
[chuckles] Maybe I should have used the hammer on some of their heads, for what they did to some of my pictures.
Well, growing up in the south before the age of television, being available in every home, the only link to the outside, that really made much difference to me, was "Life Magazine".
I knew that I wanted to be a "Life Magazine" photographer.
So, I did, I became a "Life" photographer, when I was 23.
And you gotta be ready.
You have to sort of be always in focus, when you're doing stories like this.
You got a camera in your hand, there's a zoom focus all the time.
The "Life" reporter stood herself in the way, so that you'll just kind of, went the other way.
And therefore, determined if she would go to the most picturesque spot in the trail.
And she and I had sort of made sign language, still.
And then, so she did that, and Jill wound up there, and then she, and you know, she just did that.
This was a very normal thing for Jill to do.
It's my duty to be subjective, as well as, objective.
Otherwise, I would be a machine.
And okay, just do a facsimile, the first, that's not art.
I think documentary photography is the most subjective photography of all, if it's done well [upbeat music] F11, to those who mean FA8, or F.14, but it's the setting on your cameras, to have it nailed just right.
And then be there, means, you know like, Cartever, the song says, you told it was, great to be a great photographer.
But it sure helps if something important is happening in front of your camera.
So, that's the "be there" part.
[upbeat music] And I've just gotten my contract, and I was in New York, and Cornell Capa, who was one of my all-time heroes, and Cornell said, "Congratulations on your 'Life' contract, "so but there's one thing you really need to remember, you're only as good as your legs in this business."
And of course what he meant was, it's always work, you always gotta keep moving, you gotta take care of yourself, and you gotta be on the move, and you gotta be prepared to work.
You cannot sit down and succeed.
[lively music] [somber, hymnal music] The old master painters, they took all the stuff, and they mixed it up, all these different colors, and horny, those bastards were so horny, can you imagine an old master painting of any sort, where they're trying to tell any kind of story at all about a war, or this, or that, or there's just somebody hanging out, with a boob hanging out, or the body parts, erroneous barsh, all of these great painters, and nipples galore.
Not even trying to cover them all up, the great gowns, beautifully painted, people killing each other.
Camels in the background, or street scenes, church scenes, people dying, people having babies, nipples galore.
Sinking a ban at somebody in the verna.
My God, hell breaking out all over, with breasts there to see, is nobody getting any sex, or are they getting just so much, they can't keep it on the back burner for just a few minutes?
It drives me crazy.
I delight in every minute I'm driven crazy, by the great old-master paintings.
They are a joy to see.
The lessons to be learned.
Every corner of those paintings has a lesson to be learned.
I look at these paintings as if they were photographs.
I think of them as a previous photographer being my mentor, and telling me how I should be doing my photographs today.
Not one person staring stupidly at the camera.
The primary light coming from the back of the subject, the face going more into shadow, and yet, that pulls us more into the face, than if it had been lit from the front.
Mystery, mystery is an invitation.
How many Henri Cartier-Bresson photographs do I see contained in this painting?
And it was Henri Cartier-Bresson who told me to go steady, to quatro-central paintings.
If he were to introduce himself, typically as Henri Cartier-Bresson, because he was so, so famous, people would know who he was.
And so he would, in a social situation, particularly if he thought there were photographers present, he would always introduce himself as Hank Carter.
[chuckles] This is a Cartier-Bresson photograph.
This is even a better Cartier-Bresson photograph.
And then, all of these little things back here, all these little ones, reminds you of the things Henri pictured the person jumping in the water, or something like that.
The longer you look at it, you see these three little words just coming out of the darkness.
How powerful is that subtlety?
It's just an amazing thing.
And if mystery is an invitation, then here we have it.
[wind chimes blowing] - [Woman] As I was standing there, I had a conversation with my father.
I said, "Well, Daddy, I am standing on hallowed grounds.
"I'm standing in front "of your great, great, great grandfather, Cromwell Bullock.
"I know that he was a slave."
And I said, "We're here shooting this, "because this represents my roots, from which you came."
And I hope that this will be used to show the strong family roots that we do have, and therefore, children that are here now, and those that yet to be born, will know that they came from strength, courage, and perseverance.
[reflective music] - [Burk] What person on this earth doesn't have something to convey, that's important?
You know, no matter what.
[bus roaring] [drum beat music] I feel completely at home in the studio.
It's where I can come and rest my being, and let things come to me.
It's my place of reverence, and peace, as well as, kind of a spiritual grounding place.
[soulful drum beat music] - [Woman] When I get really dressed, like really dressed, I don't feel like I'm dressed, until I put a hat on.
So I can make the hat, that hat doesn't make me.
And when I get up and get ready for church, I don't care how I feel, when I put my hat on, well, it's time to boogie, let's go to church.
[drum beat music] [muffled, background conversation] [rapid drum beat music] - [Burk] Move your head that way, about an eight of, right there, just a, we're talking about an eight of an inch we're just, lower it-- [soulful drum beat music] And everyday is a brand new day.
Every face is a brand new face.
And you just can take nothing for granted.
You know, you cannot come into this new frontier with pre-conceptions about a person.
You must not do that.
But each and every new face, is a new frontier, and a new opportunity to feel something, to share something, about that person, which is clearly worth doing.
That's their frontier that they offer.
It's a gorgeous, gorgeous invitation, just by their being themselves, that they invite, contemplation and perception, and convey it.
And that's as deep a frontier, as you are capable of exploring.
[lively drum music] I was, you know, knee-high to a grasshopper.
And I was looking at all of the postcards, and I was telling my mother, I wanna get a camera, I wanna get a camera and take pictures of things that I see, and she said, "You don't need a camera, "all you need to do is buy the postcards, "they already done it, look how beautiful the postcards are.
"You don't need a camera.
"Why would you wanna take pictures better than these?"
[balloon deflating] Shortly after that, I took money from my paper route, and I bought a little box camera, and I started taking pictures with the little box camera, I made a few pictures that were good enough to sell to the local newspaper, and by then, I also had a four by four speed graphic, and you know, these cameras were bouncing around in their case in the basket of the bicycle, and I would ride my bicycle down to the, where we got our papers, and we would roll the papers up and deliver them.
And I would open the paper, and there would be a photograph of mine, in the paper, even occasionally on the front page of the newspaper.
And I would be riding my bicycle, throwing the paper on the front porches, before going to high school that morning.
That was a kick.
By then, I was selling pictures fairly regularly to the state newspapers.
So, and in those days, I photographed with my Leica 3S, going crrr, thoof, crrr, thoof, because you had to wind the thing to take the picture.
You didn't have a level, you had a crrr, so that was the old Leica 3S.
I decided to buy a couple of Nikons.
Then I went back to Leicas, and then I had a whoop, a lever, it was a Leicas M3, whoop, and you could take pictures most, and the shutter was was quiet, she was whoop, hoop, hoop, and you could focus, whoop, hoop, hoop, and take pictures, and so, that was the Leicas M3 period.
But then there was the roller cord period.
Because I bought, I always liked medium format camera, and there was a time when I had the roller cord, looking through the eye-level finder.
[angry crowd chanting] And a bootlegger took a swing at me, and plow-oh!
into the side of the camera, and the son-of-a-bitch planted his fist into the side of my roller cord, and the roller cord wouldn't work any more, I couldn't take any more pictures with it, because you can look at the roller cord, and you could fit in your knuckles, into the side of my camera, where this bootlegger had done that to my camera.
Good news, is that he missed me, and he hit the camera.
Then, I was in Vietnam, and I was in a boat.
I was in a little motor boat, and we were pinned down by sniper fire.
Phewing, phew, bullets were coming by, and we jumped from the, myself and a couple of other people, we jumped from the boat, to the bank of the Mekong River, and I got my body almost on the bank, I got my camera case on the bank, I got a couple of my Leicas on the bank, but, this Nikon, didn't make it, it went pweesh, right to the briny water of the Mekong River and I realized, it was salt water, that I had to take the back off, and I got, when I got to a safe place, I took the back off, and I carried jeweler's screwdrivers, and I took the baseplate off, and I was able to expose, the focal plain shutter, which is right there.
And I as I would have poured water from a canteen, and rinsed it out, and I got actually, [blowing] got it working again, put it all back together, dried it out, put the back on, put film in it, and you know, the sweet thing worked from there, on out.
Finished the assignment in Vietnam with it.
[camera clicking] You know that, as a functional working Nikon.
Try doing that with today's digital cameras.
And then of course, I got into, you know, much larger cameras, eight by ten cameras.
Which you could barely pick up most of the time, and to get the big eight by ten case, up on the roof rack of the van, was no small thing.
You know, even with my boots on, I probably weighed a 130 pounds.
I've never actually dropped it, but I feel like it's dropped me sometimes.
'Cause it's bigger than I am, about most of the time.
But it's been this wonderful thing, and then of course, the digital thing comes along, and I don't know how to work all that stuff, that although, I'm learning.
But it can drive me nuts.
I've never actually hit one with a hammer, but I thought about it.
But the sequence from the little box cameras, and the speed graphics, and the bicycle basket, to the sophistication of today's cameras, is just the most incredible thing to experience.
I'm so lucky to have seen it all happen.
[wind chimes blowing] Being very stubborn about wanting to follow my own instincts at Woodstock, meant that, I started walking around the crowd, and I would see these folks taking their clothes off, and one to another, they communicated by baring flesh.
Which is a beautiful thing to see.
I just realized it, for me, that was the most important thing to photograph, is just the spirit, and the karma of the event, as opposed to the music that was happening.
But I quickly ran out of film, so I ran down with all my buddies, down at the stage, I just kept borrowing film from them, to go back up and photograph more of this.
[footsteps tapping] And this is a guy that got shot, standing next to me.
He rubbed his little Buddha necklace, and thought that was gonna keep him safe, and he stood up, [fingers snapping] and like that, he was dead.
I don't tolerate the sight of blood very well.
So, if it were not for the fact that I was looking through a camera, I probably would have fainted, because I just, I don't do well in those situations.
With a camera in front of my eye, it offers me some sort of a barrier, and I can concentrate on the picture, and what I'm trying to photograph.
Amazing, the size of the arms, and the legs.
There was this reviewer that saw my show at ICP, and there was some pictures like this, and he says, it's just all wrong to make beautiful pictures in a place like that.
He criticized the exhibition for offering a chance to see beauty in the context of a refugee camp.
[dramatic music] It gives me solace and encouragement for the human race to be able to, not only for me to find something this beautiful, but to see the kids who were making toys out of bottles, and climbing trees, and putting hats on, and being together, we have to survive.
Beauty and poetry and caring for each other, is certainly a way out of, the destitution of tragedy.
And talk about eyes... [serene music] So beautiful.
Her husband had just been killed.
And it's very interesting, because you almost never see these people cry, you can see it in their faces, but they almost never actually cry, but her husband had just been killed.
[serene music] The veneer of civilization is razor-thin.
Even under the best of circumstances.
And the capacity of human beings to be cruel and violent.
There seems to be no way to eradicate that capacity.
I've grown to not have any hope that, that can happen.
[serene music] That's important.
Look at that, isn't that beautiful?
I've seen death happen.
I don't like it.
[reflective music] The Negros are out to take over the government.
The communists are behind it, the Jews are behind it.
A methodical demagogue's rapt following.
How things have not changed.
[serene music] ♪ ♪ Don't you just feel so sorry for this country?
Why do we have to keep going through this?
[serene music] The '60s were rough.
People were getting killed, people were getting lynched.
People were getting beaten up.
That was all going on all around us.
And a lot of us were photographing that.
And it was hard to see, and hard to experience.
To live freely, even as a responsible citizen was not okay, for a lot of people in America.
Those intolerant people, they were violent, and they were mean, and they hurt people, and they killed people.
[somber music] ♪ ♪ You begin to have an instinct for it.
You knew that when things were going to happen, you could feel it.
You could see it, you could see it coming.
Martin Luther King was killed.
It's almost as if you knew it had to happen.
There were a few of us that were allowed into the funeral home, where his body was, in a casket.
Jackie Kennedy, who came in, that wonderful countenance of beauty, and spirit.
And you saw Ted Kennedy come in, and he had that whole feeling, too.
And then you saw Bobby Kennedy come in.
You knew because his involvement in civil rights.
You knew because of the statements he was making.
You could look at his face, and you could look at Ethel, the way she looked at him.
You knew he was gonna die.
And he did.
I was photographing his funeral two weeks later.
[somber music] I'm worried about the fact that, that the politicians are selling hatred.
I'm worried about the fact that campaigns are conducted on the premise, that if can turn people against each other, that will benefit me and my career, and my life, as a public servant.
Now how can that be right?
[reflective music] ♪ ♪ [soft drum music] ♪ ♪ I've been lucky enough to have museum shows for many years.
And over the years, something I've had to begun to realize is that a lot of museum openings, a lot of gallery openings, can be more about marketing opportunities, as people want to come and network, put dots together for their career.
Oh, that's perfectly wonderful, however, if the point of art is to convey what is in your heart, and what is in your heart has to do with what was in the hearts of the people you photographed, and then the people can come and see that work, the people that are actually in the work, who live in a community, and who have never, ever been really appreciated by the population at large.
These are people that flip pancakes for a living.
They work in kitchens.
They work on hog farms, you know, they're school teachers, or they're homeless, or they're gang members.
It's fun to be a good photographer, and you can have a great life doing it, but it's way better when you can have the privilege of photographing important people.
If I die right now, it's okay, from the point of view feeling like I've done something worth doing, because these people are really worth, worth honoring.
[reflective music] - [Woman] We've been together for four years.
Our relationship, it was bad at first, 'cause we were going through some things, because he had got shot 11 times.
All I heard was pow, pow, pow, pow.
When he shot, Deofoles, it was terrible.
Bullets coming through the house.
Babies in there.
I didn't know what to do, I was scared.
I had to make sure that he was gonna make it, though.
And he got kids out here, so I'm there to talk to him, and just tell him, just thank God that you're here.
I mean, it's an amazing relationship.
He's an amazing father to his kids, and my daughter.
We love each other.
- There's just a sense of joy between the two of you.
- [Man] I came, I sat on the front porch.
And he literally shot me 11 times.
[child squealing] I really didn't even know that I was shot 11 times.
Until I had woked up, and they told my family member that they took 11 bullets out of me.
[camera pops] [somber drum beat music] ♪ ♪ - [Burk] And I asked him, "I said, what is it "that you get from being in a gang?
"Why would you be in a gang?
What is it that you get?"
He says, "Love".
- [Man] I felt love from growing up in the streets.
I wasn't really too happy with the things that I've done in my life, so, I had time to sit back and reflect on my life, and see where I wanted to see myself at, in the next couple of years.
- [Burk] He knows that everyday is a brand, new day.
Take everything that you've been taught, forget everything that you think you are, have it within you, but then everyday is a brand new day.
It's a new piece of music to write.
- [Man] Somebody might be going through something, I can change the way how they look at life, so that they won't ever have to go through, what I had went through.
- [Burk] Go be fresh and be new, and at the same time, you're old, and you're wise.
- [Man] I got a second chance at life, and all I'm trying to do now is make a better example in everything I do now.
- [Burk] To be wise, truly wise, is to appreciate a new kind of energy, every single moment of your life.
- [Man] I can make a big change, and be there for my kids, so, they can look at me, as a good role model.
- We're in charge of the world, because it's up to us to make it better.
You know, it's not gonna be the politicians.
It's not gonna be the business people.
The artist must make the world better.
If we don't do it, shame on us.
[soulful music] ♪ ♪