Former United Nations ambassador, Atlanta mayor and Civil Rights leader Andrew Young premiered his anti-gun violence documentary Walking With Guns Sunday night. The hour-long film features extensive footage of T.I. [click to read] touring a New York hospital and speaking with patients paralyzed by gang violence. Young reached out to T.I. after the chart-topping emcee was arrested on multiple weapon possession charges last year [click to read].
“Some of my colleagues are disappointed with me taking this young man in,” the 72-year-old Young told a crowd of 400 present for the screening. “But sometimes us old folks have to shut up and listen to the young folks to understand where they are coming from.”
In efforts to promote the documentary and better connect with young people, Young held a screening of the documentary at Atlanta’s Woodruff Art Center. After the screening, Young, Killer Mike [click to read], and T.I. took questions from the audience and participated in a round table discussion.
“Hindsight is always 20, 20,” T.I. told the crowd, before explaining his own arrest. “I think where I went wrong was, I saw all of the crimes being committed over the summer. All of the guys from New Orleans were coming through the city and having their way with certain people. In addition to that, I had the experience of [Philant Johnson] dying in 2006, and no arrests were made until four months ago. No rapper has ever gotten killed and the crime has been solved. I’m looking at the history and thinking, ‘I’m the easiest person to kill.’ So, I took another approach, which I greatly regret. I can’t excuse my actions. All I can do is try to explain them.”
Young says he now considers T.I. a friend, and went so far as to help him promote Paper Trail [click to read] on his personal Web site. He adds that his motivation for his gun violence campaign is inspired by witnessing the assassination of his mentor, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Walking With Guns will be syndicated, and the documentary is available in over 100 markets. For a list of dates and times, as well as your local affiliate, visit www.andrewyoung.org.