Inside The Making Of Andscape Writer Jesse Washington’s MLK Weekend Essay “Living In His Legacy”
ESPN associate producer Fidelis Lusompa: "This project was both an emotional experience and a labor of love"
This weekend, the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be celebrated across ESPN platforms. Beginning Saturday, ahead of every men’s and women’s college basketball game on an ESPN platform, the special tease written and narrated by Andscape senior writer Jesse Washington entitled “Living In His Legacy” will air, reinforcing how Dr. King’s message and legacy continue to endure in college basketball.
Associate producer Fidelis Lusompa spoke with Front Row about how it came together and the importance of the piece.
How did the collaboration with Andscape and Jesse Washington come about?
We needed to find the right person to be the voice of this tease. When we discussed who would be the perfect fit, immediately and without hesitation [ESPN Executive Editor-In-Chief, Special Projects] Rob King and [Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, Andscape] Raina Kelley suggested Jesse Washington.
After putting this piece together, without a doubt, Jesse was the right choice. His enthusiasm, vision, and words of wisdom throughout this process made this a perfect collaboration.
What is special about this particular Dr. King Weekend tease?
The involvement of the student-athletes made this piece come alive. We reached out to a number of schools and asked their athletes to pick a word or words that resonate with them when they think of Dr. King. This generation of young men and women is built different. They are more vocal and more aware of their power. The number of submissions blew me away, and we featured as many as possible.
Were there any unique learnings or takeaways from working on this project?
This project was both an emotional experience and a labor of love. As a Black woman who is here because of Dr. King and so many others that fought for equality, I felt this project was my way of saying “thank you” and “there is still work to do.”
It’s important to continue the conversations about social injustice, racism, and inequality. I hope that with this piece, we continue to have those conversations, not just during Dr. King Weekend or during Black History Month, but year-round.
“It was a real privilege to work on a piece honoring how MLK’s legacy is intertwined with my favorite sport. College basketball underwent huge changes during the civil rights movement, and those changes are still being felt and pursued today. The concept that Fidelis came up with was like a perfect ‘alley-oop’ pass. All I had to do was dunk it.”