Christina Gandolfo
September 15, 2020
Me and My Emmy

Me and My Emmy: Keith David

Narrator Keith David finds inspiration in his Emmy wins.

Primetime Emmy Tally: Three

How He Got the Gold: For outstanding narration in 2005, for PBS's Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson; in 2008 for PBS's The War; and in 2016 for PBS's Jackie Robinson.

Now for the Noms: David was also nominated for his narration of the 2001 Ken Burns PBS series, Jazz.

Count Him In: "I really like it when they say, 'And the Emmy goes to...' because nobody loses. If you're lucky enough to be nominated, it's not a loss. The Emmy just went to somebody else. The last time I was nominated, I was up with a couple of guys whose work I admired, and I didn't expect to win. I was in good company, and praise God I was counted at all. To be recognized by your peers is quite special."

Lauding a Legend: "I have deep admiration for Jack Johnson [the first African-American world heavyweight boxing champion, he was persecuted for marrying a white woman] because he said, I'm not going to let you tell me what I'm going to be, or who I am going to love or marry, or where to go. This is what pissed people off: Jack Johnson's unapologetic Blackness."

Statue Standards: "I keep my Emmy statues in a showcase that is located practically when you walk through the door. You could pass it by, but it would be hard. It is inspiring. When I see those statues, it reminds me that every time I have the opportunity to get a job, I'd better do the best that I can."

Dream Routine: "I don't have to dress to impress. If I'm recording from the house, I don't even have to get out of my pajamas. I am living my dream. I do not act for other people's approval. I do it because it's the way God has given me to express myself. It's not a question of whether I like it or I don't... but I love it!"

Click for more Me and My Emmy articles.

This article originally appeared in emmy magazine, Issue No. 10, 2020

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