I woke up at 7 a.m. to the voice of Dr. Cheers calling to tell me that he was on his way over to our room so I could call CNN and pitch our proposal for a broadcast package. Once he arrived I was instantly hearing the “ring ring” on the other line and Tenisha Abernathy, Executive Producer at CNN, and two other executives, in a conference room all together, picked up the line. I pitched our proposal and it was accepted.
For a moment thereafter, I distinctly heard Abernathy’s voice but it seemed fainter than before. Perhaps it seemed like that because the two other executives were also talking with her and maybe a little bit was contributed to the fact that I had pitched our proposal and that it was accepted. But I still heard what she said and it hit me a few seconds after, sort of a delayed reaction in my brain.
Abernathy said to the other executives that they would need my headshot and what kind of questions they would suggest to Kyra Phillips to ask me during a phone interview on national television today. Again, I had a delayed reaction to this and when it came upon me that in six hours after this phone call I would be live with Kyra Phillips on CNN.
It came time for the interview and my heart was pounding slightly as I was waiting for the “Hi Nick” from Phillips.
I heard it. I didn’t freeze. I didn’t choke.
“Hi Ms. Phillips.”
Those were the words that uttered from within me and from my mouth. These three simple words helped pave the smoothness and ease I began to feel quickly after shaking off the jitters.
Then it was over and by god it was exhilarating. A whole different and new, but ecstatic wave of emotion rushed over me and I heard Angela Hughes, one of the students and my friend on this extravagant trip, scream and cheer from the other room. Soon, Dr. Cheers shook my hand and congratulated me, along with very sincere and excited phone calls from my parents and Bob Rucker, and text messages from people saying stuff like, “Good job!” and “Congratulations!”
No more than fifteen minutes later I was back in the van with both my cameras, paper and pen to visit the 16th St. Baptist Church and Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
The day has been wonderful and we will advance and persist to work our tails off so that the good fortune that has been bestowed upon all of us in this group continues.
Tomorrow we will find ourselves in Atlanta, Georgia. We will visit the CNN Headquarters and be, as a group, live on national television.
Night and morning.