become so passionate about children and teenagers?
SB: It’s really a labor of love for me. It’s a fascinating topic. I’ve always been interested in the turning point in a person’s life; are people born bad or do they turn that way? And I want to figure out if there’s a story there. Is it generational or economical? I was born on the west side of Chicago and there was quite a bit of poverty. My family and I didn’t have exactly the best, or the most optimal financial situation in my youth, but we turned out well. My mom always made sure that we got a proper education and that we dedicated ourselves to our work. Neither me, nor any of my nine siblings ended up in any kind of trouble. Then again, there were kids that I knew that ended up going to jail, selling drugs and just going down the wrong path. So my documentary is aimed at the turning point. Maybe if we can figure out the turning point in a kid’s life where they turn it around —whether it’s parenting, related to low self-esteem or their economic situation —if we can narrow it down and bring light to it then hopefully it’ll result in lowering the numbers of at-risk youth.
EBONY: What was your personal turning point?
SB: I had a great mother. I had an amazing mother. She raised nine kids practically as a single parent, which is the hardest thing in the world. Nine of us! Day in and day out. She had to make sure we all had an education and that we all felt loved. There was never really any room for a turning point for me. You were either going to college or you were going to get the hell out. She knew what she wanted for her children at a really early age and she was someone who really valued hard work and dedication. I think I’m fortunate in that sense, because I had friends who didn’t have great mothers and didn’t turn out so well. Now does that make one story or person better than another? No. It’s just influence and shows that what you practice is what you get. Practicing better living is better than practicing a lower way of life. I think it’s really an important.
Follow Sufe on Twitter @SufeBradshaw. Veep airs on Sundays at 10 p.m. on HBO.