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The MAKE IT podcast amplifies the voice of the filmmaker by exploring the filmmaking journeys of actors, writers, directors, producers, and a host of other creatives from across the film industry. We provide a platform for filmmakers to provide advice, lessons learned, personal reflections, and ins… read more


224 - Chris Haley - Swallow Your Pride, Be The Real You, and Stop Judging Yourself

Hello, Indie Film Creatives!

In this episode, we have a conversation with the Documentarian, Author, Poet, and Nephew of ‘Roots’ author, Alex Haley, Chris Haley. We talk about John Brown’s place in history, how his life changed after Roots premiered on television, the trials of growing up related to Alex Haley, his documentary ‘Unmarked,’ his poem books ‘Obsessions’ and ‘Until the Right One Comes Along,’ and his annual film Festival, ‘Utopia.’ Enjoy!

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More About Chris Haley

Actor, Archivist, Filmmaker, Writer, Chris Haley wears many hats. Director, The Study of the Legacy of Slavery at the Maryland State Archives, Director of the Utopia Film Festival, and Annapolis Pride, Annapolis Film Festival, Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation Board member, he is a recent recipient of the Anne Arundel County Arts Council 2021 Literary Arts Award recipient and co-director of the Capital Region Emmy nominated documentary, 'Unmarked', and author of two books of poetry currently available on Amazon, 'Until The Right One Comes Along', and, 'Obsessions'. Having also appeared on screen and stage on among other productions: The Wire and Ain't Misbehavin' at the Claridge Casino in Atlantic City, Chris is also a nephew of author Alex Haley and direct descendant of Kunta Kinte.

If I Could (As read during the conversation)


If I could die

For just a little while,

And briefly take a break,

If I could close my mind,

My consciousness,

Meditate on a lake.

If I could dial down the volume

Of voices

Screaming daily woes,

If I could gently close my eyes,

No tears, no cries,

No nightmares to hide,

I think I would feel better.

My passion would return.

I’d breathe a life renewed,

My candle not all burned.

 And dreams would reawaken me

To the future I’d once yearned, of 

Grand occasions,

Oscar nominations,

Standing ovations,

Devoted fans –

 A beloved man –

Beautifully free of strife.

If I could wake to that 

I’d beat this desperate rap,

Dash my suicidal sway;

I’d drink life’s sap

I’d safely nap

I would not end today

-Chris Haley









Unmarked (documentary)

Utopia Film Festival

Until The Right One Comes Along (book)

Obsessions (book)

The Study of the Legacy of Slavery in Maryland

Alex Haley (website)

Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley (book)

Roots (tv mini series)

Autobiography of Malcom X by Alex Haley (book)

Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation


Howard University

Chadwick Boseman (actor)

The Wire (tv series)

Tyler Perry (writer)

Slave Trade Database  (database)

Measuring Worth (database)

Ibram X. Kendi (author)


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