He opened his speech with a story from 17 years ago about meeting a woman outside a building he was renting for production who requested shoes. He brought her inside and gave her a pair of shoes. “She’s got tears in her eyes,” he said. “She said, ‘Thank you, Jesus!’ My feet are off the ground!’ In that moment, I just recall her saying to me, ‘I thought you would hate me for asking.’ ‘Like how could I hate you when I used to be you!’ "
“How could I hate you,” he continued, “when I had a mother who grew up in the Jim Crow South, in Louisiana, a rural Louisiana right across the border from Mississippi who at 9 or 10 years old was grieving the death of Emmett Till.”