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Interview with Andre Sparrow

Hear Me Project 2005 Contest Winner

MTV: What motivated you to enter the Hear Me Project's story writing contest?

AS: It just so happened, at my mother's house, Black Enterprise magazine was on table. Lately I've been on this awareness trip. With so many peers conforming to the masses over their individuality, I wanted to raise some eyebrows and give myself a chance to put all this out there.

MTV: What is your involvement with HIV/AIDS Awareness?

AS: I make sure to get tested regularly, and I'm always on my friends to do the same thing. Some of them haven't gotten tested for even STD's, much less HIV/AIDS.

MTV: What is the moral of your story you would like people to walk away with?

AS: The story parallels my life at times, showing how bad a situation can get when you do not stay true to yourself. I want people to remember that last line: "But, I know one thing for sure…I will practice what I preach in being true to myself, and being responsible and safe sexually."

MTV: Who are your heroes?

AS: My mother. She deals with drama, she's an amazing person, successful, and she deserves acknowledgement as a mother and teacher. My grandfather, who is loved everywhere he goes, and he is content with the simplicity of his life - I hope I can have that when I'm older. And I also admire blacks who chose to do what they're interested in - those who are progressive.

MTV: Who are your favorite writers?

AS: Aaron McGruder, writer of Boondocks comic strip. I like that he infuses black awareness and political social issues in comics. I also like Paul Mooney, a comedian.

MTV: Favorite movies?

AS: Frailty, Antwon Fisher, Red Violin

MTV: Favorite writer/directors?

AS: Shyamalan, the man who wrote "Sixth Sense" and "Unbreakable"; Quentin Tarantino; Spike Lee; Tray Parker and Matt Stone (writers of "South Park")

MTV: What do you think are the three biggest problems facing young people today?

AS: The emphasis on sex, violence, and crime as a way to validate ourselves. There's a lot of identity confusion, especially with race and sexuality. Sometimes people are alienated or make it a point to be a part of something that isn't agreeable with who they really are. And also, sometimes "awareness" kills their spirit - with everything going on in reality - people can lose optimism.

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