Keith's Grind- While You Were Sleeping

Keith’s Grind- While You Were Sleeping

By Relentless

While the world was slumbering, many of us were “seated” and had to “lay down” during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which officially began in December 2019. However, Keith David, the renowned actor and voice artist, officially launched himself into the stratosphere way back in 2016, when he took on the role of Bishop Greenleaf in the eponymous drama series, which made its debut on Oprah’s network, OWN. Since then, the series has continued to enthrall audiences on Netflix, where it remains a perennial favorite even in the current year of 2023. The impact of the Greenleaf series was not lost on me, but the extent of its influence on me was not fully realized until I put on my chauffeur’s hat to pick Keith up after his various filmings and voice-over work here in Atlanta.

Let me tell you, my friend Keith David is not one of you! He has been EXTRA busy before, during, and after the pandemic, juggling an impressive array of movie projects in the past 24 months. I got so overwhelmed with it all that I said “to Hell with this! Lemme just put my pen to work!” He has been a tremendous inspiration to me, and I did not need to talk about it with him beforehand. My veins were just bubbling with the desire to serve my friend! Just look at this list of his recent work, folks:

The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder: Clone Bebe (voice), TV Series, 2023, 1 episode

Parallel Worlds: A Psychedelic Love Story: Jerry, 2023

Marvel‘s Wastelanders: Doom: Kingpin, Podcast Series, 2022, 10 episodes

Marvel’s Wastelanders: Wolverine: Shadow King, Podcast Series, 2022, 1 episode

Firebuds: Manny Kablamee (voice), TV Series, 2022, 1 episode

Leverage: Redemption: Billy Spencer, TV Series, 2022, 1 episode

A Miracle Before Christmas: David, 2022

Unplugging: Gil, 2022

Aztec Warrior God, Emergence: Huitzilopochtli, Short, 2022

Combat Radio: A Christmas Carol: Narrator, Video, 2022

From Scratch: Hershel Wheeler, TV Mini Series, 2022, 8 episodes

The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse: Narrator (voice), TV Series, 2022, 1 episode

Catwoman: Hunted: Tobias Whale/Morax (voice), 2022

Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story: Ink Williams, 2022

DC League of Super-Pets: Dog-El (voice), 2022

Nope: Otis Haywood Sr., 2022

Entergalactic: Mr. Rager (voice), 2022

The Prank: Principal Henderson, 2022

Black as Night: Babineaux, 2021

Pups Alone: The Wise Bartender, 2021

Creepshow: Murdoch (segment “Pesticide”), TV Series, 2021, 1 episode

DuckTales: Manny (voice), TV Series, 2021, 1 episode

Central Park: Ward Wittlinger (voice), TV Series, 2021, 1 episode

Horizon Line: Freddy Wyman, 2020

Good: Gregory Devereaux, 2020

Blue: The American Dream: Terry Venable, 2020

Woke: Bible (voice), TV Series, 2020, 1 episode

JJ Villard’s Fairy Tales: Lionel (voice), TV Series, 2020, 1 episode

Black-ish: Loose Craig, TV Series, 2020, 1 episode

MacGyver: Burke, TV Series, 2020, 1 episode

Love Life: Narrator (voice), TV Series, 2021, 10 episodes

The Good Lord Bird: Herbert, TV Mini Series, 2020, 1 episode

Greenleaf: Bishop James Greenleaf, TV Series, 2016–2020, 60 episodes

Stargirl: Mr. Bones, TV Series, 2021–2022, 3 episodes

Amphibia: King Andrias (voice), TV Series, 2020–2022, 15 episodes

Final Space: Bolo (voice), TV Series, 2018–2021, 10 episodes

Rick and Morty: The President/Reverse Giraffe (voice), TV Series, 2015–2022, 8 episodes

This arsenal of work is only a small fraction of the full body of work he has amassed over the years. And you cannot help but be struck by the sheer volume of his activities that DON’T make it to IMDB, such as his selfless and charitable work; such as his one-man performances where he sings Nat or in his own array of songs. I remember vividly, Keith was just getting off a plane last year when my younger sister was in her final days, and Keith took the call, navigating through the airport and all. His selflessness, intentionality and purposefulness are all the more inspiring given his tremendous output.

I at least wondered why the new Black Panther filmmakers did not even bring him into the latest Black Panther films as a cameo. After all, Keith was the first and ORIGINAL Black Panther, and you’d think that there’d be some small honor for the man who played a part in pushing the envelope forward. But I digress; that is my own little personal qualm. Keith is my Black Panther for sure.

The impressive work ethic of Keith David is an inspiration to us all. It is a testament to his determination and tenacity that he has achieved so much in his career despite any personal or professional challenges he has faced. It is a challenge to all those who make excuses why they cannot do this and that, for Keith’s work ethic shows that with dedication and hard work, anything is possible. His achievements make me feel like I have an elder brother by my side, and I am truly honored to give praise to this man who has given so much to his craft and to the world. Lastly, I don’t mind taking off my writer’s cap to put on my concierge hat for you Keith; whether you want me to make you that robust salad or one of my fried rice plates… and for you, I’ll drive anytime. Set aside my movie aspirations for my novels, sir! It’s the Batman & Robin alliance for me, bro!
Keith David

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