By George Kevin Jordan
When you tune into “Flyest Fables” you are transported to a fantastical world of young people on big quests and journeys. But the product that audiences hear is a result of the creator and producer going on his own path to empowerment.
“Podcasting for me is a way for me to tell the stories I didn’t get when I was growing up,”
Morgan Givens, creator of “Flyest Fables” said. “I really wanted Black and Brown character’s in fantasy settings. That was like my bread and butter as a kid.”
“I loved to read and books were like a safe haven for me, but they also influenced my outlook for the world. So when my nephew was about to turn three and we live in the Trump era. I was like, ‘the world is pretty dark,’ and so much of the entertainment geared towards young adults was reminding them of that darkness.”
“I wanted to create something that is joyful and show young people the world as it should exist not as it currently exists.”
And I think there could be something awesome in embedding in the mind of kids, and even adults, that the world we live in isn’t the world we have to live in.”
When looking for an outlet to tell their stories, Givens said podcasting offered some distinct advantages to other forms of media.
“You don’t have to worry about that filter of someone changing your ideas,” Givens said.
“And no one putting words in your mouth. I said it in the podcast. You can’t tell me I said something I didn’t say.”
“Also it could reach young people in places I could not get to them.”
As a novelist working on books, Givens said he thought about barriers- from costs of purchasing literature, to the risks of even having certain things in your possession in the first place.
“Depending on who you are as a young person, maybe certain pieces of entertainment or media are not safe for you to be seen holding where you live,” Givens said.
“If I write a book about a young Trans kid in high school and I want all young kids to read it, especially young Trans people who are spread across places where it is not safe to own who they are, I have to find a way to reach them and give them that joy without putting them in danger.”
“Nobody knows what your listening to most likely,” Givens added. “People walk around with headphones on their ears all day.”
Givens, 32, understands the power of owning your own narrative.
“As a Black person, as a Trans person, so often we move through the world and society tells us what our story is,” Givens said. “It says if you’re Black this is what’s going to happen to you.
If you’re Trans, the story this is the path of your life to take. And for me it was sort of reclaiming some of that. And saying ‘hold on what gives you the right to tell me what my story is?’”
The road to podcaster and creator was not a traditional one. Even though he always knew he wanted to write a book someday, media was not on Givens’ list of career choices. In fact, Givens first career was as a police officer for D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.
‘My grandma was a cop for like 30 years,” Givens said. ‘It was the job that got my mom and her out of the projects.”
Graduating from school at the tail-end of a recession and possessing a curiosity as to how and why people become police officers and what happens to them afterwards, Givens gave it a go.
He served for a few years but admitted that “I didn’t like it,” and pushed to find a job that helped people in a different way. But Givens was a storyteller at heart and started doing storytelling on stage.
In an effort to try to figure out how to be a storytelling Givens got accepted into an internship for WAMU’s 1A – at 31-years old. Givens stayed on and is now a producer for the show.
Flyest Fables is getting buzz locally and internationally. Season two is coming this summer. But to listen to season one here.
This article originally appeared in The Afro.