Many of you have heard about the sudden passing of Emmy award-winning TV writer David Mills, who wrote for shows such as NYPD Blue, The Corner, The Wire and the upcoming Treme.  Funny thing is, that’s not how I knew David.

In fact, I didn’t even know he was a TV writer, let alone someone recognized for their talent on award-winning shows.  First, for a long time I thought he was another David Mills, who I knew from the Black Filmmaker Foundation days, but that wasn’t the case.  No, what I knew about this David Mills was that he was a blogger, the creative force behind Undercover Black Man.  We’d exchanged a few comments and added each other to our respective blogrolls. But that was about it.  If I'd looked closer, I would've discovered that, prior to his TV career, he'd done a lot of music journalism.

When I was crowdsourcing the funding for my recent SXSW trip, out of nowhere he donated $500.  Just like that.  Humbling to say the least.  That was the single biggest donation I received.  In many ways, he was responsible for my ability to make it down to Austin this year.And I hardly knew the guy.

I thanked him for his generosity and this was his reply:

You're very welcome, Rob. You have turned me on to so much music, I felt a debt.

Keep on. I look forward to reading about SXSW.


I certainly hope that he got a chance to read what I’d written, but the bigger lesson is the reminder that we never know who's life we're impacting when we do good and honest work.

Here's a glimpse at the 14-minute preview of Treme, which premieres on HBO on April 11:

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