Friday, March 31, 2017



Roland S. Martin interviews the multi-award winning singer/songwriter/actor John Legend about music, marriage, fatherhood, and politics

WASHINGTON, D.C. MARCH 31, 2017 — This morning on News One Now, Host and Managing Editor Roland S. Martin presented A Conversation With John Legend – A News One Now Special. In the hour-long interview, Martin spoke with Legend about Donald Trump’s arrival in the White House; reforming the criminal justice system; producing the hit show Underground on WGN America; and how being a husband and father inspired songs for his latest album Darkness and Light, which was released in December.

Below are some of the highlights from their conversation.

On President Trump and addressing criminal justice reform at the local and state levels of government: “I think Trump’s entire message has been one of authoritarianism and fear mongering, and you see that with crime as well. He’ll give completely incorrect crime stats – completely false statements about the crime in certain cities, and his motive is to sow fear among people so that he can have more control, he can have more power, and he can have the right to take people’s rights away. We should be concerned about that, and we should fight against it. Luckily for us right now, states and local governments actually drive much more of the incarceration issue than the president or even the national congress do. We can still put pressure on our state representatives, on our governors, to do the right thing when it comes to criminal justice reform without the influence of the presidency on what they do.” Click HERE to watch.

On the overwhelming response of Legend’s new series, Underground:It wasn’t just a slave show. It wasn’t about wallowing in the suffering of slavery. Even though we have to tell that story too, and it’s important we know what a terrible institution slavery was and that we don’t let America forget what happened to our ancestors, we wanted the show to not just be about that but to be about the revolution, about the escape, about fighting for abolition, about America’s first integrated civil rights movement – the abolitionist movement, and Underground Railroad. And we believe that that story would be something that would be inspiring for people.” Click HERE to watch.

On how being a father to his baby daughter, Luna, shaped the songwriting process on his latest album Darkness and Light. “I talk about some of the questions that parents have. I wrote a song called “Right By You,” and when we wrote the song, we didn’t want to say all these declarative statements. We wanted it to be mostly questions, mostly wondering what she’s going to be like, whose traits is she going to take on, how will she move in the world, what will her impact in the world be. I think the fact that we use questions and not answers was reflective of the fact that it’s a humbling experience to be a new parent. It’s an awesome responsibility and we’re learning as we go, and that’s certainly been a part of my songwriting.” Click HERE to watch.

Courtesy credit for all clips: TV One/NewsOne Now

Martin is available as political analyst and commentator to discuss issues affecting the black community, including the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential Race and the rise of the “alt-right” movement. To schedule an interview or appearance, please contact Alonda Thomas and Erin Williams of TV One’s publicity department.
For more information about NewsOne Now and Roland S. Martin, visit , and check out TV One’s YouTube Channel. Viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on Twitter, Instagram  and Facebook (@tvonetv) using #NewsOneNow and engage with Martin daily via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Periscope (@rolandsmartin). Viewers are now able to listen to NewsOne Now by live streaming on

Emanating from the heart of Washington D.C. in a state-of-the-art studio that offers a stunning view of the Capitol building, NewsOne Now airs Monday through Friday on TV One from 7-8 a.m. ET.  NewsOne Now is hosted by Roland S. Martin, the 2013 National Association of Black Journalists’ Journalist of the Year and former host of TV One’s long-running, award-winning weekly news program, Washington Watch with Roland Martin.  Each morning, Martin – who also serves as the program’s managing editor – sifts through the headlines of the day to spotlight matters that greatly impact the African American community. In addition to television, NewsOne Now reaches audiences 24/7 with exclusive program content and extended editorial on and the NewsOne mobile app.  NewsOne Now is an evolution of Interactive One’s award-winning digital brand that launched in 2008 and reaches millions of African Americans each month. Susan Henry is executive producer of NewsOne Now. D’Angela Proctor is TV One’s head of original programming and production.

Launched in January 2004, TV One serves more than 60 million households, offering a broad range of real-life and entertainment-focused original programming, classic series, movies and music designed to entertain and inform a diverse audience of adult black viewers. The network represents the best in black culture and entertainment with fan favorite shows Unsung, Rickey Smiley For Real, Fatal Attraction, Hollywood Divas and The NAACP Image Awards.  In addition, TV One is the cable home of blockbuster drama Empire, and NewsOne Now, the only live daily news program dedicated to black viewers. In December 2008, the company launched TV One High Def, which now serves 14 million households. TV One is solely owned by Radio One [NASDAQ: ROIA and ROIAK,], the largest African-American owned multi-media company primarily targeting Black and urban audiences.

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