Getting to know James Walker of Real talk, Real people podcast
Ty Hopkins: Ty Hopkins with Hip-Hop Paradise, and we have a special guest with us today, Mr. James walker. Mr. Walker, thank you for being here today. We here appreciate you answering some of our questions. Before this interview starts, how’s everything going? For the people that don’t know who you are. Who is James Walker?
James Walker: Wow. That’s a tough question because James Walker has evolved through the years. He went from an angry, abused kid with mental health issues to retiring as senior editor of the New Haven Register and award-winning columnist for Hearst Connecticut Media. It was a long journey. The two constants in my life are that I am a champion for the underdog also a vocal opponent against domestic violence and child abuse.
Ty Hopkins: Where are you from, and how difficult was it to get to where you are in life?
James Walker: I was born in Newark, NJ, during the civil rights era. I have six siblings, and a single mother primarily raised us after we escaped a violent and abusive family situation. For years, things were challenging as we slept on park benches, sullied abandoned mattresses, and huddled up in empty storefronts. We were always desperate for food and shelter. As I grew into adulthood, I found there weren’t many opportunities for Black men that didn’t involve a uniform and a mop. I enlisted in the US Navy and afterward tried a variety of jobs, mainly in sales, before returning to college at age 39 to study journalism, which was always my dream. I interned with the Special Assignment Unit at CNN before landing a job as a TV reporter at WBIR in Knoxville, TN. I moved to Connecticut and became a newspaper reporter for a number of newspapers before being appointed the city editor for the Norwalk Hour. I left there to become the metro editor of the New Haven Register and eventually retired as its senior editor and columnist.
Ty Hopkins: I understand you have a podcast. Tell our audience more about that and how long has it been established?
James Walker: I now host two podcasts: “Real talk, Real people,” which is a once-a-week podcast that comes out on Mondays. I started it nearly three years ago as a medium where local people could discuss their concerns about the problems and issues we face as a society and in the Black community. I formed a partnership in late 2020 to launch “Adversary to Ally,” which is a once-of-month discussion with men about domestic violence, child abuse, and intimate partner violence in the Black community.
Ty Hopkins: What inspired you to come up with your podcast? What makes you different from all the other podcasters out there?
James Walker: I was inspired to start both podcasts because I believe in the power of communication. We have a lot of positivity in the Black community but also serious problems, and unless we talk about them, we can’t come up with solutions to solve them.
Ty Hopkins: What is your primary mission?
James Walker: My mission in life is to see my manuscript “Dead Windows” published and on bookshelves and also to help kids who have been victims of domestic violence and child abuse.
Ty Hopkins: What’s next for Mr. James Walker??
James Walker: What’s next? I am in the process of putting my podcasts, columns, and manuscript under one nonprofit umbrella, “The Lion Roars, Inc. ” It is my goal to use my experience growing up in a violent household to help call attention to the long-term mental effects of domestic violence and child abuse and help reduce the devastating consequences many men experience as a result of it.
Ty Hopkins: Any last words you want to share with our audience?
James Walker: My last words? Don’t give up on your dreams because your dreams won’t give up on you.
Ty Hopkins: Well, James Walker, it was a pleasure to have you up here on Hip Hop paradise. We here take pride in supporting the tastemakers in our industry. Thank you for your time, and I wish you all the best until next time.
To listen to any of James Walker’s material, click the links below!