Frankie Darcell's Fate
In early December 2012, Frankie Darcell was silenced. A longtime staple on Detroit's radio scene, she was laid off, and much of Detroit was none-too happy about it.
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You were able to secure interviews that other media outlets couldn't get, like Kwame Kilpatrick. How'd you land it?
I'm gonna write a book one day on just how that interview came about! When we landed that interview, I was under scrutiny from other media professionals. I remember one of the newscasters saying to me, "You got that interview because you're a friend and you have a close personal relationship." I'm like, "Look, I play Rick James records and Anita Baker and give away concert tickets. My question is, as a journalist, how didn't you get the interview?"
For years, I knew Kwame Kilpatrick as a state rep. I was embedded in this community. As a Detroiter and as a professional, I would go to events. I was there when they were handing out turkeys to the homeless and, in the middle of the night when it wasn't popular and somebody died, I showed up at the hospital. I remember saying to him, "Man, you know, you always want me to show up at your turkey giveaways and I give you access, I need to bring some big interviews." I don't interview people who tell me, "Don't ask me this" or "Don't ask me that." He never did that.
When the news broke that you lost your job, there was instant outcry. Did that shock you?
When the first newspaper broke it, then it ended up becoming a tease on the noon news and because now of Twitter and Facebook and having the Internet in your hand, I thought, "Oh my God!" It was incredible. It exploded. I did not expect that. And it was my girlfriend who said, "But you know what, Frankie? Those are the people who you gave baskets to when they were unemployed for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those are people who you walked with, and the sisters who you empowered who were fighting breast cancer." She said, "Don't feel sorry for yourself. You ain't the only one. You just need to get through this and watch your blessing."
So what's next for you?
It's only been four or five days and my phone has been literally ringing off the hook. Today it finally hit me that I've got to have a "what's next." The challenge for me is that I have a 16-year-old who is doing exceptionally well and she's in the 11th grade. I would love for her to be able to graduate from the high school that she attends. So my first goal is to see if that's a possibility. I am open to leaving Detroit. There are folk that have called me and said, "Yay! Hallelu! Let's talk!" And that's been great, because there are some great options—stuff I hadn't even thought about. I haven't said one way or the other, because I don't know what God is trying to do.