Many know Bennie Lake as one of the original Harlem Globetrotters who traveled the world entertaining audiences with their comedy and athleticism. But for his son Keynon, Bennie was a role model of what a man should be: an engaged citizen with a commitment to helping young people through his career as a social worker.
After Bennie passed away, Keynon set out to simply write a few words, perhaps a tribute to his dad for the local paper. Pages later he had penned a tome which inspired him to start a movement. Keynon Lake joins host Frank Stasio live in the studios of Blue Ridge Public radio in Asheville to talk about his organization “My Daddy Taught Me That,” a grassroot effort to uplift underprivileged boys while reminding men of the importance of being a father. A social worker by trade, Keynon mentors young men in everything from filling out applications to preventing sexually transmitted diseases.
His organization is the subject of the new documentary “Beneath the Veneer.” The film sets the story of young black men and boys who participate in the program against the backdrop of Asheville’s booming economy, and reveals how disadvantaged minorities view a town that many African-Americans appear to be abandoning. The film screens Friday, May 4 at UNC-Asheville’s Reuter Center, followed by a discussion with Keynon Lake and the filmmakers.