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January 2005

By Tonisha Johnson

The Donnie McClurkin Story: From Darkness... To Light


Starring: Donnie McClurkin
Director: Stephanie Federic
Format: Color, Closed-captioned
Rated: NR
Studio: Image Entertainment
DVD Release Date: November 23, 2004
Run Time: 96 min

It's true when they say, "Celebrities are just like everyone else."

Certainly as you watch your local broadcasting station televise Gospel music, you've heard the powerful voice of Donnie McClurkin belting out songs like "We Fall Down" a multi-platinum single for the Gospel Diva.

And as the world focuses on the singer's vocal skills and touched-by-God performances, Donnie knows the real light at the end of the rainbow was a long and hard journey. Filled with death, pain, suffering and a question of lifestyle that far too many young people face when molested; such as Donnie McClurkin.

After losing his youngest sibling to a fatal car accident, Donnie spent most of his life feeling the anguish that he placed on himself and sometimes from a grieving mother. "It wasn't his fault" said a grief stricken Mother McClurkin who would occasionally lash out at then 8 year old Donnie "you killed my baby" when he would enter the room.

Donnie confesses that he carried around that guilt for years and the hurt is still apparent in the DVD as he can't bare to cross the street or look down at the very spot where his 2 year old brother died in a pool of blood after being hit by a speeding car right in front of his home. Donnie describes the incident in detail as the small toddler follows young Donnie into the street while trying to retrieve a ball. The young boys' last words were "Mommy."

The loss of a child, no matter the age, takes a toll on the family. As for the McClurkin' the worst was yet to come. The night of the 2 year olds funeral, as the young children were escorted home for safe keeping by an uncle; Donnie was raped in a top floor bedroom by his pedophile uncle. And again by his uncle's son. "There are things that a young boy shouldn't be thinking at that age" says Donnie in regards to the incident.

For years Donnie questioned his sexuality. He watched his family fall to pieces.

Of course, Donnie finds a healing in music. Through the awkward years and the struggle, Donnie gets past the "secret life" that so many families back then would hide from a much-needed-to-know world.

This passionate DVD is loaded with Behind the Scenes footage, Celebrity interviews, tour performance clips & a 2 page photo scrapbook/scene selector.

Guided by his remaining 8 siblings and himself, along with a couple of positive reflections from The Winans, Beyonce Knowles, Bishop T.D. Jakes & others; this DVD captures the story of the McClurkins and Donnie in a true and exposed light.