Direct Line Podcast #005: Robert Darden

by Jon Platt | November 12, 2020

How do you mourn the loss of someone as special to you as a son? How do you face and work through that incomprehensible pain? How can you cope when you feel not only loss, but frustration, confusion, and heartache as you struggle through the grieving process? Faced with this unimaginable loss, you can’t help but wonder what if you never find a genuine outlet, a proper way to heal?

In this episode, Jon discusses how one man took on the tough, awful, world-shattering pain of losing his son; how we can feel understood in a year filled with tragedy and pain; and how our guest is able to find, research, and deliver such captivating narratives with Robert F. Darden (’76).

Download “Lost Father, Sleeping Son” by Robert F. Darden at
Robert F. Darden is a professor of journalism, public relations, and new media at Baylor. He founded the Baylor Black Gospel Restoration Project and has also authored over two dozen books, including: Nothing But Love in God’s Water, Volumes I & II and People Get Ready! A New History of Black Gospel Music. Darden’s writing has appeared in publications from The New York Times to the Oxford American. He lives in Waco with his wife, Mary Landon Darden.

In this episode, you will hear—

  • Who Al Dewlen is and why his tribute to his fallen son Michael was and continues to be so influential
  • How Dewlen’s words are able to elicit such strong emotional reactions from a wide audience
  • What it was like for Robert to research such significant Baylor alums such as Dewlen and his son
  • How Al Dewlen’s writing continues to be relevant for so many members of the Baylor Family as they face the loss of loved ones due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • How Robert writes truly captivating narratives, and why he thinks that writing is a heavenly calling

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Have you reviewed Direct Line?

If you haven’t reviewed our podcast yet, would you do that right now? You are our very best source for new listeners! And, we’d love to hear your thoughts. You can post your review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. We’re eager to hear from you and we do read every single review. Good, bad, or indifferent, your review helps us make the podcast better and remain your voice in the Baylor Family!