Viola Davis really wants me to see The Help. This is why I will not.

 

“It’s not an issue of Hollywood, it’s an issue of culture. I mean, I am a Black woman from Central Falls, Rhode Island. I’m dark skinned, I’m quirky, I’m shy, I’m strong, I’m guarded, I’m weak at times, I’m sensual, I’m not overtly sexual. I am so many things in so many ways and I will never see myself on screen. I actually had a person walk up to me once and say ‘So what person from history do you want to be? Do you want to [just play strong characters]?’ I had to stop them and say ‘Just write a story. Just take a risk and tell the most fantastical story that you’ve ever wanted to tell and then put it in my lap, or Octavia’s (Spencer) Lap, Or Cicely Tyson’s lap, or Angela Bassett’s Lap.’ There are few movies coming out this year with African-American women in them. Very few are being made. Black actresses have enough obstacles in our way without someone protesting an opportunity to show our work on screen. It’s one thing if you go see “The Help” and you don’t like it, but Give it a chance!”

– Viola Davis (Star of  The Help)

 

Ms. Davis, I still remember the role you played in Doubt.  I went to see it in the theater on the strength of the acclaim you received for your role in the movie alone.  I ache for you and your fellow Black actresses and empathize as best I can with your struggle. Ironically, the fact that The Help will do spectacularly well this weekend makes a part of me happy.  Because it allows me to opt out even as the movie exceeds all expectations and still allows me to hold out hope that someone will give you a chance to play a significant part in a movie I want to see.  This particular part is rather pie in the sky but keeping hope alive is a large makes being Black tolerable.

 

I don’t believe anyone should protest or boycott your movie.  I do believe we  as consumers must hold dear our right to not accept less than what we deserve for our money.  The Fact of the matter is, Walt Disney is selling this not just as a nice story…but in the words of The Help producer Brunson Green, “This is African-American Women’s story” .  (EW, August 12, 2011 page 37)

As the grandson AND Son of “The Help”, someone who as recently as 1991 was picking up Black women from white women’s houses in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and listening to their stories, some of whom had logged in as many as fifty years of “Helping” I can say with near certainty that Brunson Green, book author Kathryn Stockett, and movie director Tate Taylor (all white Jackson, MS residents)  are ill-suited to tell that story in a way that truly represents African-American women. for THIS reason

 

But as for you, Ms. Davis, as well as your Sisters in your industry, I wish you all the success you deserve, and should you be nominated for an award, as I certainly believe is possible, given what I have heard thus far…I hope you win.  I hope this movie brings you (and your co-stars) every bit of success humanly possible.  But Disney cannot have my money.  If you see me in the street, remind me of this article and I will give you the 15 dollars my trip would have cost me Personally.

 

I support you…I will not support Walt Disney in this endeavor.

 

 

The Part where we realize Mark Halperin was better off Calling POTUS a Dick

“I miscalculated a fair amount about what would happen with debt talks. I thought, for instance, that there’d be a big signing ceremony. I thought the president would stand with the Republican leaders, and they would announce together, we’ve solved the problem, even if we didn’t do everything everybody wanted. That didn’t happen.” – Mark Halperin

 

So, apparently calling the President kind of a dick is actually an improvement  over his standard boilerplate political commentary.  I am starting to wonder if Mark Halperin could predict the weather here in Dallas-Fort Worth (hint: it hasn’t been something other than Hot as all bejeezus and sunny since July 2)

 

 

Hello World: Another Upgrade, Another Corner Turned

Everytime I take an inadvertent Blog Hiatus, I feel the need to make changes when I return.

 

This is probably the biggest change that I have made thus far.

 

Dragging my blog out of the shadows of the blogosphere and into the broad daylight of networked blogs attaching it to my Facebook page, which is basically like stapling my drivers License to the cover page.

 

I have been blogging for almost ten years….over ten years now.

 

*Pauses*

 

I have been blogging off and on since I had one YOUNG son.

 

Now I have one son staring puberty in the face, one son contemplating life with two digits in his age, and third son with the Potty looming in his future.

 

When I Started blogging the world was fundamentally different than it is now.

When I Started blogging some things that I saw, felt and believed  are no longer things that I see, feel and believe.

When I Started Blogging I was Grasping with the age of 30, with no thought of what 40 would feel like.  Today I am 41 and feverishly preparing for 50.

 

It has been a ride.  A ride I have largely shared with strangers.

 

With a few clicks, I have exposed myself to relatives, Coworkers, Classmates, and even my Mother.

 

I never thought I would be here.  But here I am.

 

Out here for the world to see.

 

Naked and unashamed.

 

Metaphorically speaking…because my Momma is watching.

The one where Ink writes about everything but what he is thinking about the most

I am most successful as a writer when what I am writing about is the most important thing on my mind. The ability to Plunge a syringe into your brain and withdraw the foremost passions and thoughts only to inject them onto the page is the literary equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel.

But what do you do when what is foremost on your mind is sacrosanct.

 

What do you do when your primary thoughts are everything that cannot be spread to anyone, neither the elites nor the huddled masses?

What do you do when the thoughts you most think are toxic to the air?

What do you do when even the benign thoughts in your realm are susceptible to infection by the virus that is your most primary thoughts?

What happens when the thoughts foremost in your mind cloud your ability to Conjugate your verbs forge agreement with your subjects?

 

What do I do?

 

I write about writing about it. It was the first lesson I learned in dealing with writer’s block. Write about how you can’t write what is most pressing until something you can write about becomes more important.

 

 

We Get by with a Little Help from our Friends

Along my journey on the lifetime highway that is Life as a Sickle Cell Parent, I have spent a lot of time in the Hematology/Oncology wing of Cook Children’s Hospital.

What I discovered was that it was difficult to get too down at Daylen’s State of Affairs when I was sharing an elevator with Parents who literally LIVE at the hospital.

With that in mind, when I found out that a friend was raising money for the 2011 Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco as a member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training I had to offer my miniscule Platform to Encourage you to support her efforts.  

Please pass this along to anyone who can help.

Making Don Lemonade out of Don Lemon

So, Don Lemon is  gay.  Thank you for that update.  I was just wondering about that.

As a Heterosexual Black male who has had his own Sexual preference questioned, by former mates on an occasion or two( yes, more than one and yes more than once), I have always felt a certain kinship with Black men who fall outside of the Masculine mainstream.

Granted I thought he was all manner of Meh in his job, but the game is the game.  Its not like hes Luke Russert.  He’s AIGHT.

Anyway, The bottom line is this… Coming out of the closet is a far bigger deal than a mere mortal Heterosexual Black Man can contemplate.  Even a quasi-renaissance Heterosexual Black man like me.

I am in his corner, even I don’t exactly understand why.

The Rumors of Black Love’s Demise are Greatly Exaggerated

As I move towards the finality of my divorce, I seem to be surrounded with a lot of last rites on Black Love.

I am going to Leave aside the nebulosity of the Notion of “Black Love”(if you need validation for the concept of “Black Love” Might I suggest you go amuse yourself elsewhere)

Black Love is real. It is the natural evolution of our most powerful emotion blended with the supernatural strength that comes with Overcoming centuries of dehumanizing conditions meant to strip us of all dignity to make us worthy only of the chattel we were intended to be.

I understand that this is difficult for those who don’t share that heritage. To you I say…get more Black friends and do more listening than talking. Again with the explanations…back on topic.

What has to be remembered is that there is a distinct difference between Black Love and Black Man – Black Woman relationships.

Black Love is an emotional state between Two Black People.

It Will not Die

It Cannot die.

 

The Issues between Black Men and Black Women, OTOH, are here. They are real and they are growing.

 

Focus on that, please. And let Black Love live. Still.