“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.
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.
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 Daddy Cycle is the working title of the book that lurks in my head. As I attempt to get it out…occasionally I will run to this blog to jot down some notes and thoughts. Since the book isnt ready. This is the Mixtape.
So, I was randomly tweeting with Twittette extraordinaire @whymelawd on the subject of Tony Dungy commenting on Reggie Bush and what he should do with his Heisman Trophy.
The substance of what she said for the purposes of this particular post revolve around her assertion that most professional coaches’ fathering skills left something to be desired because of the Nature of those Fathers building long-standing relationships outside of the home.
This was in response to my assertion that there were many fields in which men sacrifice a more intimate fathering experience in exchange for more success at work.
This sent me down the rabbit hole of The Daddy Track
Sure there are articles like THIS one that discuss the paths certain men are taking to allow themselves time to spend with their children, but I am wondering if, in fact, Such a world really exists.
Is the Daddy Track REAL?
Or is it the Mommy Track for Humans with penises?
Is our culture REALLY expecting men to put family first…
not because they HAVE to, in the case of all of us Running our ass home to Grab Jr. or Janie from DayCare because our wives/SOs/CM are just as busy as the man is…
but because it is an ACTIVE choice.
They look in the mirror and say, “Yanno, you could REALLY bust your ass out here and make partner…or you could just do your job and be home by 6.”
Is anyone REALLY making this choice.
I’m asking. Because I really want to know.
IM not about to make pronouncements as to what the end of THIS hiatus will hold for anyone.
I will merely say that more than enough has changed in my life to warrant me to give this personalized Blogging thing a stab once again.
It’s been almost three years since I Snuffed out the GovtName Blog and picked up this moniker.
During that time, I spent more time getting my Pundit on than I did waxing personal.
Evan as my life got more and more interesting I wrote about it less and less.
The Less I wrote about it, the more I NEEDED to write about it.
And now look at me.
Here. Doing This. Again.
That never say never shit is real folks.
Editor’s Note: yes. Cryptic and enigmatic. Stick around or Get around. I will love you all the same.
Are a Daddy
Momma a child with a Daddy
Momma a child without a Daddy
There is wit and wisdom (and hilarity) to be found in this link.
Co-Parenting Matters is an invaluable resource for Divorced and single parents. I hope the show blesses you as much listening as it did for me being on it.
I am by my nature, a difficult person to scare. I am a father of three small to medium boys with a wife whos is as prone to shreiks of fear as she is feats of amazing mental and spiritual (and occasionally physical) strength.
As such, I dont let much shake me.
Except one thing.
The prospect of waking up at the Dawn of the Congressional Christmas break without National Health Care reform Scares the shit out of me.
But Why NOW? Health care in the US is the best in the world? (you. Shut up.)
Ok, maybe not the best but do you REALLY want the alternative?
The alternative to WHAT? ANOTHER decade of being shut out of the health care market because I have a job where I am largely paid by strangers?
Here is a secret, boys and girls…A deep, dark secret that I am taking this opportunity to share with all of you.
My youngest son has been diagnosed with sickle cell anemia. This is a fact that my wife and I knew was a very real possibility when we got married, so we didn’t really plan to have children. TFMI also had the sickle cell trait (as do Mrs. Ink and Me), so after rolling the dice successfully twice before…I wasn’t really interested in having more children, for 1000 reasons. Mrs. Ink just plain didn’t want kids.
But alack and alas, here we are. with a child who has a serious hereditary disease (how serious? The boy qualifies for Make-a-wish) and Faces a LIFETIME of medical challenges in order for him to lead a normal life.
TODAY, He is under my wife’s insurance, who as a school teacher for a large urban district in Texas, has PRETTY good insuance which is only affordable provided SHE is the only one on it.
The notion of me joining her on her insurance apparently is unpalatable to the good taxpayers of Texas, because that would send her monthly premium up 600%. Adding the boy only raised it 400%, what a bargain.
Here is the hook, My wife would like NOTHING better than to step out of the Classroom and retire to run our family business full time.
Fat effin chance of that happening until Health Care reform passes. So we wait. and watch. and pray.
Pray with us and for us, please.
In case you find yourself reading this post and thinking…I’ve read this before; you have.
I wrote it for my previous blog.
Its just as true now as it was then.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
The most unfortunate thing about the war between Black men and Black women is the fact that it rages on whether there are headlines to follow or not. As we speak some blogger somewhere is waxing eloquent as to how it is that the other sex just doesn’t get it, piling on anecdotes and embellishing and embracing stereotypes. Of course that is how adversity is. Well that is how it is supposed to be anyway. The moment brothers stop trying to rein in the SuperWomen they discover, turning them into Relics from an era gone by, will be the moment Women will stop feeling emasculated. Yes, brothers, if you stumble upon a multi-degreed head of household with her pedicured foot in corporate America’s ass, attempting to turn her into (yeah..i DARE you to find a Black woman who embodied the kind of character Donna Reed or June Cleaver represented on TV) is going to feel a lot like emasculation. and NO ONE, even a WOMAN, wants to be emasculated.
Let us be clear. The second half of the 20th century put the Black woman in an awkward position. It made HER the hunter gatherer, cause nurturing doesn’t put food on the table in enough quantity to keep up with the rapidly rising standard of living. Sacrifices were made, and the overall mindset of the black woman evolved as she started to embrace a role she….(deep breath) was not created to play.
Let me stop here and elaborate.
Men and Women are EQUAL…but they are not the same.
Equal does NOT mean the same.
IF you think it does, try slipping 2 rolls of quarters under a stripper’s G string instead of a 20 and see how far THAT gets you.
(yes i admit i drove this whole post JUST so I could type one of my favorite analogies. now back to my subject)
Women have become more like men than they were ever intended.
While many in my rapidly expanding circle have a tendency to eschew overt Scriptural references…allow me to be QUITE specific:
Ephesians 5: 22-33 Amplified version
22Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord.
23For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body.
24As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.
25Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her,
26So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word,
27That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless].
28Even so husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself.
29For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church,
30Because we are members (parts) of His body.
31For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.
32This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church.
33However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [[a]that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and [b]that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]. [I Pet. 3:2.]
As you may or may not have read, I got married in May of 1997, at the not all that tender age of 26. The above scripture was not only read, but a sermonette was PREACHED on that passage DURING my wedding. (it should be noted that full fledged church was held on that day, a soul got saved, both the bride and the groom caught some semblence of the Spirit and it ran the wedding a full hour over schedule, which cost the groom a not all that nominal overtime fee for the limo. All that there, didnt sink in, obviously, because my dumbass was up to my elbows in a relative stranger not ONE year later.
You might ask why that was, and why I was able to live to tell the tale, especially considering the fact that my then-wife was 2+ months pregnant with our first child. Youll have to trust me that I had my reasons and that I was spared for good cause. I am only pointing this factoid out to let you know that I am NOT without sin.
That I am MUCH, MUCH, MUCH, better at deciphering YOUR problems and how you should HANDLE YOUR BI than I am at regulating what happens in these here parts.
I KNEW what was expected of me. I DID not know what I was getting myself into.
- I did not know that somehow Married men are more attractive than single men.
- I did not suspect that some people in the world think NOTHING of bedding someone else’s spouse.
- I thought I was bigger than my desire to touch and be touched by a woman.(I may be NOW…i damn sure wasn’t then…and I probably still am not.)
- I underestimated the ability of a woman (one woman in particular) to hold a grudge.
- I completely misunderstood the enduring, never ending damage of infidelity. Infidelity is SOOOO BAD, that women you DIDNT cheat on will look at you askance when you tell them you had a one night stand almost 8 years ago with a woman you no longer converse with while you were married.
I am of the overall opininon that 90% of premarital counseling classes are a joke.
Think about it, You spend your entire relationship trying to avoid the very issues that could probably lead to the death of your relationship, when those are the VERY issues you need to approach head on. Once you do that, how can you proceed on some kind of schedule, knowing that around every corner is a discovery about each other that will challenge everything you know about that person.
Marriage is a wonderful and powerful institution. It is older than Communion and baptism and the very bedrock to culture as we know it. Getting it right is the difference between one nation under a groove and one nation under God, Indivisible with liberty and justice for all.
In the process of trying to get to the core of my status as a father of three, I have not done my proper due diligence in painting a proper picture of just HOW my first marriage ended up an exercise in putting on appearances and thinly veiled contempt.
The Long answer is incompatibility and an inability to work together and grow together. But me and experience has proven that answer flatly insufficient.
95% of the stumbles I experienced in BOTH of my marriages could have been easily remedied with some honest and frank conversation and introspection on all parts.
Even though through the magic of 20/10 hindsight we would NEVER have progressed beyond casual dating partner and have both matured and moved on to successful marriages, I am confident that we would have scrapped at it and ground out an ugly win. But that other 5% kept getting in the way.
NOTHING will wreck a marriage like infidelity.
Even the most emotionless single episodic infidelity in the worst Marriage is the metaphorical equivalent of throwing your child out of a burning three story building when there is a kiddie pool full of alcohol garnished with shards of plate glass directly beneath you.
Sure you See it…but that doesnt mean you can avoid it.
The fall may not kill you, instantly. But 99% of the time you will wish it did. The aftermath is FAR worse than any Death your child(relationship) might come upon.
I have done that.
More than once.
I’ve never hit the pool directly.
OHHHH but I have been close.
Close enough for the Baby/relationship to be too injured to live a full life.
Once I even Killed it.
You can only throw the same baby out the window so many times before the baby’s body just gives up.
Infidelity is something that can happen to ANYONE. Your House (life) catches fire…and your impulse comes to grab that Baby (your relationship) and toss it out to safety.
Who wants to have their baby burn up in the house? No one, right?
Then work on putting the fire out…instead of throwing the baby out of the window like a suitcase.
(The ink says this Metaphor needs more flushing out….Part II REAL soon.)
Author’s Note: forgive the tardiness, Labor, newborn babies, custodial parenting, stuff like that intruded and I ended up spending more time Living the story than writing about it. My bad. You won’t miss a detail, I promise.
In the aftermath of 9/11, there was enough flux in my life that I could pretend my family life was back to normal. I trudged through The fall of 2001 with my head down, saying very little verbally, but tackling my new found passion of writing. Writing at that time was like the therapy that I had never experienced.
I was participating on an anonymous group blog called Kindred with a bunch of established Bloggers. The rush I felt as a part of that immensely talented collective inspired me to creative heights I have NOT found since. I was BLOGGING with the Best Black Bloggers in the world way back in TWO THOUSAND ONE, SON!
I spent the autumn oblivious to my family, Engaging just enough to keep everyone quiet about the turmoil of the past and to focus on how I was going to survive eighteen years of Loveless marriage while raising my sons. Suffice it to say that it never occured to me that they might NOTICE that mommy and daddy didn’t really like each other all that much. That 3.0 ALREADY could tell that something wasn’t quite right even as he was concentrating on the wonders of Potty Training.
That 3.1 was a momma’s boy was inevitable. That he resembled TFMI was merely coincidence. For someone who spent the last 4 months in the womb of a woman whose husband only occasionally shielded his hopeless outlook on marital bliss and family, it is difficult to imagine that I could have built up a great deal of cool points in utero.
But none of that stopped me. I was a man who only vaguely remembered having a Father in the house. I told ANYONE who would listen to my digital rantings, that i Would NEVER be THAT father. Id Stick in through thick and thin. Wasn’t gonna make it until death did us part, but I would DEFINITELY make Graduation.
Famous Last words.
After reading the Interlude, you can get a sense of the cauldron of conflict that 3.1 was conceived and nurtured in. The picture looked fine, but story behind the picture was Toxic.
(This is why the thousand words a picture tells is never enough)
The physical picture maintained a sheen suitable for framing, but the reality was infecting all those involved.
By Labor Day weekend, the situation had devolved into a war-of-the-roses type thing where folk had retreated into their respective foxholes and the boy wandered back and forth between us like some special envoy in the safe zone. I had clearly moved on, I just hadn’t moved out. To say it was ugly engages in a form of understatement that I am personally uncomfortable
As with the country, the events of 9/11 changed everything. On the surface that is.
While I am confident EVERYONE has a “where were you on 9/11 story” those of us who could see the smoke in the air and engaged in the cinematic exodus out of lower manhattan and Inner Washington, DC have our own peculiar stories. The day brought me face to face with how fleeting life can be, how easily angry spouses can be transformed to grieving widows. For the first time in months, we sat as a family and bonded over the tragedy and how our family had been spared. All was well.
For a week.
After that, you may have well said that the Terrorists had won in my house, because it was business as usual at my house