Black Men As Sympathetic Characters

I have seen two movies in less than a week, Sorry To Bother You and Equalizer 2. There will be no recaps as this is not a movie review. Suffice it to say, see both. They are really good.

What struck me most about both films, is the presence of a black male character for whom the audience roots for. In the era of #BlackLivesMatter and the death of young black men scattered throughout social media, it is not characteristic of mainstream media to showcase these men in a sympathetic light. Trayvon Martin at 15 was described as a man and portrayed as a thug. Michael Brown was portrayed in the same manner. It is notable to see young black men on screen, imperfect and yet deserving of empathy and protection. Lakeith

The character Chris Washington in Jordan Peele’s Get Out had audiences cheering for a dark-skinned black male as he fought white oppressors to free himself from a prison they had lured him into. Talk about revolutionary. In, Sorry to Bother You, the main character Cassius Green, fights selling out to “the man” and capitalistic oppression of others. In Equalizer 2, Denzel Washington’s character Robert McCall risks his life to save a young black man entangled with gangs and drugs.

The characterization of these black male characters as human, relatable, and sympathetic is an act of resistance. It is also why representation matters. We need African American creatives of all types making movies, TV shows, books, sculptures, architecture – projecting a vision of ourselves into the future. I am hoping that the works of Ryan Coogler,  Antoine Fuqua, Jordan Peele, Boots Riley, are trailblazing and not just trend.

I am finishing up Parable of the Sower  by Octavia Butler. I read recently that Ava Duvernay is bringing Butler’s Dawn, to screen. I am looking forward to a similar wave of heroic black female characters for audiences to cheer for being brought to life.

Devon Franklin Unashamed To Admit His 10 Year Celibacy

Being a celibate Christian is not crazy, it is the sanest, most incredible gift that you can give to yourself.

I was preusing the internet as I am want to do and I came across a video discussing my favorite Christian couple – Meagan Good and Devon Franklin. Mr. Franklin reveals that he had been a celibate Christian for over ten years! (Join the club!) What followed were a bunch of negative comments about this man for actually, unashamedly, proclaiming that God was able to keep him until marriage.


His experience is not unique. The world has become so twisted that promiscuity is promoted while celibacy is abased. I think the stigma is harder for men. You always run the risk of being labeled soft. Women can often times feel pressure to be that seductive vamp that men drool over in music videos. The Proverbs 31 virtuous woman is viewed as a relic of old time values. Even some Christians believe that you cannot date and be celibate.

I can tell you from experience that this is a lie from the very pit of hell. I cannot begin to tell you how being celibate, even through the most trying temptations, has kept me from so many pitfalls the enemy had set for me. My mother told me recently, if you mean to do right, God will always reveal the truth, protect and watch over you.

Perhaps you have never heard that you are valuable. That your existence was planned before the foundation of the world. No one may have ever told you that you are beautiful and that you are worth the wait.

Well, I just did.

I am not speaking of myself. I am speaking from truths I have learned over years in my Christian walk. The chief being – God loves me.

Yes, folk. The creator of the universe loves me. He loves the imperfect, sometimes contradictory, me. He loves you, too. If you meditate on this truth, I mean really know it experientially, you will never give yourself away in a an ungodly way. You are just too precious.

Do you believe it? Well, here's the proof:

"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:6-8


But He Has Potential!

But He Had Potential.   
When it comes to attraction to a man, what a woman  likes at 18 is different than what she likes at 30. If I could impart any aged wisdom to young women looking for a mate – look with your more mature lens. Project your future.

Maybe he is not the typical captain of the football team but captain of the chess club. Maybe his hair does lay down with baby oil but rises like steel wool but he has potential. He may be nerdy now but does he have "potential"?
When you are younger, you go for that spark but as you mature you choose what is smart. Like Lauryn Hill said,

           "What you want might make you cry
            What you need might pass you by
            If you don't catch it,
            If you don't catch it,
            And what you need ironically
            Will turn out what you want to be
            If you just let it,
            If you just let it"


I love that youtube clip. I know Sherri is kicking herself about shading Hill Harper. Talk about potential.

Build-A-Man Just like Build-A-Bear but Cheaper

I was over at Very Smart Brothas and ran across a post entitled, "Building the Perfect Woman." I won't go into the ridiculousness that men consider "perfect" on a woman. Suffice it to say, if it were left up to men, women would be a conglomeration of double d's, a big butt and a smile.

The post did get me to thinking about the perfect man. This topic is right on time considering the fact that me and my friend spent yesterday discussing our "lists". The "LIST" consists of the qualities we want in our future husbands.

So making a list and checking it twice. To make it fun, I'll use celebrities. Here we go (No particular order):

1. Intelligence like President Barack Obama.

2. Smile like Laz Alonso.

3. Eyes like Omar Epps.

4. Heart like Dr. Daniel Hale Williams.

5. Character: A man after God's own heart

6. Body like *inside my own head* lol Too many to choose from.

7. Enterprising like Michael Lee Chin

8. And swagger like DENZEL!!!!!

Build your man in the comments.

Can Men Without Fathers Become Great Spouses?

I know that some men who are raised without the influence of their fathers can learn from that abandonment and become extraordinary fathers. I was wondering on this Father's Day, can men raised without a positive father in their life become nurturing and supportive husbands?

I was watching Waiting To Exhale last night and the character Gloria did not want to let her son Tarik go study abroad because she then would be alone. For some reason this storyline struck a nerve with me. I wondered, what type of man will Tarik grow up to be? Will he become a womanizer never settling because his mom is the love of his life.


I have met men who love their kids to death but have a somewhat strained antagonistic relationship with their wife, girlfriend, and/or baby's momma. I started thinking, what makes these men reluctant to forsake all others for the woman in their life?

Why is it that Sean "P. Diddy" Combs can feel no shame about being in a nationally televised interview talking about his six kids with multiple mothers. He just said he is a good dad but never mentioned being a good mate. Why is this the publicized example?

Is it because they have never seen a man tough it out and make his family work? Is it a lack of self-discipline and commitment?

No, seriously, what is it? I am still wondering.

Who Really Cares Who Reggie Bush is Dating?

Apparently, there is some outrage among black women that Reggie Bush, who is famously dating Kim Kardashian, is on the Essence cover entitled Black Men, Love and Relationship Issue. The comments are off the chain!

The problem?

These sisters are screaming bloody murder because Reggie Bush is not (at least not currently) dating a black woman.

Who really cares who Reggie Bush is dating?

  • The only things I know about Reggie Bush is that he is a football player AND he is dating Kim Kardashian. PERIOD!
  • I am not a football fan so I did not know who Reggie Bush was until he started dating Kim Kardashian.
  • If he was not dating Kim Kardashian but was Tiger Wood'ing (pun intended) a bunch of black women would that be okay?
  • Seriously, he's not even that hot.
  • There was an earthqauke in Haiti that affects millions, are we really THAT concerned over a football player and his girlfriend.
  • It's 2010!! Get over it!

Am I trippin' for thinkinh this is much ado about nothing?

Black Women Being Unmarried is Now National News

Thank you, ABC News! **insert sarcasm**



Steve Harvey says date older men. Ha, I wonder why?

I would consider older, like 40, ONLY if he did NOT sport the 'stache. Stevie, baby, only Magnum P.I. can get away with the 'stache!

Brian J White’s New Show – Men of A Certain Age

I have been seriously struggling with finding interesting writing topics for TZA – then it came to me/like an epiphany.

Brian J White sent me a shout out on TWITTER. Why am I, like,  so excited? LOL.

This past weekend I worked as a production assistant for a music video and now this. Can my life get any better? LOL.


Mr. White is starring in a new TV series, Men of A Certain Age, which premieres next Monday, December 7th on TNT at 9 (Central). The show also stars Ray Ramono and Andre Braugher.


Loved Brian in Mr. 3000 – his character was kinda mean. He played a bad guy in Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself. I am really curious to see his character's persona in Men of A Certain Age.

You know guys, Brian White reminds me of a guy I used to date in college. He was really cute but really down to earth and nice. It is a bit ironic that this guy competed in martial arts tournaments and Brian White starred in Fighting. EERY!!!!!

 BUT- (you know there had to be a BUT in there somewhere!) - I was in love with an idiot.


That, of course is, another post for another day.

P.S. If you are NOT following me on Twitter, you are MISSING A LOT!!!!

So, will you watch?

I Guess We Have To Defend Watching Tyler Perry Movies Now

There is no monolithic black experience. PERIOD.

So no one individual, experience, or point of view represents all of us. Agreed?

With that said, why does all the Tyler Perry hatred center on – he is perpetuating negative stereotypes, he is a "coon", other talented black producers can't catch a break, he is BAD FOR BLACK PEOPLE. Really?

Where does this come from? I just read Siditty's blog.I love this blogger and she makes some valid points but girl lighten up. Everything is not a race movement. LOL

Tyler Perry writes from one perspective of the black experience. His movies have not been artistic masterpieces but darn it they are funny! I know at least I will laugh, cry and probably be annoyed all in the same film.

Read my review of his latest.

One more point - other black director's should learn from TP and TD Jakes. They built up a LOYAL fan base through plays (TP) and books, church(TD) and then launched movies.

All of you high-browed people who claim other directors don't get a break, did you actually pay to see their films? Are they breaking the marketing mold or simply rehashing the same broken formula? What other director would make Kimberly Elise (a very brown-skinned girl) the love interest in a romantic comedy?

Fans can make or break directors; not lofty philosophical arguments and brow beating.