As difficult as it can be at times, I love to write. I've been writing essays and opinion pieces since my college days at Northeastern University in Boston, where I served as co-editor of The Onyx Informer, NU's black student newspaper. Writing gives me a way to thoughtfully express my opinions about race, class, and gender. Although I am known more as a filmmaker than a writer, I am fortuante enough to have been published in five great books written or edited by authors and editors that I highly respect. Enjoy excerpts of some of my published essays below.
Be A Father To Your Child: Real Talk from Black Men on Family, Love, and Fatherhood
I just can't say enough about my father. He was an extraordinary man. Anyone who knows my father knows that he was not your average person. I enjoyed listening to him because he was full of so much knowledge and history. Having my father was like having Cornel West or Henry Louis Gates or Michael Eric Dyson right at your finger tips. My father was an intellectual and he had a tremendous amount of intellectual hardware. He was a deep man. He had an incredible...
Men Speak Out
Daytona Beach, FL -- I'm at BET's annual Spring Bling, an event fashioned after MTV's Spring Break, a yearly-televised weeklong party and hedonistic mating ritual. Like the MTV version, BET's Spring Bling looks like mad fun on television, and is well attended. One big distinction between the two music television shows (both are under the corporate banner of Viacom): MTV's Spring Break is largely white with some faces of color sprinkled throughout the crowd; BET's Spring Bling is clearly black space. White folks here are mostly cultural tourists.
Black Male Handbook
"Close your eyes," my father would tell my sister and me as we drove down the interstate through South Carolina toward our final destination of Milledgeville, Georgia, the state's capitol prior to the Civil War. It was a yearly ritual, each time we drove down south. My father would turn down the Teddy Pendergrass on the eight-track player. "Imagine Black people working in these fields from sun up till sun down," he'd say, "bodies glistening with sweat." I'd shut my eyelids tight and imagine what my eyes had never seen in real life—slavery.
"Imagine Black men on each side of these roads, lifting huge bails of cotton, and Black women hunched over, working in the fields," he'd say. I'd sneak a peek and look to my right, then quickly to my left at the cotton fields just off the highway. Then he'd cap off the exercise with a personal challenge: "Now imagine it was you working in those fields!" It wasn't easy for an eight-year old mind to grasp slave labor, but my vivid imagination could clearly see the picture my father painted for us.
Rape: A Loaded Issue for Black Men
December 4, 2013
One of the most stressful and challenging conflicts that affect me during a rape case occurs when the alleged perpetrator is a Black man. As one of many Black males who consistently speaks out against all forms of violence against girls and women, I’m always torn and somewhat hesitant to take a strong stance or make an early rush to judgment.http://bknation.org/2013/12/rape-loaded-issue-black-men/
Sylvia's Felt Like Home
July 21, 2012
Though Sylvia Woods was not a blood relative, she felt like one to me, and to anyone who frequented her world famous Harlem restaurant. It was a place where you were home. You could let your guard down, relax and dig in.http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2012/07/21/sylvias-felt-like-home
Why I Am a Male Feminist
March 16, 2011
The word turns off a lot of men (insert snarky comment about man-hating feminazis here) -- and women. But here's why black men should be embracing the "f" word.http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2011/03/why_i_am_a_black_male_feminist.html