Hey Black Family,
I was a guest speaker and like many other hundreds of other African folk, I was given an opportunity to submit pictures of my family and what it was like growing up for me. Coupled with that, I spoke about my closeness with my cousin Marva "Marvalous" Risbrook. I am truly blessed to have her in my life as we are really close. I get to see first hand how she is a big part of the family and interacts as a mother of two great and beautiful kids (who are as close as I'll ever get to having my own kids, I think), a recent grandmother, a nurturer and just an overall beautiful spirit beyond words.
Like me, she is same gender loving (SGL), and that is the other component I got to speak about this afternoon and how that nexus have crystallized our relationship as cousins and good friends. That kinship played a catalyst in bringing up our particular segment of the African Diaspora and our sexual diverseness from INVISIBILITY to VISIBILITY and that we are all a part of the Black Family in many capacities in spite of us being minimized and our fear of judgment!!
Finally, I'm truly humbled at having the experience and have to GIVE MUCHO THANKS to three specials people: DDFR consulting producer Don Perry (thanks for being a fan of Nubian Knights Network, Don), multimedia producer Ann Bennett (it was so qool meetin' you for the first time at Third World Newsreel for those two workshops and glad we had another fun ride) and writer/producer/director Thomas Allen Harris. (Brutha man, this is a historic project, and it nice to know you have genuine heart in the digital migration of photographic stories of the African Diaspora. This project is beyond words... just sheer imagery).
ALSO, A SPECIAL, SPECIAL THANKS TO MY GOOD FRIEND DELMAR for handling the camera and shooting the footage of me dialoging with with Thomas (see below).
Discussing With Thomas Allen Harris About Growing Up
With His Family And The Importance Of The
Black Same Gender Loving Community Being Affirmed
By The Larger Black Community And Not Being JUDGED
About DDFR and the Video...
The term Same Gender Loving (homosexual, bisexual & transgender) emerged in the early 90s to offer Black women who love Black women and Black men who love Black men (and other people of color) a way of identifying that resonated with the uniqueness of Black life and culture. Before this, many African descended people, knowing little about their history regarding homosexuality and bi-sexuality had taken on European symbols and identifications as a means of embracing their sexuality(ies): Greek lambdas, German pink triangles, the White-gay-originated rainbow flag, in addition to the terms gay and lesbian.
SGL has served as a wake up call for African descended people to acknowledge diverse ways of loving and sexualities and has provided an opportunity for Blacks and other people of color to claim, nurture and honor their significance within their families and communities.
MY FAMILY And Growing Up...
(Notice The Pictures On The Wall Taken By
My Brother Reggie. He Was Quite The Photographer)
ME And MOM Smiling For The Camera
My Mom Giving ME A LOVE KISS (Christmas Time)
ME With My Yellow Corvette Racing Car Which Had Pedals
MAN! I LOVED THIS CAR!!
ME Playing With My Toys!
ME On My Red Fire Engine Toy
With My Two Older Brothers
MY Two Brothers (Erine and Reggie) With
Reggie Holding ME At Kaiser Park In Coney Island
His Family Was Close With My Family.
We Were Goo Friends Up Until Our Teenage Years
My Mom And ME!
ME (Early 1970s) Posing With A Camera
(Nah, It Wasn't My Camera)
We're Real Close And Being "Same Gender Loving"
Make Us Closer As Cousins!
My Cousin Marva (Center)
With Her Two Kids Jason (left) and Jessica (right).
Beautiful Kids And Probably As Close As
I'll Ever Come To Having my Own Kids
That I Re-created It By Self-Portrait In April of 2007
And Put The Two Images Together Side By Side.
I Thought It Was Pretty Damn Qool! LOL!