Thursday, July 31, 2014

Are Producers Using Aaliyah To Compete Against Each Other?

Are producers using Aaliyah to compete against each other? One of the biggest problems is that her family doesn't want anything involving her made, but we all know when it comes to money the family's opinion doesn't matter.

Many of us remember Aaliyah Haughton as a soulful singer who was trying to become a crossover artist when she tragically died. She had made her mark in the realm of R&B music and was moving on to acting. Queen of The Damned and Romeo Must Die portrayed her as new to the acting world. If it wasn't for her death in 2001, who knows how far Aaliyah would have taken her career. However, her music still lives on today through those of us that it touched, and unfortunately her name has started to come with some drama too.

Towards the beginning of summer 2014 Lifetime Network announced that an Aaliyah movie would be made and Disney star Zendaya would be given the leading role. Unfortunately lots of drama ensued. Zendaya received the meanest of comments on social media and there were problems securing music. Well, there was also the problem of the Haughton family not being a part of the movie. The Disney star was not used to that kind of hate, so she dropped out of the role after a few weeks. Since then they've been a Nickelodeon actress, Alexandra Shipp, to play the role and secured Wendy Williams as the executive producer. There is just one problem.

Another production company has stepped in and made friends with the Haughton family. Even more, they've secured Author/Publisher Zane to write the script. Zane released a statement via Facebook on the matter. You can read it below.

"Let me clear something up. The movie that I am writing and also executive producing along with someone else is not the Lifetime movie. It is a feature film. I am going to be working closely with Aaliyah's family to make sure that it is a thorough, uplifting and honest portrayal of her life. We do have the rights to use her music, unlike the other project, and also will have a soundtrack of the songs that were never released. I would never do that project without their blessings and without their input on what made her such an amazing and talented person, like that fact that she graduated from Detroit High School of the performing arts with a 4.0 GPA. If someone can do a film without the family's blessing, there is no reason why we cannot do one with them and portray her as she truly was. Thanks for allowing me to clear that up." 

This is messy. Although many of us loved Aaliyah, her life was not big enough for a movie and definitely not big enough for two movies. However, the drama of making these movies is more interesting than a movie itself, so I feel like it's a game with the producers. Maybe Zane realizes how crazy this is, because soon after publishing the status she deleted it and replaced it with a blog link about the movie.

Do you even care about these movies being made? If you watch it on Lifetime, will you watch another one with a different actress in the theaters?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

(Part Two) How Important Is Black Love To The Black Man?

This is a continuance of Lessons Learned About Being Black From A Male Perspective. 27 year old Reginald Alceus was kind enough to answer questions on how it's perceived when he dates black women, women of other races, and how valuable the black woman is to the black man. These are his opinions derived from his experiences. 

From reading views online, in conversations with friends, with family members, and the media in general how does the world view you when you’re dating:
 An African American Woman?
 A Hispanic Woman?
 A White Woman?
 An Asian Woman?

The world likely thinks I'm supposed to be dating an African-American woman.

The world probably assumes that since we're both considered minorities, that a Black man and a Latino woman are an appropriate enough couple and will have pretty kids or some such nonsense.

The world would likely be suspicious of why a Black man and a White woman are together, how we found each other, how our relationship came to be, etc. It is probably slightly more acceptable if a Black woman is dating a White man, but the reverse continues to be met with scrutiny and suspicion to this day, no matter what people say. I'm personally all for interracial dating.

I've actually witnessed Asian women dating Black men and vise versa. It's weird, but I always appreciate seeing the site since statistically speaking, it is one of the rarest forms of interracial coupling (the rarest being an Asian man and a Black woman). 

The world as a whole might not see it as a bad thing, although within the respective communities, it might be frowned upon or at least met with criticism. However, the most controversial of interractial pairings will always be a Black man and a White woman. Sad, but true.

A couple months ago asked several people what their perspectives of black love is. Many of them either said black love doesn’t exist or didn’t have an answer. Do you believe in black love? Why?
I'm not certain if I understand the question fully, but to take a shot at it, I don't see why people wouldn't believe the concept of "black love" couldn't exist. With regard to romance and fidelity, there are many existing examples of couples, albeit from another time and generation, who found one another and remain together to this day because they learned how to love themselves and one another. If the generation of the current era has failed to believe in the idea that they’re incapable of loving each other, it's probably because they don't know how to love themselves first.
In the classic movie Belly, which came out in 1998, the preacher at the end refers to the black woman as the black man’s most valuable resource. In what ways do you think a black woman would be the best gift you’ve ever received?
I'm not of the opinion that a Black man can or should seek Black women to be his soul partner. To me, that mindset is limiting and discourages him from not only knowing the word, but discovering who he might truly be meant for. However, to have a Black woman in your life, speaking as a Black man, provides an opportunity to be connect with somebody you can truly feel close to because she shares your history, hopes, expectations. She understands your struggle because your struggle is also hers. It's one she's known all her life, same as you. That unifying objective to endure and overcome, understanding you both come a shared legacy, creates a bond that is likely stronger and more familial than anything a Black man could find with a woman outside his race. Tough she might attempt to comprehend his background, chances are she could never fully appreciate it the way a Black woman naturally can.

In what ways could a black woman be the worst part of a man’s life? 
Not to buy into enabling the stereotype, but many young Black women of this generation, for one reason or another that is theirs alone, find reason to be bitter toward Black men in particular. Both men and women should want to respect one another when entering into a relationship, yet some Black women have difficulty entertaining the idea of respecting their brethren. I feel part of it has to do with an inherited legacy of spite which is unfortunately abated by what Black women see in many Black men, which is someone not worth respecting or perceiving as a reliable equal.

Of course, not all Black women are spiteful and not all Black men are trifling, shifty, or dishonest. It would be cruel for a woman who has long foregone letting go of the bitterness she's been holding onto to enter a decent man's life still carrying her trauma and hurt. African-American women, perhaps more than any other race of woman, has had to endure hardship and despair. It stands to reason that Black women who are expected to be fiercely independent and critical of men from a young age will not develop a positive image of them as they mature into women. Carrying that perspective into a relationship with somebody expecting a hopeful positive outcome will only result in poisoning what could have been something good.

You can find Reginald Alceus on Facebook. This is where he hides all of his extraordinary poems and great writing