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Thursday
Sep222011

Out of Wedlock Births on Film that Play out in Real Life #NWNW #atthemovies

The following post is an essay that I wrote for the No Wedding, No Womb blogathon that kicks off today. - Nicole

NWNW Blogathon

In “All Things Fall Apart,” Lynn Whitfield plays Dee, a single mother of two teenage sons. While very protective and nurturing, Dee has to make huge sacrifices to ensure the happiness and safety of her children but struggles even more when one of them faces a life threatening illness.

In “Jumping the Broom,” Valarie Pettiford plays Aunt Geneva, a woman whose married sister took her child to provide a more stable life for a baby that would be raised by a single parent otherwise.

What do all of these movie characters have in common? Their similarities go further than becoming pregnant and having a child out of wedlock. Each mother listed here lacked the resources necessary to take care of the baby that she brought into the world. The keyword here is RESOURCES.....an important factor that does not appear to be considered much when women decide to engage in activities that result in unplanned (or even planned, for those who are so infatuated with a man’s personality, looks, status or whatever attracts them that they want to have his baby) pregnancies.

NWNW Blogathon

Being a loving mother in “All Things Fall Apart” did not make up for the fact that the biological father of Dee’s sons were not in the picture and she gave the only man (played by Mario Van Peebles) who was a father figure in their lives her butt to kiss when he tried to convince this strong and independent woman to allow her ill son some room to learn how to take care of himself.

Dee had a job and an active side business but still struggled to afford the best possible life for her children and had difficulty paying her ill son’s medical expenses. Not only did this have an impact on her son’s opportunities to be all he can be, the resources that she does have are pretty much spread thin since Dee has not one, but two kids.

NWNW Blogathon

Aunt Geneva seemed more concerned about traveling the world than being a parent and good role model for her daughter. Unlike Dee, however, Aunt Geneva was gracious enough to realize that her sister could provide a better life for the child that she chose to have without ensuring that the daughter was born into the best possible circumstances....with two parents in a stable environment that did not include her mother flying off to Paris or some other getaway whenever she felt like doing so.

In reality, the percentage of mothers in the African-American community who are having children out of wedlock under circumstances similar to the main characters in “All Things Fall Apart” and “Jumping the Broom” are likely very small.

A lot of single mothers who have a chip on their shoulder but express pride in being “strong and independent” do not have a man in their lives who are willing to take over as step-father and pay for, motivate, encourage and care for children that they had from a previous relationship with another man, like Dee had in Mario Van Peebles’ character, Eric. There are even smaller numbers of single mothers who come from a wealthy family where their married older sister has the ability and resources to come in and save the day like Aunt Geneva had in her sister Claudine, played by Angela Bassett.

Often than not, the picture of out of wedlock births, especially among African-American women tend to be similar to “Claudine” starring Diahann Carroll or “Lean on Me” starring Morgan Freeman. There is a scene in “Claudine” where the main character spanks her suddenly pregnant daughter after learning that there will soon be another mouth to feed in her already financially shaky, welfare stricken household.

In “Lean on Me,” a high school student named Kaneesha Carter gets upset, scared and angry at her male partner after learning she is pregnant. A baby could not only affect her chances of doing well in school and going to college but also spreads her already limited resources very thin since her mother has been unemployed for some time and just landed a new job....so who is going to babysit this kid in 9 months?

The focus of this post is not about marriage, single mothers or African-American women. It is about out of wedlock births and the importance of lowering the rate at which these births occur and this can only happen when adults make more efforts to assess the resources that are available to them and consider the amount of resources that would be available to their children....before deciding to get pregnant and bring a child into the world that is at a disadvantage on so many levels, compared to other children who were born to parents who have the ability to care for them.

Children deserve all that they can receive when and after they are born but resources to cover their needs such as finances for basic expenses including food, shelter and clothing, a stable and safe home environment along with positive people around them are the least that they should experience, or else the children become at risk for social, mental, emotional and financial problems as they grow older while also likely having kids out of wedlock themselves, thus continuing this sad cycle of poverty and broken families.....and it doesn’t have to be this way. This can be prevented through behaving responsibility and taking family planning more seriously, because it means more than buying condoms at the grocery store or getting birth control at a free clinic.

For those who may be familiar with the Mario Van Peebles/50 Cent film, please note: I watched both of the movies highlighted in this post at a movie theater and am well aware that “All Things Fall Apart” is about a football player who wants to build a career in sports and provide a better life for his family. However, I chose to focus on a specific aspect of the plot as a way to help illustrate my point on the subject of out of wedlock births.

What do YOU think needs to be done to curb the growing rate of out of wedlock births in our country?

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Monday
Sep192011

Movie Characters in Need of Manufacturer Warranties #atthemovies #movierentals

Monday Movie Meme

Cheers to another Monday on the Monday Movie Meme tour. It's my turn to host again while Dale at Smurfin the Web gets ready for next week. This week's topic is BUYER'S REMORSE. Share on your blog movies featuring characters who purchased an item that later turned out to be more hassle than a great buy.

The purchased items in quetion in movies like this affect the characters lives in one way or another. These goods have usually become either annoying, tough to maintain, dangerous to the buyer or at the very least, cost the owners way more in the long run than what they initially paid to get it. Here are my movie selections for this week's Buyer's Remorse meme.

Child's Play

Monday Movie Meme

The parents in this film got more than they bargained for when their son's birthday gift turns out to be a little devious killing machine. Just like Andy did at first, many kids in real life would likely find it strange that their toys' can talk without batteries but may not take it too seriously because they find it a little cool at first. The Good Guy Doll, however, uses a pretty vulgar vocabulary that extends well beyond what's on the manufacturer's label.

It's not too far fetched to consider Child's Play to be among the classic horror movies because it's scary, doesn't rely on special effects as much as some modern day horror movies have and uses an everyday item (the Toy) as it's main subject instead of a fictitious monster or masked character, so I do place it among classics.

Panic Room

Monday Movie Meme

Jodie Foster and Forrest Whitaker stars in this suspense thriller where one of the biggest selling points that convinced a rich married couple to buy a new house becomes the very thing that the mother depends on to protect her and an ill daughter from a group of robbers who seem to become more dangerous by the minute.

The Amityville Horror (keep in mind that I only watched the 2005 version, so if the other ones differ in story, I have yet to notice)

Monday Movie Meme

A Brady Bunch-like couple's dream house turns out to be less than desirable when haunted forces on the property make their lives a living hell. I guess no one told these home buyers to consider that a mass-murder of the previous residents may more important than saving a buck on the low-low price before playing Deal or No Deal with the agent offer on this little house of horrors.

I don't know about any of you but I think the main characters in these movies may want to check out the seller's return policy!

Stay tuned for some tidbits from my travels and visit to the 15th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival, which screened some great short and feature length films this year.

What movies would YOU add to this list on Buyer's Remorse?

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Monday
Sep122011

Disastrous Movie Plots #atthemovies #movierentals

Monday Movie Meme

It's another week on the Monday Movie Meme tour hosted by Dale at Smurfin' the Web and I. The current topic selected by Dale is "Natural Phenomena." Dale says, Rain or shine, there is always a movie about the weather or our planet that usually ends up in some kind of disaster or another. So, here is my pick for this week's Meme.

2012
The turn of events that took place during "2012" appeared to serve as an example of how personal or social connections (or lack thereof) can determine how far people can get in life, especially in an emergency. If the main character didn't know that rich Russian man through his job, he and his family probably would have died or at least faced a lot more danger than they did while trying to survive global cataclysm.

This movie could be a nice reality check for those that have doubts about the possibilities of our world changing forever, the aspects of life that we sometimes take for granted and and the importance of knowing people in high and low (Woody Harrelson's character is hilarious and seems to be mor conscious of what's going on than those around him) places.

"2012" is the only film that I can think of at the moment after noticing that my prime choice was already listed by a fellow Monday Movie Meme participant. Now, either Hollywood needs to start making more natural disaster movies or I need to find and watch more of the films that were released to date.

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