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The Male Perspective on the EBC Podcast about R. Kelly’s audio, “I Admit,” and Gabrielle Union’s boo


Attn: A “generational, perhaps” explicit ‘word’ warning!

Greetings Exoteric Roundtable Commentators,

I want to thank you for sending me the Sound Cloud link 20th Century-style. After listening to it in the wee hours of this morning, I think I’m gonna need more beer. But seriously, I always enjoy learning the inner thoughts of my fellow Afro Americans; and EBC’s recent discussion did not fail me…yet.

First of all, R. Kelly’s “I Admit.” For some reason, it’s reminding me of the O.J. Simpson book, If I Did It (2007). I recall spreading my grassroots movement to integrate American History “AFROMATION” all over Detroit the year of R. Kelly’s pre-Google & pre-YouTube trending alleged golden shower video. It was all my friends, associates and audiences were talking about.

I love the R’s music, still to this day. However, I do not consider him a victim. He made it outta Chi-town to the top, despite of, and in spite of himself, his flaws, faults, proclivities and learning disabilities. In my opinion, there is only one reason a musical superstar would sell (auction) off his publishing rights; Freedom. America may be the land of the free, but freedom cost money. And the fact that he’s not in prison to this day I consider as a testament to some great legal minds. Can you say 8-9 figures in legal fees? But, he’s a free Black man…in America.

Getting to the EBC book discussion. My initial thought took me back to the last time I watched the Daily Show with Trevor Noah. On November 2, 2017, his guest was? You guessed it, Gabrielle Union, who was promoting; We’re Going To Need More Wine {http://www.cc.com/video-clips/4vswnw/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-gabrielle-union---all-the-reasons-why--we-re-going-to-need-more-wine----extended-interview}. Note: I couldn’t get the video’s volume to play, but I was able to successfully click “cc” to get the closed caption play-by-play.

Anyways, as a Native North Omahan, it’s always nice to see another Native Omahan on national television. She was looking beautiful, Black, articulate and on top of things. I enjoyed the interview tremendously until the last 90 seconds.

TREVOR NOAH: {0:14:44} …You’re proud of it in the book, and you talk about how, you know, you have these young girls who speak to, the younger generation, who say, um. “You know what? I’m comfortable, I watch porn, and I have sex with my friends, and I have sex,” and you talk about it in the book about how, like, some of these young girls will go, “Uh, yeah, I suck my friend’s dick.” You now? And that’s it. And you say, “Well, does he… does he go down on you?” And they’re like, “No,” and you’re like, “Well, that’s not a… that’s not a good friendship, then.”

Okay, full disclosure, I have not read her book. Even so, I’ll protect Ms. Union’s First Amendment rights to the death; my #1 favorite Bill of Rights. Her bio is what we thought it was. Her book is what we thought it was. No, what upset me had 100% to do with Trevor Noah. Now I could understand if she was doing the Howard Stern Show, or some other potty-mouth shock jock. But Trevor Noah? The Daily Show was my evening news broadcast going back to Jon Stewart, who I finally forgave for replacing Arsenio Hall with Stewart’s failed 1990s first attempt at late-night talk.

What I’m saying is I watched Noah practically every night, and I NEVER heard him interact with a guest the way he did in the last 90 seconds with Gabrielle. He would have, and never will, interview a white woman that way on TV. I have not tuned into The Daily Show since. I was probably thinking about my own granddaughters at the time; I don’t know. Homegirl, though, lit up. But what else was she going do; on a national book promotion tour, going 21st Century Dr. Ruth-style. And Mr. Noah, he gave her the grand opening to seal the deal on what her book was all about.

Maybe it would have been J. Lo, Beyonce, Madonna, or whomever, I wouldn’t have cared. But, she was/is one of us; a Native Omahan. I just think that type of explicit talk could have been saved for after-show overtime online.

Okay Ladies, getting to the discussion; finally. Keep in mind, I bring to you a creative single male Virgo perspective; with an “exoteric” (outside–the-box and independent-leaning) POV. Note: some of the EBC members’ pseudonym’s I was able to catch, some I didn’t catch and I simply recognized their voice.

  • Sassy Vegan (sounded like…): “A Beautiful Black Woman from Omaha.” She pointed out that R. Kelly has never been convicted of a sex crime. It’s all alleged.

  • Black Choctaw (sounded like…): “Told too much.” And, “Doing this book was a stupid decision.” Sounded very disappointed, and embarrassed for the author.

  • POLITICO: “False bravado.” Didn’t like women stating they were ‘Strong’.

  • CODE SWITCHER: “Act one way with Black friends, one way with white friends.” Nevertheless, she respects Gabrielle.

Me, I think she wrote the book as therapy. I’d estimate that 1/3 (if not 1/2) of all of the women I’ve ever been blessed to know (and listen to) throughout my life were sexually abused (NOT BY ME); most of them as little girls and teenagers. I understand them. I understand Gabrielle. My ex-wife was passed around during her pubescent years by her mother’s boyfriends; and the viscous cycle that goes back who knows how far, continued with her daughter (BEFORE THEY MET ME). With Gabrielle not biologically having kids of her own (that we know of), potentially advancing a viscous cycle (and/or burying her trauma under motherhood), I believe her memoir was self-justification for who she believes she is today…as a career Black woman in the Biz.

Lastly, as it pertains to my thoughts on our Hollywood Homegirl’s work of nonfiction; I’ve always had a love for anthropology and biographies. I’ve always had a curiosity for how people came to be. How they got here, there, then, why, with whom...

Oh, wait a minute, one more thought about my ex-wife’s daughter, who I protected and made sure she graduated from high school on schedule (Omaha South Class of 1997). I was amazed at how well she could memorize lines from movies and plays. Then it hit me. One of the outcomes of juvenile sexual abuse is; rather, Post-Traumatic Self Defense (PTSD) mechanism is the need and ability to mentally breakaway from reality. And what better profession is there for breaking away from reality than acting. You want this role? Take so-in-so! Action! Cut!

I can’t speak to Sanaa Latham, whose work I love as well. But believe this! Gabrielle Union was/is not the only one. Pre-Hollywood Arrival: Can you say Vivica Fox? Post-Hollywood Arrival: Can you say Halle Berry? Gabrielle? She is, though, in my opinion, one of the only ones to have the courage and strength to write it down and tell the world; a scary thought for 98% of us. If you’ve noticed, the Afro-American-born actresses have been mostly silent during this current Era of #ENOUGH…of you Men.

Getting back to the Sound Cloud most recent link. Just when I thought the EBC was mostly thumbs down on We’re Going To Need More Wine, the prevailing (generational perhaps?) winds changed…

  • BLACK PRINCESS: “Raw, riveting (I believe she said ‘canny’ as well).” She identified with Gabrielle. Talked about her days in Lincoln, seeing Black men with white women, and posing the question to herself, “Is Black Beautiful?” Went on to say we’re, “ALL works in progress.”

  • VOICE OF REASON: “Being promiscuous isn’t a generational thing.” Another EBC member responded with, “These were things you didn’t talk about.”

  • AIR FORCE BRAT: Sorry, I missed her real EBC call sign. She identified as well with Gabrielle, talking about being the only Negro in her primary school days’ classes, then arriving at Omaha McMillan JHS (now MS); “Cultural shock.”

Well, I’ve ran my mouth [fingers] enough this morning. I truly do appreciate you all allowing me to collaborate on you all’s collaboration. I’ll leave you with just three more thoughts pertaining to the keywords “Strong,” “Black,” and Wo(men).”

  1. Re: POLITICO’s earlier commentary. On a snowy 2.5.18, morning in the Panera Bread Saddle Creek Road. parking lot, I asked BLACK CHOCTAW if I could clear the still-accumulating snow off her SUV’s windshield. She said, “No thank you. I’m a strong independent woman.” I still followed her up Military Road in blizzard conditions until it was time for me to break off, Lol.

  2. Black is beautiful BLACK PRINCESS? Black is Beautiful! We cannot let others, and that includes other Black folks, control how we look at ourselves; with mirror in hand or not. A Black woman. Not downing my Creole, Mulatto, Redbone, Carmelike sisters; but a Black Woman. Well, once you go Black! Must be the melanin…

  3. AFROMATION: I make it my job, duty, responsibility, mission to encourage and inspire Afro American women to be all they can be; to not be afraid; to be strong. Because of how my marriage (5-year relationship, 1-year of that in marriage) ended in 1999, there’s that “promiscuous” word again; I’ll never trust another woman again. The beauty though is I don’t need trust. All I need is to understand her, as in her past, her present, her future; like Gabrielle. Trust will get you hurt all-day long, because we are all human-natured sinners. On the other hand, understanding will keep you balanced…for life. Now I was definitely no 20th century Earl, Duke, Prince, King; which had nothing to do with my ethnicity. Let’s just say I had a spiritual and sexual and educational and attitudinal awakening with Raleigh, NC-based rebound woman during the waning weeks of the 20th Century. Prior to late 1999, I didn’t listen to my women. Only saw them for one thing and one thing only. In the 21st Century, I just don’t simply listen to a Black woman talk; I hear them.

Um, I’m being told my time is up. So, Exoteric Book Club rated We’re Going To Need More Wine a ( 3.2 ). That’s a 64-percenter. Since I did not read the book, and I am not an EBC member, I have no book rating to calculate and submit. However, I do have a rating for the book’s discussion; a ( 4.6 ). I hear you Ladies…

Michael D. Woods (aka AFROMATION)

mdarrylwoods@aol.com

Founder, Afromation Movement {www.afromation.org}

Author, Publisher, Treme Press {www.tremepress.com}

Lead Researcher, The (New Orleans) Contraflow Project {www.thecontraflow.org}

Producer, 12th Place Films {www.tremepress.com/12thplacefilms/}

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