Tim Alexander's Diary of a Tired Black Man is one of those low-budget straight to DVD movies that promises to unleash rancor all across the genders. Tired Black Man, starring NBC Heroe's Jimmy Jean-Louis, doesn't just probe into black female-male relationships, it digs into it with a sledge hammer. The story follows a professional black man, once married to a beautiful and professional black woman, who decides to divorce and date a white woman. Now, let me take a moment to quiet my dizziness. Here's my big question: why is this tired issue still prevalent among black men and women? I'm not throwing daggers at Tim Alexander or his film, [this issue is an urgent one for him and I hear his position is progressive] but I'm up to my nostrils in bashing among the genders. I've been hearing a lot of garbage lately about how Obama being married to Michelle, a "real" black woman, earned him the vote. Or how Obama is a real man because he didn't marry a White woman, or a fairer-skinned Black one.
Here's some wisdom to ponder: when a person decides to love who they want, that's their choice; when a person decides to divorce, that's their choice; when a person then decides to date someone outside their race, someone with an Ivy education, or someone who prefers grits over Quinoa, that's their choice. In my opinion, black men and women spend too much of their lives trying to control each other, trying to fit the object of their expectation into a box of manufactured, held-over-from-slavery expectation. And here's a lesson already learned: if you don't respect a person's right to define their own reality and/or date/remarry who they want, it's called slavery. And correct me if I'm wrong, American slavery was abolished nearly 140 years ago. Black men and women are trying to enslave each other to faux allegiance and expectation and it's time folks begin the process of self-manumission and then set each other free.
Keith Josef Adkins is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and social commentator.