Archive for July, 2011

Sapphire, Author of both ‘The Push’ & ‘The Kid’ Speaks Out

http://www.theroot.com/views/root-interview-sapphire-talks-about-kid?page=0,2

I want to share the interview I read with author Sapphire,¬†who wrote¬†’Push’ also known for it’s movie version ‘Percious’ and now ‘The Kid’.¬† Critics have once again delivered negative reviews¬†to her gritty glimpse of the inhumane¬†reality for¬†those proverty stricken, victims of molestation and rape, those reduced by issues of race, and those grossly affected HIV/AIDs.¬† This includes those who have received¬†a sub-par public education and social work system that fails to provide adequate and ethical services.¬†

For anyone curious, a fan or have difficulty¬†relating to¬†the characters, their motives, race and socialization her answers provide¬†insight and a¬†chance to go underneath the surface of a knee jerk reaction of judgement.¬† I ¬†assure you the realities of ‘Precious’ and her son Abdul in ‘The Kid’ are not over dramatizations made for affect.

For those of you who feel these issues have been dramatized by Sapphire I can from my personal experience tell you they are not.  I was raised in an environment in which beatings where passed out daily as if passing out candy.  My early childhood was spent in the foster care system where the 2 families I was placed with were equally physically and emotionally abusive as my real parents.  After 41/2 years I was placed back with my parents and watched horrible domestic violence fueled by drugs & alcohol addiction.  As an adolescent the molestation and rape I endured was ignored by the system that was set up to protect. 

Professionally, I taught in a high school for Severly Emotionally Disturbed (SED) and Learning Diasabled (LD) adolescents¬†(the SED label¬†has been replaced with¬†Emotionally Disturbed (ED)).¬† Moreover, I worked in a residential facility (group home) with all adolescent boys placed by both Department of Children’s Services and Juvenille Hall Probation Officers.¬† I also worked¬†in crime ridden neighborhoods going to Mother’s homes to do psychotherapy with their children¬†as a result of¬†their being released from rehabilitation or jail.¬† Time and time again, I would learn that my experience was far from personal when the system failed.¬† Child protective services regardless of the reasons was more often than not a total¬†failure whether overseeing the biological parents or Foster care parents.

It is unfortunate that so many critics  have such difficulty understanding that the very ugly look at a slice of American history and the on-going enslavement that persons feel born into such circumstances is real.

The fix is not as simple as getting out of the neighborhood, speaking standard English¬†or getting a job.¬† It is far more emotionally complicated.¬† Sapphire captures this emotional complication.¬† Not everyone¬†can be a¬†Jay-Z, Maya Angelou, Eminem or Tyler Perry.¬†¬†However, all¬†can attest to the personal pain that doesn’t go away but is diminished¬†over time by emotional support, creating a different kind of family and the determination to move forward.

Precious is a young woman who is the first in her family to begin the long battle of over coming horrific abuse by both parents. Precious stops the cycle of abuse by parenting her son differently, love based instead of fear based.  Precious learns to love herself enough to love her child fully.  This does not mean there is the perfect happy ending, this does not mean her son will not suffer some of the same indignities as his mother because of his environment like molestation outside of the home.   

Personal growth takes time to assume Abdul, Precious’s son should be able to forego questions of right from wrong, confusion and the emotional ambivilance of sexual molestation is sheer ludericrus.¬† The hope that Precious passes on to her son through her love¬†gives him¬†the opportunity to “Push” himself beyond the barriers society and the circumstances of¬†the loss of his mother Precious¬†placed¬†him in.¬†¬† As the third generation in this story he is the first to have a door cracked open toward the so called “American Dream”.¬†¬†Because of his rememberance of his mother’s love he can use his talents to open the¬†door.

Critics are people with their own personal life experience that¬†influences their understanding and willingness to tolerate someone else’s truth.¬† I suggest the critics spend more time paying attention to the author Sapphire as truly an innovator in her writing stlye and content.¬† Her raw writing style allows for people to feel and empathize with these characters in a profound way.¬†

Is it ugly? Yes.¬† Is it uncomfortable? Yes.¬† Does it feel profane, dirty and incredibly lonely? Yes.¬† That it is why the importance of this slice of life needs to be told with real reality not a scripted version of a reality show.¬† That is the power of her words, dialect, characters and story.¬† The reader does not have to stay¬†in the ugly, but once educated about¬†Precious and Abdul’s realities it is clear the critics struggle with trying to maintain the denial of its existance.¬†

I can only have faith that just maybe even if it’s a few readers that they will inspire others to help stop the cycle of abuse and improve the system which is supposed to protect the innocent.

Please make Excuse Free decisions in your life!!!

Posted by Dr. Leslie Seppinni on July 14, 2011|Category: Career, Celebrity, Crisis, Economy, Education, Excuse Free Living, Family & Parenting, Health, Mental Health, Self Esteem, Self Help, Stress, Uncategorized 2 Comments »