Fatherhood and The Central Park Five

On 5/19/2019 I had the fortunate experience of attending a Q & A following a screening at the SVA Theatre of Ava Duvernay’s “When They See Us”. This 4 part mini series is a dramatic depiction of Korey Wise, Yusef Salaam, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, and Raymond Santana’s youth being stolen from them as they were wrongfully convicted of a crime (brutal rape of a white woman) they didn’t commit in 1989. Our son Asante Ma’at (Asante Blackk) has the fortunate experience of playing Kevin Richardson in the mini-series. During the screening i was captivated by the insight and eloquence of the youth and adult cast. I was particularly intrigued and impressed by a comment MIchael K Williams made regarding the character he played, Bobby McCray (Antron McCrays father). During the mini-series Mr. McCray is portrayed as being emotionally torn and conflicted about how to adequately provide and protect his family during this period of crisis. The film depicts Bobby McCray angrily urging his son (Antron McCray) during the process of coerced interrogation to “give them what they want” (a confession to raping a woman in Central Park).

What stood out to me about Michael’s comments was how he as an actor was willing to enter into a space of vulnerability and explore/expose the complexity of fatherhood and shed light on the pain, fear, disappointment, love, and purpose that exist in the realm of being an imperfect parent. Michael K Williams asked the question….what made Antron’s father do what he did? It’s one thing and it may even be easy to blame him and judge him for the decision he made to intensely implore his son to cooperate and to not attend the initial stages of his son’s trial. It’s another thing to honor the fullness of his experience and recognize that even in his absence….he loved his son….he loved his wife…and he was doing the best he knew how to do in that moment. Michael K Williams spoke to Bobby McCray’s dilemma free of judgement. Michael K. Williams in his portrayal of Mr. McCray showed that there was awareness that he could have done more for his son and family. There was also a shedding of additional light on the complexity and nuance of fatherhood…especially when one feels shackled by the past particularly when it involves being a part of criminal justice system.

Black Man…. Own Your ISH!!

The title of this video really says it all. Black men are Kings. Black men are all dat. And guess what? Black men—we have to take responsibility for ourselves, our stuff, our families, our communities and our impact. #Bottomline #StopplayingStartpushing

Black men it’s imperative that we be accountable and take ownership of our ISH! Take the first step to healing and accountability by joining me at our upcoming online Relationship Round Table. This Round Table is FOR MEN. Hurry….Only 10 seats available. Join us this upcoming Wednesday Nov 8th from 8-10pm where I along with my wife Aiyana Ma’at will lead a group through a transformative group where the fellas will get a chance to share their relationship challenge……receive insight from us and the other brother’s in the group….and be inspiried to revolutionize how you show up for your wife and children. VISIT http://www.BlackLoveAndMarriage.com to get your seat TODAY!!!

Creating Your Legacy: How To Build A Successful Business With Your Spouse

We are so excited over here at BLAM !  Hasani & Danielle Pettiford from Couples Academy will be our special guests for this month’s FREE COUPLES WEBINAR! They are going to have some awesome information and inspiration for us all.

This Webinar Is For You If… 

  • you have a business with your spouse already
  • want to or have thought about starting a business with your spouse
  • you work with your spouse in some way now outside of the home (in ministry, volunteering, community activities,etc.)
  • are frustrated with you and your spouses very different work styles
  • want to create a legacy for your children’s children and beyond

We’re Going To Show You…

  • How to truly tap into your shared purpose so you can really profit.
  • How to separate roles and responsibilities at home and at work.
  • The art of communicating well as business partners and husband and wife.
  • How important respect and routine are to a couple in business.
  • What successful business couples do that other couples don’t

The Top 3 Things Every Woman Wants For Valentine’s Day. It’s Not What You Think.

Valentine’s Day is here. So what did you get her this year? Maybe you’re tired of doing the same old “red roses and a box of chocolates” thing and you want to make this year a Valentine’s Day she’ll remember without spending a fortune.


Here are the top three things every woman wants for Valentine’s Day. You may be surprised!


1. A Show of Effort


Women want to know that their man has put some thought and energy into making their Valentine’s Day special. They want to see that there was time spent in preparation for the evening. It’s not about how much money you spend. In fact, it’s better to have spent more time than money on Valentine’s Day.


Plan an evening that requires a little forethought, and preparation. Women know if you just stopped at the local convenience store to pick up some roses on your way over. Give her a night dedicated to her wants and desires – not just something thrown together at the last moment.


2. Proof You Listen to Her and Know What She Likes


As a man, one of your most important jobs in your relationship is to listen to your woman. Women drop clues on a constant basis in everyday talk. For example, if the two of you are out shopping, she might see a bunch of tulips, and say “I just love tulips! Pink tulips are my favorite flower.” One of the best things you can do is hear that information, remember it, and use it at a later time.


Then on Valentine’s Day buy her pink tulips instead of the standard red roses. Chances are she will be so impressed that you even knew she likes pink tulips, because she forgot she said it, or even that you remembered all this time, and that you went to the trouble to surprise her with her favorites.


This can apply to anything including a certain food she loves but never indulges in, a hotel or retreat she’d like to take with you, a piece of jewelry she adores but would never spend the money on herself, or maybe something off beat like she’s always wanted to learn ballroom dancing – Sign the two of you up for lessons. There are many ways to make Valentine’s Day memorable if you just listen.


3. Pamper Her


All women love to be pampered. Some may not be used to it, or not even know what they like, but I promise you all women will love it. A gift certificate to the spa is not the same. Here’s why – When you pamper a woman you are taking care of her, you are making her feel good, and by you doing the pampering you are showing your love. So how should you pamper her? Every woman likes different things more than others, so don’t be afraid to ask her ahead of time. Here are some suggestions to get you started.


You could make a bubble bath for two complete with candles and champagne. If she’s not a bath girl, you might consider buying a small bottle of massage oil, have her get into her bath robe and give her a back massage. If she’s a woman that spends her days on her feet, you may want to give her a pedicure.


Remember that however you pamper her it should be done for her enjoyment alone. It should not be used solely as a way to get her warmed up for sex. If she leads it that way, then all the better, but go into it with the intention of just making her feel good. Women can sense when they are being primed for sex, and when it is a genuine act of kindness.


The key is to listen to her, find out what she really likes, and plan an evening that caters to her. Surprise her with her favorite things instead of the typical Valentines roses, chocolates, and teddy bears. And, spend time and effort to make this Valentine’s Day a night she will remember and brag to her friends about.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day At Home This Year? Give Your House A Romantic Makeover

By Jamie Scott

Valentine’s Day is a cause for celebration, and there’s no reason not to give your house a makeover in recognition of the day of love. If you’re like many people, you may be right at home with your honey and that is Ok. Home can be even better than going out. It’s all in how you accessorize the atmosphere! 😉

There are a range of ways in which you can romanticize your house, but first decide upon the colors you’d like to stick to. Hues of pink, red and nude palettes are particularly nice.

Once you’ve decided on colors, start by snatching up some big, beautiful bouquets and spreading them throughout the house. You could mix roses, lillies, carnations, peonies – even narcissus are gorgeous for Valentine’s, if they fit in with your color scheme. The smell is likely to make your loved one happier, and the sight of fresh flowers is always a welcome one after a tough day in the office.

Next, think about accessories – lighting fixtures, picture frames, curtain poles and lamps are all great places to start. Pick out antique-style, feminine pieces for Valentine’s, with gold trimmings and a rustic, lived-in feel, and your other half is sure to get in the mood. For darker personalities, go for deep reds and luscious royal purple; for the lighter feel, go for nudes and creamy tones.

One accessory that really creates a romantic feel is the candlestick holder – try raiding local antique and thrift stores for old, vintage pieces. Those with several forks are particularly pretty, and if you see a pair, grab them both, otherwise you’ll kick yourself when you get home for not having the matching set. Even if you don’t have both out all the time, it’s worth having them for occasions when you want it.

Lastly, why not consider sprucing up the bed a little? Buy a luxurious, soft throw, or some indulgent silk sheets. Rose petals sprinkled on the bed always go down a treat, and fluffy white pillows are very enticing, setting the perfect mood for a loved-up Valentine’s celebration.

Hey BLAM Fam, Will you be at home this Valentine’s Day? Share your tips with us!

How Are You Representing Your Relationship?

Whether you have a boo or not we want to give you a shout out for being intentional about being in relationship. We know your journey isn’t always pretty or always ugly…..it’s always a little bit of both. We salute you for pressing forward and representing “real love”.

Pushing Through Chaos To Experience Connection

Pssst. We’ve got a secret for you. You’ve got to prioritize your relationship. There will always be stress of some sort that you’re dealing with (even the good kind). Always! You can’t wait for things to quiet down. You can’t wait until you handle this bill or that situation. You can’t wait! You’ve got to be intentional about connecting even when you’re confronted with challenges. Connection is the lifeline of your relationship and will sustain you and your sweetie during the toughest of times. But, guess what you don’t get out what you don’t put in. So, CONNECT! Like your life….or YOUR RELATIONSHIP depends on it.  😉 Stop Playing Start Pushing.

Is It Ok For A Wife To Have A Hickey?

Sometimes couples in the heat of the moment get real passionate and leave evidence of their sexual rendezvous. Do you think that it’s ok for married couples to leave a passion mark…..a hickey? Is it all good or is it…. inappropriate? Let us know your thoughts…

How To Know When Your Spouse Really Needs You To Be There

There are certain times in marriage when your spouse needs you. More than they might normally need you. And what do I mean by need you? Well, it can look a number of ways. Every person is different. Perhaps they need you to whisper words of encouragement and confidence when they are having a really tough time at work. Maybe they need you to reach out and give them a reassuring touch to remind them how important and impactful they are when they are doubting their parenting or their relationship with that particularly difficult child. Or maybe they need you to come back and speak love and life to them after a really big blow up where you both said some things that you wish you could take back…. Like I said….every person is different and whether you know it or not it’s your job to pay attention to your spouse and give what’s needed during those times. So, how will you know it’s one of those times?

Here are a couple of quick tips to knowing when your spouse really needs you:

#1 It never fails that when they really need you is when it’s really difficult for you to be there for them. It might be that you have physical obstacles ( a choice between that trip with your friends or stay with your sweetie) or emotional obstacles ( you’re really upset with them and have feelings of your own right when they need you to overcome that and just be there for them). However it happens—-these are sure signs that your boo needs you.

#2 They tell you. Sometimes we dismiss our loved ones as being dramatic, manipulative or just plain old selfish when they say I need you (and let’s be real it doesn’t always come out in a sweet and pleading way does it?) They can be demanding or sulking or whatever but the truth of the matter is they probably really do need you.

Blackloveandmarriage.com writers and supporters include husbands, wives, singles, youth, elders and anyone who has a desire to lift up and support black women, men children and families.  BlackLoveandMarriage.com exists to transform the image and quality of relationships in the African-American community and the nation. Husband & Wife team, Ayize & Aiyana Ma’at, use their platform to address a wide range of issues that exist within relationships. They combine real talk along with insight from their own relationship to provide viewers with the tools they need to take themselves & their relationships to the next level.

My Husband Wants To Snuggle…But I Don’t Do All That

What do you do when cuddling isn’t a part of your emotional make up? How do you meet the need of someone who really wants physical affection when you’re not an affectionate person? This is a question we received from a viewer. Listen in to hear our advice.