Monday, July 27, 2009

Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage

Hi Chocolate Chip Fans!

I couldn't think of a more appropriate post to publish from my vacation in Oak Bluffs, a haven for Black families for generations, than this on Black marriage.

According to the US Census, in the early 196o's 81% of African-American children lived in two parent holds. Today those figures have almost been completely reversed 69.7% of African-American children are born out of wedlock! The data is staggering and should put you into a rage! Clearly those of us who love Black families have an uphill battle to fight to preserve our unions. The title of one of Dr. King's book captures it best, "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?"

The Answer: Community

If you live in the Washington DC area, you are probably familiar with the blog Black and Married with Kids. Founded by Ronnie and Lamar Tyler, this power couple shares Chocolate Chip's passion for celebrating and changing the perceptions of Black families.

The couples newest venture is a documentary, Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage. There is clearly an audience for the subject because I've watched their Facebook fan count almost double from 5000 to 9000 in the 2 weeks since the Washington DC premiere on July 30, 2009 and the release of the documentary on DVD on August 4, 2009. The evidence is clear: People want to see more positive images of Black love (think my all time favorite movie Love Jones), marriages and families.

The documentary interviews Nisa Muhammad, from CNN's Black in America 2 and the founder of Black Marriage Day, Denine Milner, Parenting Columnist, Joe Madison and several couples who share their experiences and insights on the state of Black marriage. Chocolate Chip encourages you to purchase this documentary (see link below to trailer) to support this initiative. Consider the $19.99 plus shipping, a personal investment in Black families.

Happily Ever After also features significant discussion on the role the Obamas will have in shaping the perception of Black families. I wholly agree one of the most important images from election night was the introduction of the next First Family of the United States....The impact was deep and profound. What a powerful image of a strong, powerful Black family to present to the world.

Check this post out brought to you from the vaults of the Chocolate Chip Archives on the Obama effect.

In the words of Nisa Mohammad,

"Wishing you wedded bliss",

Your friends from Chocolate Chip

Be one of the first to see Disney's Princess & the Frog

On May 31, 2009 Chocolate Chip blogged about Disney's newest and first African American Princess Tiana (see link below). You and a guest could be a chosen to attend a screening with your Chocolate Chip friends this Thursday 7/30/09 @ 12:30pm in NYC!

To qualify for the drawing send an email to with "Pick Me" in the subject line by 7/27/09 11:59 EST. The winner will be notified by Tuesday 7/28/09 12pm EST.

The screening is made possible by the Howard University John H Johnson School of Communications Board of Visitors with Woodie King Jr of the New Federal Theater celebrates Harlem Weeks 35th Anniversary.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

CNN's Black in America 2...Strong Marriage = Strong Family?

CNN's Black in America 2 premieres 7/22 & 7/23. Although I was extremely disappointed in the 2008 series for various reasons, I am hopeful that this year's reported emphasis on solutions will inspire and depict a community actively engaged in it's transformation despite societal challenges.

A part of the lead up to the event is a discussion on Black Marriage. Wedded Bliss Foundation and it's founder/executive director Nisa Muhammad are featured in the documentary and on CNN today. Created to help married couples through crisis, the organization offers Basic Training for Couples which "cover the value of commitment, responsibility to the black community, psychological differences between the sexes, sexual intimacy and conflict resolution."

Check out the Black in America 2 site for conversation starters. Toady's topic: "Does a strong marriage equal a strong family"

Mark your calendar : Black Marriage Day- March 28, 2010

Join Chocolate Chip as we support organizations like Wedded Bliss Foundation and add our voice to the celebration of Black Marriage. Stay tuned.

Friday, July 10, 2009

MJ & Russell Simmons on Fatherhood

I don't know about you, but it's been a crazy 2 weeks since the passing of Michael Jackson. So much is being said, some good, some not so good. Until his daughter Paris broke her public silence at the memorial celebration when she eloquently expressed her love and devotion for her daddy, very little has been said about Michael Jackson the father.
The Ebony team has been very outspoken about their experience with MJ and his son Blanket during a 2007 interview. Harriette Cole and others have described him as a loving, doting and devoted dad and commented on the strong bond between father and son. One can only hope that the children will be comforted, nurtured and protected so they can have the full childhood their father never had but so desired for them. Rest in Peace Michael Jackson.
Russell Simmons graces this week's cover of Jet Magazine with his daughters Ming Lee and Aoki Lee. The article entitled "A Father's Lesson for His Daughters" illustrates Mr. Simmons' commitment to his "little girls" as he balances life after divorce. Though brief, the article nicely depicts his devotion for his daughters as he nurtures and cares for them while playing an active role in their lives.

While you're flipping through the pages of Jet, be sure to also check out NYC Councilmember Helen Diane Foster who is featured with her husband Eric McKay on page 22. Congratulations on your recent nuptials! Your friends at Chocolate Chip wish you both all the love your hearts can hold!