Friday, May 16

An Open Forum On "Black Mothers Don't Say I Love You" Title

Black Mother's Don't Say I Love You?!?!

Would love your honest opinion. 

Please comment below. My new play, Black Mothers Don't Say I Love You, will be presented in a workshop/reading production Saturday May 17th, 8:30 pm at the Rock Paper Sistahz festival in Toronto, Ontario. Get your TICKETS they are going fast!!

There has been some discussions around the title, people either love it or hate it, and I've had several folks email me about the title or wish to engage about the title. Thus, after the performance on Saturday we will be discussing the title, with the audience, and have members of the community on the panel to offer their feedback as well. 

Art source: "The Pride Of Mothers" by Chide Okoye

I'm seriously thinking about changing the title and would love your honest feedback. Make sure you come to the reading as well. 

What emotional response if any, does the title, Black Mothers don't say I love you, evoke in you? Leave your comments below in the comments section.


Unknown said...

For me I like the title. However, for where I'm coming from it is not negative. I grew up not really hearing the words "I love you" from my parents very often. However, did not really think about it at all until I was an adult and people talked about verbalizing to others your love. I always found it a bit strange even til this day I find it strange when people want to force others to hear the words. Not for one second of my life did I not feel (words cannot express) love from my parents. In every action they took, everything was filled love. I'd also like to add, I have heard my parent say "I love you" to each other maybe 10 times in my life. I have never come across another couple more in love, more in tune with each other ….I mean, I have never heard them argue or even raise their voice at each other. The perfect example of what love is and should be. That's me though….I grew up in a household where it was much more important to show love and allow others to feel love than actually saying it.
Can't wait to see the play to see where you're coming from with the title.

Ajike Akande said...

I love the title, and while my experience with my mother doesn't reflect this, I immediately knew, from the title that I would "get" the content of the play. As a child of a black mother and now a black mother myself, I think of black mothering as inherently different from mothering by other communities. Our past as well as our present greatly impacts how we act and love in the world. To me the title implies, tough, determined, fierce love that assumes "I love you." It's interesting that from only the title I have imagined what the play is about; I am so looking forward to the performance and discussion on Saturday.

Sistah X said...

The first thing I felt was pain in my heart. Not because I do not agree but because I understand. I did not think that it meant that black mothers do not love but that they do not often say the words "I love you"
I also understood that this was in the opinion and experience of the writer - not all black children.

I wish I could make the performance but I just learned about this a few minutes ago and have a couple of other engagements I must attend.
I hope there will additional performances!!!0

SOWE Grounded said...

Every time I hear the title, I find myself turning it around in my mind, not just because I am a black mother who does say 'I love you', but because it is hugely important the messages we send to ourselves, our children and the rest of the world. For the many who may never see the play that explains the title, it just becomes a meme, and one day it will be something that people respond to with 'well everybody knows that'. We must keep in mind that our thoughts and words create, and be conscious enough to choose what we want to give energy to and expand. Is this what we want to put on the lips of many? Is this what we want to create next? Is this what we want? For young people who do not yet have ways of filtering information based on the source, this would be how a belief system is created and they will never know why they have it or where it came from. It can become a tiny recording somewhere deep within. Perhaps they just heard their mother in a conversation on the phone on May 17th 2014 say "I'm going to see 'Black Mothers Don't Say I Love You" and had no idea how to process it at age 3, 4 7, 10, or 15. It will guide their expectations, and sadly yet quite possibly their behaviour, and on and on it grows. Don't mean to go on, but words have far more power than we give them credit for. I too wish I could make the performance, but just realized it was happening a little while ago. Would love to also hear the discussion. Good luck tonitgh!

Anonymous said...

I am hoping to make it but also just found out about it and might not, despite my deep respect and admiration of the playwright and director. In fact I was just wondering the other day how to get in touch with one of them!
For me, the title stings and makes me trepidacious about attending, not because I think it won't be good, but because I don't know if I have the emotional room to process what might be experienced.
I lost my own mother quite young and so never heard her say those words in my memory. Anything around mothers, especially black or of colour mothers, causes me to pause before I engage with it. Emotional harm reduction perhaps.

I really appreciate the opportunity to discuss the title though and look forward to participating in the q and a if I am able to attend.