Tyler Perry’s Haves and Have Nots premiered on OWN TV – the Oprah Channel. It depicts a wealthy white family with a black maid and whose estranged daughter (a prostitute) infiltrates the family after sleeping with the head of the family – the white man she attempts to blackmail for get this: a $100,000 and a sports car.
First, let me say I ain’t hating on Tyler Perry. I have much respect for him and absolutely love Madea. In my novel, The Diary of Tippy Ellis, I’ve included some typical shaddy characters who deeply affected my life.
But, as an African American woman, I’ve grown weary of stories about black female hos, hip hop divas, overweight mamas, bitches, hoochies, ghetto queens, maids, mistresses or prostitutes trying to take a white man’s money. And OMG the hip hop and black women beating each other down reality shows! Not to say they don’t have their place. These stories depict the lives of some African Americans. BUT NOT ALL. Unfortunately, white television executives – especially – drive these types of stories refusing to recognize the breadth of black experiences.
In contrast, we need a level playing field; change the script and open the door for a variety of African American storytellers who come from different worlds?
For example, my parents come from the south; they are both highly educated. My mom comes from a family of educators and landowners and my father pulled himself up by the “bootstraps” so-to-speak. As an Air force family, we spent most of our earlier years in the Pacific NW, living in majority white communities.
The lead character in my novel the Diary of Tippy Ellis is LaTonya Ellis who is 17 years old and worth $100 million. This is not a fantasy but a reality. Yes. There are black people worth millions and they are not hip hop artists and athletes.
Excerpt from The Diary of Tippy Ellis “Mama’s Daughter”
Chapter 1 – Ain’t hell for bad people?
I’m black, an African American, a person of color. Regardless of how you paint me, my family is wealthy. This makes me very rich and a “Girlishcious” American teenager.
I’m LaTonya Loretta Ellis. Most everyone calls me Tippy, a nickname my parents gave me when I was 4. I could walk up on you without you knowing and during the most inopportune times. I’d hear juicy stuff kids normally shouldn’t. As an only child, this often was my source of entertainment. Yet, some of what I heard became the basis for my unhappiness.
Lots of kids blame their parents. I’m no different even though you may think my life is a little easier because I’m rich – I mean really rich – and you probably think I’m spoiled – Not! I have problems like any average teenage girl. In fact, my cross is heavier. At least I think so.
Early on I was fortunate to have 2 parents who married for love, so I thought. Now daddy has a new wifey. She’s not my real mama nor stepmama. I don’t claim the lying, cheating, backstabbing skank, whose shit stinks worse than anyone else’s I’ve smelled! Pretty bad.
My birth parents are Robert T. Ellis and Loretta Oliver-Ellis, well-educated and socially astute. They both come from politically charged backgrounds. Daddy gained his views over time whereas mama’s were handed down through generations.
Mama’s family is staunch Republican – the ultra conservative kind. They support every Republican candidate despite their ideology.
They may be black but they think they’re above the average black person – poor and middle-class. Mama’s parents, granddaddy and gramma Oliver, campaign for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan during this year’s 2012 presidential election. They believe Romney and Ryan are the answer to black folks’ problems.
I live with daddy, so I learn my ideals from him. He makes sure his family understands what side of the track to stand on. Daddy talks about politics often and we support President Barack Obama. You probably guessed Daddy is a diehard liberal Democrat. He hates Republicans especially the black ones. He thinks they’re all traitors except for General Collin Powell.
“Yeah he’s a good man,” daddy says. “Even told his boss W to go to hell. That takes courage.”
Mama was born with a silver spoon. She comes from a long-line of Oliver’s – steel and land moguls dating back to the 1700s.
Daddy’s a self-made multimillionaire thanks to mama. She helped him start his business, RJ Builders and Design, now a fortune 500 company. His wealth is why his new wifey married him.
On Amazon.com review the first six chapters of The Diary of Tippy Ellis “Mama’s Daughter” on Kindle.
One response to “Changing the script for televison, film and fiction novels”
Love your story sis! Indeed more of us should do this.