My Complicated Reaction to Brandt Jean, brother of murdered Botham Jean, hugging convicted killer Amber Guyger…

Hello World,

First of all, I must say outside of launching my debut novel “Destination Wedding” and writing OWN “Greenleaf” recaps, I don’t have much else bandwidth to write on complicated issues on this blog. (After December, God willing, I will be posting as normal.) However, I’m sure you saw Brandt Jean hug Amber Guyger, the convicted murderer of his brother Botham Shem Jean, as gesture of forgiveness last week in that Texas courtroom. It was breathtaking. If you haven’t, see it below…Following this video is my Facebook reaction to it…

 

I think the discussion (click on the post to see the full discussion) that happened as a result of my post encompasses all of the variables that influences my complicated reaction…What say you?

Also, here is my original post about Botham Shem Jean in September 2018…

 

White Greenville Oaks Church of Christ Lead Minister Collin Packer Shares Support of Black Slain Worship Leader Botham Shem Jean…

Any thoughts?

 

Greenleaf Recap Season 4 Episode 4: A Common Enemy…

Hello World,

Most of all, I’m just done with Kerissa…I was kinda done last season, but now I do believe that Jacob’s ball and chain should be thrown overboard…But more on that later in this “Greenleaf Recap Season 4 Episode 4: A Common Enemy…” Read on…

Behind Enemy Lines…

Bob Whitmore has returned to Calvary’s campus to be the devious master of the plantation once again. He meets with Grace to tell her about a small white church in the Memphis area that is struggling. He explains he would like the church to be merged with Calvary. “Why don’t you sit down with Cal and see if there’s a fit?” Grace is not particularly excited about the possibility but attempts to keep an open mind about the potential merger, at least in front of Bob.

After the meeting, Bob’s overseer, the ever eager Phil DeMars, approaches Bob. “How did it go with Grace? Do you want me to be in on the meeting?” Bob assures Phil that all is well except for the sermon that he wrote for Bob for July 4th. “It doesn’t sound like me yet,” he tells Phil. Phil says he will rewrite it once again. “Attaboy,” Bob says to Phil.

While A.J. is not Grace’s enemy, his mere existence threatens to undo Grace’s reputation. Still she has chosen to bring him to Memphis anyway and has enabled him to get an apartment. It almost looks like the same complex where her Uncle Mac lived, right? She helps him unpack his belongings. With a smile, she holds up a welcome mat and asks him how he likes it. He points out that he really doesn’t need a welcome mat since he doesn’t expect any visitors. “Who’s gonna visit me when no one knows I exist?” Good point A.J. While Grace unpacks, A.J. is in the kitchen cooking waffles and chicken livers. Apparently, he learned how to cook while staying with one of his foster families. Not that it matters, does Grace know how to cook? I guess you don’t need to know how when you live with domestic help…

Jacob and his enemy aka Kerissa meet with a gentleman who is interested in buying their land. Despite Bishop’s explicit warning to Jacob that he should not bow down to Kerissa and sell the land, he caved. “This is gonna be good for us,” Kerissa says. The gentleman celebrates with champagne and asks if they do “business on the Sabbath.” “We’ll make an exception,” Kerissa says. The couple notice the ornate gentleman’s cuff links.

Back at the Greenleaf estate, reunited enemies Bishop and Lady Mae discuss an offer that Bishop receives for him to be a guest speaker at a church in Atlanta. Lady Mae says that now is not the time to be spending time at other churches. She explains that the members of Calvary should see that they are singularly devoted to Calvary and that “ours are the hearts that should be the center of the church.” Bishop says Lady Mae is overreacting. “Can’t a man preach? I mean we don’t have sex?” Oooh. Where did that come from? Is he implying that preaching is as good as having sex? I don’t know but aside from his remark about preaching, he is clearly a man who is looking forward to reuniting with his ex-wife in more ways than one. Bishop, you’re not living your to the end of the bargain. He’s supposed to be romancing Lady Mae not roasting her?

And just when Lady Mae is ready to hit him with one of her trademark zingers in response, Grace saves the day by interrupting the conversation. “You just saved me an hour in prayer asking God to forgive me,” Lady Mae says. But before she can celebrate that small victory, Grace tells them the bad news about Bob wanting to merge Calvary and the small white church. Lady Mae tells them the potential merger wouldn’t even be approved of by Deaconness Connie which is huge considering that Deaconness Connie would even welcome a “dragon in a kimono to the membership if it had a checkbook.” I swear Lady Mae is bonkers. LOL.  She further explains why Calvary should remain a black church. The black church is “one of the few places that we can be ourselves.”

Grace takes on the role of the devil’s advocate which is not entirely false since Bob Whitmore doesn’t seem to be on God’s side although he attempts to present himself like he is. She points out that racial reconciliation should be the goal in the church. That’s how my father feels too. He even wrote a book about it, but I digress…(If you feel like looking it up, it is “The Jonah Syndrome White Churches Running from the Inner City” by Dr. Denzil D. Holness)

But on the other hand, Bishop notes that there will never be a multiracial megachurch led by a black pastor. If the small white church is folded into Calvary, Bishop says, “You can bet it won’t be anyone in this room preaching on Sunday.” I saw this same discussion a while ago on Facebook. People were arguing about leadership at various churches. As Bishop said, people noted that black people are willing to go to a church led by white people, but the opposite scenario happens very rarely if at all. (Aside: When I visited the Potter’s House in Dallas earlier this month, there were some people of other races, but I wouldn’t call the church multiracial.)

Whether Calvary is black, white or multiracial, Phil DeMars wants to be the pastor and approaches Charity about living up to her agreement to spy. “Get me something about Grace or neither one of us will preach at this church.” It still boggles my mind that Charity feels that she is equipped to preach.

The Silent Enemy…

Without telling anyone in advance, Sofia comes back from Hampton University, showing up in Grace’s suite without much fanfare. “I came to see my brother,” she says to her mother. Again, she confronts her mother about being a hypocrite and “as bad as everyone else.” She believes that Grace should just tell everyone the truth and now. “I don’t think you’re protecting the family. I think you’re ashamed. Just get it over with.”

In another part of the house, Lady Mae and Kerissa both want to use the house printer. Lady Mae is printing her sermon from “A Day With Lady Mae,” which she apparently will be giving to Bob in a meeting. And Kerissa is printing articles about her school which she hopes to share with Phil DeMars, who may do something to support the school. Anywho, Kerissa shares that an offer is on the table for their property. Lady Mae doesn’t hold back and tells her that Jacob is not heeding his father’s advice. “We’re free to sell what is ours,” Kerissa says, but Lady Mae cannot be outdone when it comes to words. “Eve was free to eat the apple and look where it got us.” She tells Kerissa that she will send Marisol to get more ink for the printer as it is apparently not working very well. “We all know that you don’t like to wait.”

After Sofia sees her mother, she goes to see her cousin Zora. Apparently, Zora is writing a sermon for the Little Saints?! What?! Remember that is Sofia’s old job. But Sofia says she doesn’t have the time to help her cousin as she is meeting her boyfriend Roberto later. But we know what’s up. She makes a beeline to her brother’s apartment. A.J. has got his little sister drinking, and some brown liquor too, which isn’t good. He explains how he’s been on his own since he was 18 as his foster parents kicked him out at that critical age. Sofia tells her brother that she’s sorry for all that he has endured particularly when her mother, their mother, could have prevented that from happening. “Sorry she didn’t behave better but you have me now.” AJ notes how Sofia and Grace are just alike as they are quick to take on a cause.

She tells him that although she is at Hampton University, she is merely a phone call or a plane ride away. She then falls asleep at her brother’s place and then, like a big brother, he puts a blanket on top of her as sleeps. Next, he pours what was in her glass into his and drinks it all. I hope he’s not an alcoholic or proves to be a bad influence on Sophia.

Speaking of awkward meetings, Grace finally meets with Pastor Cal. He tells her he’s not happy with the potential merger either and that Harmony & Hope is like the army. (I guess he feels invaded.) Also, Kerissa meets with Phil DeMars about her articles of excellence regarding her school. She notices that Phil DeMars’ cuff links look like the cuff links of the potential buyer of her and Jacob’s property. She asks her real estate agent Nadine to check into the background of the buyer.

Rather than scheduling an appointment with Karine to pump her for information, Charity attempts to hit her up on the sly. She says, “I think I found someone for Grace.” She asks if Grace is still seeing Darius and what was up with Noah since he was recently in town. Karine says that Grace isn’t seeing Darius anymore and that Noah is married. “Now, leave me alone,” says Karine. Charity is the less-than-silent enemy. Out of desperation, Charity calls Noah and leaves a message on the voicemail that he shares with his wife Isabel. Charity criticizes him for coming by Calvary and not saying hello to her. That was so low…

Zora aine gon be silent either. At her cabin, Noah’s old spot, she calls out her cousin for lying to her. Apparently, she called Roberto about Sofia’s whereabouts but he didn’t even know she was back in town. On top of that, Sofia smells like liquor and Roberto doesn’t drink.

While Bob Whitmore and Lady Mae are also enemies, they at least try to be congenial if they can’t be exactly silent during their meeting at a local restaurant. She brings up Cal Weaver and his Fairview church. She calls the church “small and sickly” and says that if the churches are joined together, it would “quench the spirits of both congregations” or in another term “spiritual sabotage.”

“Boy, you do cut to the chase,” Bob says. “It’s a gift,” Lady Mae says with a smile. (Does Bob Whitmore want both churches to fail?)

She goes on to explain the significance of the black church going all the way back to slavery. “It was a source of strength, hope and inspiration for our people.” She says that folding a white church into a black church could be “problematic.” But Bob counters her statement with saying, “People are mixing as they never have before.” He further states that if Paul was a voice to the Gentiles, Grace could be a voice to “white folks.”

Enemies Closer…

After Lady Mae returns from her meeting with Bob, she sees Sofia. “I didn’t know you were coming home,” she says to her granddaughter. But Sofia explains that she is only in town briefly and is on her way back to the airport. Lady Mae questions her about leaving so soon but is still puzzled after the conversation. “Sorry you don’t understand,” Sofia says. “Mom knows. Ask her.” But Grace is not sharing yet. Sofia has told Grace that she is not returning until the truth, the whole truth, has been revealed. I hate to see Sofia act like her mother is the enemy when they used to be so close.

So Lady Mae fills Grace in on what happened with Bob Whitmore. She tells Grace that she is the one to do something about what is going at Calvary. Grace is going to have to take charge while she can. Regarding the merger, Lady Mae says to Grace,”It is your job to kill it.”

Back at Calvary, during the Sunday morning service, Bob Whitmore’s daughter sings alongside Charity.  “Welcome to the family,” they croon in a sickening singsong voice. The song kind of has a country twang to it. Bob’s daughter, with her flowing hair and her head tilted to the side sings like she thinks she’s one of the Lord’s singing angels. It all looks so fake and homogenized as the audience nearly gags in disgust. And they sing that line that Charity hates. “He comforts with His staff and His rod.”

With fire and brimstone in her voice, Grace preaches on the 12 Tribes of Israel and how they were able to unite against a common enemy of Pharaoh. She proclaims that, “No one out there is pushing God’s people around, God is using you to unite us.” She then commands the church to “Rise up, church” in her best Jesse Jackson “I Am Somebody” delivery!  Bob Whitmore and Phil DeMars attempt to appear pleased with the sermon which riles up the congregation, but afterward, Phil tells Grace that Bob is waiting to meet her in Phil’s office. In case, Grace got it twisted, Bob tells her that that, “This is not your church. You are an employee of Harmony & Hope.”

To Bob’s dismay, Grace’s sermon was so inspirational that Cal is going to attempt to save his church at least one last time. And now, it may take some time for Cal’s church will consider being merged with Calvary again. “Your brother and sister are hanging by a thread, and it’s all because of you.” But Grace knew what she was doing. She took her mother’s advice and obliterated the option of a merger. After three seasons of being enemies, Lady Mae and Grace are actually getting close.

Speaking of Grace’s brother Jacob, he and Kerissa are ready to sign the papers at the closing. Although Kerissa discovers that Harmony & Hope is the organization that is supporting the buyer of their land, she still doesn’t tell Jacob what she discovers nor convinces him to somehow to back out of the deal without telling him why (the second best option). What a selfish decision she made, particularly as she has no idea what Harmony & Hope are up to right now. Doesn’t she realize that one decision can change the trajectory of a generation? She clearly needs to pick her Bible and some prayer wouldn’t hurt either. Like Esau in the Bible, she leads Jacob in selling their spiritual birthright of land that will be there for the temporary comfort of a dream home. When a storm destroys a home, the land on which it was built remains. (Look up the story of Jacob & Esau in the Bible. In this scenario, Jacob got taken instead of Esau. Or, as Lady Mae said, she was like Eve and knowingly led her husband into sin. Either way, they may been paid for their land now but they will pay later.)

Speaking of needing the Bible and prayer, Noah has been kicked out of his home. After Charity’s crazy message, Noah told his wife Isabel about why he returned to Memphis. Since the couple hasn’t been able to children, she cannot stomach the fact that Noah already has a child with his first love. When Grace asks Noah about his next move, he reveals his game plan. “For starters, I’m moving back to Memphis to get to know my son,” he says. Uh oh…

Again, A.J. isn’t Grace’s enemy but like an enemy, the revelation of who he is will wreak havoc on the facade of the life she created in Memphis…Until next week, Saints…

Thank you sooo much for reading my Greenleaf Recap Season 4 Episode 4: A Common Enemy… and my other recaps so far. If you would like to keep up with OWN’s “Greenleaf,” and my recaps, please click on this link to subscribe to my blog 🙂!

Any thoughts?

Greenleaf Recap Season 4 Episode 3: Visions and Dreams…

Hello World,

There’s levels to this… That’s what I got from tonight’s episode of “Greenleaf.” So let me explain why in this Greenleaf Recap Season 4 Episode 3: Visions and Dreams…

Vision of Love…

This episode begins in Phoenix, Arizona at the Desert Hope Work Release Center. Right after touching down in Arizona, Grace takes a cab to the work release center to see her son A.J. Delahaye. I notice a set of double doors have crosses etched in them. Hopefully, that means it is a Christian-oriented work release center. Grace goes straight to the person working at the counter and asks to see A.J. When the man asks her about her identity, Grace says, “I’m his mother.” Although visiting hours are over, the man calls for A.J. to come and see his mother. He is surprised to see her. “I thought you were just going to send the money.”

Then the young man practically recites a soliloquy. He tells her that he is not her “science experiment,” that she can’t leave him in a drawer until she is ready to take him out and how she didn’t want him the first time he came looking for her. He then tells the man at the front desk to not let her back in should she wander in there again. All of that simply meant that A.J. still loves his mother Gigi despite the fact that she gave him up for adoption. If he didn’t care, he would have said nothing and had no reaction.

Back in Memphis, Bishop and Lady Mae, who are slowly finding their way back to love, discuss a dream that Lady Mae had. “The Lord gave me a dream,” she tells Bishop. Apparently, the setting was a museum. She heard a scream and followed a guard to find out the cause of the outburst. Bishop was standing next to a painting of Jesus Christ that had been ripped down the middle. Blood dripped from the blade of the knife that Bishop held in his hand. In the dream, Bishop said he was sorry to Lady Mae. After that, she woke up, Lady Mae said. She says to her ex-husband, “You have to apologize to the church for everything.” But as much as Bishop is trying to please Lady Mae, he aine tryin’ to do that. He says, “I’m going to tell you like Reuben told Joseph. Keep your dreams to yourself.”

Kerissa tracks her husband down at Calvary since he is an associate pastor now. Although Jacob has told her he doesn’t want to sell the land the two own across from Calvary, Kerissa is determined to wear him down. A commercial developer is interested in buying the land from Jacob and Kerissa and is willing to pay more than what they paid for the land, she says. Although Jacob asked for a week to pray about his decision, Kerissa has declared and decreed that the commercial developer’s offer is the answer to prayer.

In another part of Calvary, Charity meets with Carlton, the choir director. They listen to a song that Judy Whitmore, Bob’s daughter, has mandated that all of the Harmony & Hope churches sing. Charity is not amused, calling it the “whitest piece of ear trash.” In addition to the melody of the song, which kind of has a country twang, the words are disturbing to Charity. “He comforts me with his rod,” she says in disbelief. I’m not sure why she is so upset, that line is in the Bible.  Well, Charity aine having it. She wants to get Judy told via e mail immediately, but Carlton tells her about Grace’s mandate. Grace has said that before anyone “bother” Judy, Grace must be told first. I’m sure that made Charity want to contact Judy even more because “Grace is not the boss of me,” I’m sure Charity was saying in her mind. Charity loves her sister, but right now, her vision is elsewhere.

And in yet another part of Calvary, a distraught Misty Williams shows up and approaches Karine regarding her appointment with Grace. Karine tells her that Grace is out of town and Misty is perplexed as to why Grace didn’t tell her she was going out of town. And then Phil DeMars shows up. He spirits Misty away to his office! But Karine still has love for her former pastor Lady Mae and tells her what happened.

You Make My Dreams…

One of the good things about Jacob and Kerissa and their family moving back to the Greenleaf estate is that Jacob has a chance to get close to his father again. Jacob probably never thought in his wildest dreams that he and his father would be the enemies they were in a previous season, but now they are friends again. Jacob shares with Bishop about Kerissa wanting to sell their land so they can buy a house in Germantown. Bishop refers to the land as  a “Piece of Paradise” that Jacob “boldly acquired” when Jacob raged against his father and mother. He tells his son to just tell Kerissa no. “Land is the closest thing to having faith in this life,” he says. He explains that having land is how “the rich stay rich.”

But Jacob is ready to do anything to just Kerissa quiet. Still, Bishop tells his son that buying a home is not what Kerissa is really dreaming of although she thinks that is the case. “She wants to know that she has a home with you” after that Tasha Skanks scandal. “Love her more and let her know it,” Bishop advises.

Speaking of knowing, Karine lets Charity know that her big sister is in Phoenix, Arizona and Charity wonders if she is in Phoenix meeting with Bob Whitmore. Since Karine also told Lady Mae about Misty Williams, Lady Mae wants to go up to the church and meet with Misty and Fred Williams. Bishop, who says his ex-wife is looking “like the girl I married,” wants to accompany Lady Mae there. He tells her he will be ready in 15 minutes, but Lady Mae tells her son that Bishop won’t take a mere 15 minutes. And when he does reappear, he will come out looking like Billy Dee Williams! LOL Billy Dee was very handsome back in the day.

Charity, who doesn’t rely on the wisdom of her parents nor the advice of her co-worker, emails Judy.

In Phoenix, Grace and A.J. still continue to feel each other out. The two go to an apartment where AJ hopes he can stay. He notes that he will be the only one staying there. “I haven’t been alone in a long time. I used to dream about it.” But before he can get his hopes up to high, he is told that he cannot move in as he is an ex-con. He hopes to find someplace decent as an ex-con. He explains that the reason he went to jail in the first place is that he broke into a house to find something to sell. He wanted to sell the item to have money to buy food…How sad…And then, since he knew the owners were on vacation, he took a nap. He was caught while he was sleeping. The matter cost him 5 years in jail. Grace says something that up until now has only been said by Grace in A.J.’s dreams probably. She says she will continue to help A.J.  find a place. “I won’t leave until we find a place for you to stay.” A place that is “cold, quiet and safe.”

I don’t know if Zora’s new dream is to wife an NBA baller but she is acting like that’s the case as she waits for Dante Saunders of the Memphis Red Devils to show up at her father’s office at Calvary. But when he does show up, he’s got his girl Nicki, a tough-looking young lady who wears swinging cornrows, with him. Nicki stares at Zora like she knows Zora wants her man, but once Dante steps away to speak with Jacob, the atmosphere between the young women changes. Zora mentions that she lives in a cabin on her grandparents’ estate and Nicki, who has the “juice and the sauce,”according to Dante, wants to see for herself. Once at Zora’s place, Zora shows off her natural hair styling talent on her new friend. Nicki says she should host a class entitled “Lay Them Edges 101” and calls her a “boss.” After Zora’s relationship with abusive boyfriend Isaiah, her confidence isn’t what it once was, she tells her new friend. And then Nicki reaches out and touches Zora’s hair and necklace. I think Nicki likes boys and girls, but before my suspicion is confirmed, Dante shows up at Zora’s cabin.

Speaking of house calls, Lady Mae and Bishop opt to stop by the home of Fred and Misty Williams to determine what did Misty speak with Phil DeMars about for two whole hours. But since Misty has already shared her heart with Phil DeMars, she doesn’t feel like rehashing the scenario with Lady Mae. Believing that Misty needs some privacy before she shares with Lady Mae, Lady Mae sends Bishop outside to warm up their vehicle. Misty does share that she is disappointed that Grace didn’t tell her she was going out of town as Grace had promised to come to a drug intervention for her daughter. But in her place, Phil DeMars will be there. But Lady Mae continues to push until Misty shares it all.

She tells Lady Mae that she prefers Phil to Lady Mae, who wanted to stand in for Grace at the intervention. She says one of the reasons that she voted for Harmony & Hope is that Lady Mae had to know that her brother Mac was molesting those girls. Speaking for herself and her husband, she says, “It was you we wanted gone.” Lady Mae had envisioned that the church loves her, but now she realizes that not every person is rooting for her as a pastor.  In a near panic, Lady Mae calls her daughter. “When are you getting back here?” she asks. “Aside from Karine, nobody is minding the store. Phil DeMars is one wrinkly-eyed smile from taking over this church – my church.”

Speaking of Phil, he confronts Charity about emailing Judy. She explains that the song sounds like it “came straight from satan.” Phil DeMars reminds her of her dream. “Do you want to be AP or not? Then grow up.” However, Phil is pleased when Charity shares that she knows that Grace is in Phoenix.  Phil DeMars ponders whether Grace went to see their boss Bob Whitmore in Arizona.

Runnin’ Down A Dream…

After Bishop has had some time to think about Lady Mae’s dream, he goes back to her to discuss it. But Lady Mae says, “You weren’t wrong. The dream was for me. It was a warning.” While looking at picture of Faith on a slide, she shares what happened at Misty’s house. “Do you think I knew what Mac was doing with Faith and those other girls and the money?” “Of course not,” Bishop says. Lady Mae wonders if on some level she knew even if she did not know consciously. She cries on Bishop’s shoulder. I think she did know at some level, but she did but did not want to admit it. And I think she was abused too as a child although that detail hasn’t been focused on in a while.

In Arizona, A.J. believes he is about to wake up from his dream when Grace tells him she has to fly back before the two have a chance to find a place for A.J. to stay. He tells her that he is “sorry I called you and bothered you. I’m sorry I exist.” A.J. really needs Grace and she needs him too although she may not fully realize that yet. Phil calls someone to find out if Grace was seeing Bob Whitmore in Arizona, but we know that was not the case.

Back at the Greenleaf estate, Jacob brings a bouquet of flowers to Kerissa before explaining that they will not be selling their land. Later that evening, the family gather to look at old family slides, which includes plenty of their photographs from when Grace, Jacob, Faith and Charity were children. The first slide is of Faith. Despite this, the gathering is a jubilant one. Lady Mae asks Gigi,”Is there anything going on that you should tell me?” Gigi says no. The two are so much closer than they were in seasons past.

And maybe now that Gigi and Lady Mae finally have a good relationship, Gigi is hopeful the same thing will happen with her estranged son. After the family gathering, she calls A.J. and says, “I want you to come home.”

I had been thinking about this all along. It’s time that A.J. meet his family…It would be a dream come true and a vision to behold if the Greenleafs, all of them, finally united. And maybe that is what has to happen before Calvary can be returned to their care.

Thank you sooo much for reading my Greenleaf Recap Season 4 Episode 3: Visions and Dreams… and my other recaps so far. If you would like to keep up with OWN’s “Greenleaf,” and my recaps, please click on this link to subscribe to my blog 🙂!

Any thoughts?