Check out our Revolutionary of the Week Sean Williams, the founder of The Dad Gang (clip)
“REVOLT BLACK NEWS Weekly” aired on Friday (June 17) to discuss gun violence and its impact on the Black community, why some fathers are missing from Black households and the challenges with restorative justice.
Neima Abdulahi hosted the episode, titled “Post Traumatic Crime Syndrome…Fact or Fiction, Behind The Deadbeat Dad Stereotype.” She was joined by relationship therapist Dr. Argie Allen-Wilson, gun violence survivor Gregory Neal Jackson Jr., South Street Philadelphia shooting survivor Dr. Spirit, UN Goodwill Ambassador for IFAD and the wife of Idris Elba, Sabrina Elba, women’s advocate Mikeshell Edwards and best-selling author Dr. Steve Perry. REVOLT Special Correspondent Rochelle Ritchie also hosted a discussion about the impact of gun violence in America and REVOLT Entertainment Correspondent Kennedy Rue McCullough brought viewers the latest in celebrity news.
Abdulahi and Ritchie opened the show by discussing the effects of mass shootings and gun violence on the Black community. Dr. Spirit told REVOLT, “It’s not just the person who loses their life or who is the victim of gunshots that we need to be concerned about. It’s their loved ones, their parents, their siblings, their best friends, their neighbors — because gun violence affects us all, and so we are all being ravaged as an entire community and as an entire culture.” She added, “We know that in those communities individuals are more likely to deal with substance abuse issues, low education issues, all kinds of things where their mental health is being taxed and plagued.”
Next, Ritchie held a roundtable discussion with Dr. Allen-Wilson, Jackson and 17-year-old Promiss Thurston to dig deeper into this kind of violence and how it affects mental health. Dr. Allen-Wilson disclosed to viewers that she refers to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as “continual traumatic stress disorder because it’s happening all day every day and we’ve almost become numb to it. With the exception of the fact that it is happening not just with us but it is happening to us. So, we’ve got to do something different because this method that we’ve approached this at is not working.”
Jackson stated, “What people don’t realize is after being shot, it’s not over when the wound heals.” He continued, “For me when I was shot the bullet hit two arteries. I was questioned as a criminal. Treated as a criminal even though I was just a bystander of the shooting. Not to mention the $20,000 in hospital bills. Frankly, a lifetime of emotional trauma and I think it just reinforces that we have to do more for the hundred thousand people that are shot or killed by guns every single year.”
Later in the discussion, Thurston informed viewers that her brother was stabbed to death by a friend when he was 17 years old. She revealed, “It’s been a really long journey … I started really bad with depression and anxiety, blaming myself a lot. I found ways to help me cope. I didn’t learn that ‘til a few years ago. So, I’ve been sitting [and] hiding my pain and what I’ve been feeling away from everybody else.”
Next, Abdulahi hosted her segment “Black All Over The World” and caught up with Elba to discuss her latest mission trip to Africa, where she plans to launch a crisis response initiative to provide humanitarian aid to nations in need. “Sometimes getting back into the field and connecting with the people and seeing the reason that you do the work you do is just so important,” Elba noted.
Elba discussed the impact the Russian-Ukrainian war has had on Somalia, an African nation that was experiencing hardship prior to the invasion. “As you know, drought and famine is now more serious in Somalia than it’s ever been. But, the war has made it far greater in terms of getting support to the people. For instance, Somalia gets a hundred percent of its wheat from Ukraine via Egypt,” she asserted.
Switching gears, Abdulahi drew viewers to a statistic that states 72 percent of Black children are born to unmarried moms. She then questioned whether that meant the majority of men who fathered those children were “deadbeats”? Edwards pointed out why she believes Black men are stereotyped as “deadbeat dads.”
“A lot of times in the Black homes … when there is a split between the mother and father, sometimes paths are crossed where the woman is labeled as bitter, and sometimes men get to the point where they are so frustrated that they walk away from their parental responsibilities. I believe that a lot of times their technical capacities are diminished when they are no longer in the home,” she reasoned.
Dr. Perry erred on the side of caution and acknowledged he would not necessarily call Black men “deadbeats” but he does believe, “There are quite a number of brothers who are not taking the responsibility that is basic, which is to be there for their children.” He added that fathers should “not just [be there] from a financial perspective. Meaning, I send money, but to be there on an emotional and social context to create the family that’s necessary to rear children.”
Later in the show, McCullough hosted her segment titled “Entertainment Remix,” during which she gave viewers an inside look at the 2022 Tony Awards. Many talented Black celebrities were nominated at the prestigious awards ceremony, including singer Jennifer Hudson for co-producing musical “A Strange Loop,” actor Jesse Williams for his role in the Broadway show “Take Me Out,” and director Camille A. Brown for her work on “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf.” On June 12, 2022, Hudson made history when she won. While speaking to a crowd, the Grammy Award-winning singer displayed her excitement and declared, “As I said when I won the Oscars, ‘Look at what God can do.’ Well, he did it again.”
Watch a quick clip from this week’s episode up top. Plus, be sure to catch the next installment of “REVOLT BLACK NEWS Weekly” on Friday, June 24, 2022 at 5 p.m. ET on REVOLT’s app.