Roots and Wings: The African American Mother Daughter Experience

Looking ahead to 2016, I have this hope and expectation that is something amazing to behold. 2015 has been a busy year, but it’s been a great one. For 2016, with lots of things on the horizon, I was looking back and realized that I’d never really shared about how I decided to become a producer of my own documentary. So, since one of my goals is to be more personal on this blog, sharing about my daily life and what makes me who I am, I am adding this little update about what has affectionately become known as my “first film”. I hope you enjoy!

Shooting with my sisters and parents #RootsandWings

When I tell people I am a mother of four daughters, I can get everything from wow to a look of pity from them. Sometimes they ask me if my husband is a saint or if I’ve already started saving for all the weddings we will pay for. But honestly, I’ve enjoyed being a mother to girls and when I have my grandson with me, sometimes wonder if I ever could have handled raising 4 boys. But there are times when the hormones or friendship drama or boyfriend trouble pushes me and I wish there was somewhere to go and share with other mothers and daughters who are sharing a similar experience.

A couple of years ago, I decided I would create such an event. Think of MomCon for mothers and daughters. The goal was to have activities, workshops, booths, and the whole nine yards. It would be a way for mothers and daughters to spend time connecting and strengthening their relationship. Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?

As I was sitting on the couch, prepping for one of the mother/daughter workshops I knew that I needed a few movie clips to highlight certain communication techniques that I wanted to illustrate. The relationship between mothers and daughters is a common theme in films, so how hard could it be? We’ve got Steel Magnolias, Terms of Endearment, even The Joy Luck Club. But when I looked for a film specifically from the African American perspective, one that would discuss topics like skin tone and hair, I found more films from a sisterhood perspective. Close, but no cigar. So clearly the next logical step would be to create our own movie, right? No, that’s not what you would do? Oh, maybe that’s just me.

So I called up my sister, and ran the idea past her.

(That’s almost always what happens.)

Now we weren’t Hollywood casting directors, but we had a few connections and started the process of creating what was going to be some mild teaching film. What we’ve ended up with is a full blow documentary, Roots and Wings: The African American Mother Daughter Experience. Using the theme of giving our children the stability of roots and the strength to explore using their wings.

THE Ladies of the table, reunited at our book launch in 2015 #RootsandWings

Centered around a dinner party with five women discussing everything from soul food to barbies, black lives matter to preparing our children for the world. We discuss no-holds-barred style, just the way you would with your girlfriends. With clips of my mother, who shares what is was like to be raised by a single mother in the south in the 1940’s and how she has transitioned into her life navigating two male dominated professions, and from Dr. Khalilah Shabazz, respected academic and founder of Student African American Sisterhood(SAAS). As she shares about her research and work with young women and as a mother and stepmother in her own family the richness of the film goes to a whole new level.

So where can you see this amazing film? The plan to bring it out in 2016 is in full effect. We’d love to generate some buzz and even give you a chance to help us bring it to theaters. Check out our Facebook page and while you’re there, give us a peak at your mother or daughters and show us the roots and wings in your life.

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