Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Top 10 Greatest TV Moms

In honor of Mother's Day I thought I would take a moment to countdown the 10 greatest TV moms of all time.  I was raised by a phenomenal mother (Ms Linda Green) who had a little bit of all of these in here. Moms are there to nurture us and encourage us and with the love and support we grow up to believe that we can accomplish anything.  So in honor of Mothers Day, and in honor of my mom, here goes . . . 

10. Wanda McCullough from The Bernie Mac Show (played by Kellita Smith).  RIP Bernie Mac.  I can still hear him screaming "Waaaannnda."  Wanda was raising kids that weren't her own, a challenge that many modern moms share.  Although these kids were not biologically hers, she was amazing at being there to encourage and support and discipline when needed.  Kudos to Kellita Smith for making this stepmom so adorable.

9. Mabel Thomas from What's Happening (played by Mabel King).  Mabel Thomas was such a strong mom that when she disciplined Roger, I got scared.  She knew how to give you that look that would make you straighten up and act right without saying a word.  She was the epitome of the strong black single mom and she did is so well.

8. Aunt Esther from Sanford and Son (played by LaWanda Page).  Though technically not a mom, Aunt Esther still needed to go on this list.  When Lamont lost his mom, Esther seemed to step in and play the role of mom-pro-temp.  She was always there to protect Lamont from himself (and sometimes there to protect him from his dad) because he most definitely needed the guidance.

7. Helen Willis from The Jeffersons (played by Roxie Roker).  By the way, did you know this TV mom was also the real life mom of rocker Lenny Kravitz.  I know people may be wondering why Helen Willis and not the star of the show Weezy Jefferson, but Weezy worked my nerves.  It was always Helen that was the smart one, the nurturing one and the fun one.  Weezy was okay but for me, Helen was the best mom on the show.  

6. Harriet Winslow from Family Matters (played by JoMarie Payton).  I simply loved Harriet Winslow and the entire Winslow klan.  I think I loved Harriet because she was amazing in every role she played.  Loving wife, terrific mom, supportive sister and caring daughter-in-law.  In case you weren't paying attention she was the hub of the show and was amazing at it.
 5.Rochelle from Everybody Hates Chris (played by Tichina Arnold).  Of all the moms on this list Rochelle is probably the most similar to my mom (although my mom has characteristics of them all).  Rochelle loved her kids but she made sure she kept her kids in check.  I know the title was Everybody Hates Chris, but rest assured he knew Rochelle loved him by the way she treated him.

4. Mary Jenkins from 227 (played by Marla Gibbs).  Remember the theme song - "There's no place like home, with your family around you, you're never alone.  When you know that you're loved, you don't need to roam, cause there's no place like home."  Mary Jenkins was one of the best moms we ever saw on TV.  She always seemed to have the best advice for Brenda, even when Brenda didn't want to listen.  She loved her husband and she loved her neighborhood (I even think she kinda cared for Sandra Clark).  

3. Vivian Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (played by Janet Hubert).  I'm talking about the origiinal Aunt Viv, not that replacement Aunt Viv that just did not cut the mustard compared to smart and sassy, loving yet stern original that we grew to love.  It may sound odd but it's my reality, sometimes when Aunt Viv was talking with Will, I felt as if she were talking to me.  She made Will feel that in spite of his background, in spite of where he came from, he was just as good as everyone else in Bel Air.  She is the reason that I can talk with governors and senators and CEOs and not be intimidated by them.  She is reason why I can stand in front of a room and speak with confidence and authority.  She was inspiring and awesome.

2. Claire Huxtable from The Cosby Show (played by Phylicia Raschad).  Let the record show that I had a extremely difficult task narrowing down the top few slots of this list.  But I knew that Claire would have to be in the top two.  Beautiful, smart, articulate, strong, educated, successful, brilliant.  Claire Huxtable was supermom.  The Huxtable family was adored by all but it was this mom that kept the whole family together.  But as much as I love Claire, I must give the number one spot to . . . 

1. Florida Evans from Good Times (played by Esther Rolle).  DAMN! DAMN! DAMN! if Florida wasn't the greatest mom ever.  Family first and God fearing, Florida somehow always managed to keep her children (and her husband) principle centered.  The Evans family may have struggled paying the rent but you would swear that the family wanted for nothing.  Florida always made sure there was food on the table.  She always made sure that her husband felt like the man of the house.  And every episode I watched, although she never said it, you could feel her implying to her kids, "You is smart, you is kind, and you is important."  For her ability to make everything out of nothing, Florida Evans tops my list of greatest TV moms.

So there you have it.  Hope you like it and I would love your feedback.  Who else should have made the list?  And is there anyone on the list you feel should have been omitted?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

I'm From Driftwood: Sharing Our Stories

I just discovered this series of videos on the LGBTQNation site. The series is called "I'm From Driftwood." It is just a simple series of normal, everyday lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals telling their stories. Each post lasts only several minutes, but the stories are powerful in their uniqueness. Everyone has a different story to tell and it's wonderful to hear these stories from queer folks from around the country. You can find all of the videos on their YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/user/ImFromDriftwood

I have to express my thanks to this site for truly showing the diversity of the LGBTQ community. Their are stories from people of color, their are stories from the trans community, their are even stories from our allies. The videos are all very touching and intimate and I invite you to do your self and favor and review them. I've shared a few of my favorites below . . .

In this first video, Angela Gabrielle Lewis is sharing her story. She identifies as trans. When she was a teenager, her mom kicked her out of the house when she read text messages from Angela's boyfriend. Mom was not going to allow that "lifestyle" in her house. However, Angela had a strong will and a determined mind. Although she struggles immediately she would eventually return to school, receive her diploma and get into college. A very inspiring story indeed.

The story below is hit me very hard because I can relate to Eric's story. I have been very fortunate. I have a family that is accepting of me and my partner. When I came out in college I had a support group of friends that were there for me and allowed me walk in my truth and were there to support me if ever there were coming out pains. I am now very comfortable with who I am and I'm out in every aspect of my life. Although I realize how blessed I am, I have too many friends that do not have a similar tale. I have friends that have been kicked out their church. I have friends that no longer talk their family. I have friends that live double lives because they fear that if they revealed their truth similar consequences would befall them.  

And the story below is of Shara Dae. A profound, important moment in her life happened when she was asked the question, "How do you identify?" She was initially taken aback and had to ask for clarity in what the question meant. Shara was being asked if she identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. It was first time she faced the question and in doing so faced herself. That same afternoon she would return to the home of a friend (someone she was hoping to develop an intimate relationship with)and her conversation was overheard by the friend's mom. Shara was then labeled the lesbian threat. Shara received a phone call that the entire neighborhood was at the home of Shara's friend discussing the fact she was a lesbian.  

 Thank you to LGBTQNation and to "I Am Driftwood" for these stories and for all of the terrific videos you have documented and archived.

Friday, February 14, 2014


Yes Lord, please check out this article discussing the Real Preachers of L.A.: http://pimppreacher.com/post/76630100154/real-preachers-of-la-just-discovered-that-the-irs-was

So apparently there are pending lawsuits that could cause these preachers that live such an extravagant and luxurious life to lose their tax exempt status.  Can I just say this - WOW!!!  These preachers decided it would be a good idea to go on TV and floss their millions, showoff their fabulous homes, drive their expensive cars, and wear their designer clothes and they didn't have the foresight to see that the IRS may be paying attention.

And since the IRS (and many others) were paying attention, there may be some consequences to this show.  For years, preachers have been able to use their religious affiliation to claim tax exempt status.  When we see preachers living lifestyles as the ones showcased on Real Preachers of L.A., it causes us to wonder.  Why have we allowed this to go on for so long?  What is the point of giving these allowances when the only benefit it gives the clergy is a faster trek to a the life of rich and famous?  Now I'm wondering if the era of ballin' Baptists may be coming to an end?

What I'm really wondering is, how many poor people are going to come running forth claiming that these men deserve the millions they are making off their flocks.  People who can't afford to pay their rent will give all of their money to the pastor with a smile and then their left wondering how they are going to keep the lights on.

Now don't get it twisted, I know there is value in the church.  I'm a product of the church.  I grew up in Alabama, the heart of the bible belt.  I learned some very valuable lessons in that church that have carried with me well into my adult life.  But I have seen way too many people give beyond their means in an effort to keep their pastor living extravagantly.  And I've always took issue with this.  

Churches have evolved into big businesses and they need to be treated as such.  I am taxed on my income and they should be taxed on theirs.  I'm just saying . . . 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

28 Films All Black Gay Folks Should View

Black History month is an opportunity to appreciate pioneers and trailblazers of the African-American community. Those pioneers do not have to be exclusive to the LGBT community. As we celebrate this month, lets take some time to appreciate films that can be enjoyed by members of both communities. Please take a moment to enjoy this list of 28 films all black gay folks should view. And please let me know what films I omitted or films that should be removed from the list.

2014 Invisible Heroes

So it's finally behind us.  The 2014 Invisible Heroes program is complete and I can breathe again.  The event was such a wonderful evening of positive people, inspiring stories and great LGBT individuals collaborating to celebrate Black History month.  This was the four year anniversary of the program and it was fabulous to hear from those that have attended previously that they think it gets better and better with each passing year.

Once again our hosts for the event were Babe Caylor and Arcelious Stevens.  Beautiful and brilliant, these two remarkable people are the epitome of what this event is all about - out, accomplished LGBT African-Americans that serve as a example that you can embrace both your LGBT identity and your black identity.  Audre Lorde once said "I cannot divide myself from myself."  This is the message were trying to get all black same-gender loving individuals to adopt.

The four individuals we remembered/honored at this years event included Alain Locke, Lorraine Hansberry, George Washington Carver and Bayard Rustin.  Alain Locke was considered the Father of the Harlem Renaissance.  His ushering in of the New Negro Movement (circa 1925) started a era that would showcase notable great gay writers like Langston Hughes, Richard Bruce Nugent and Countee Cullen and phenomenal lesbian jazz legends like Ma Rainey, Gladys Bentley and Alberta Hunter.  Lorraine Hanberry was an author and playwright most remembered for her masterpieces A Raisin in the Sun and Young, Gifted and Black. George Washington Carver is a botanist famous for developing hundreds of uses for the peanut and the yam. Bayard Rustin was a pioneer in the civil rights era that was mentor to Martin Luther King, Jr and the organizer for the 1963 March on Washington.

While it is important to remember those significant figures from the past, we felt it was equally important to recognize those individuals that are still great work for the LGBT community.  This year there were three award recipients.  The Imani "Faith" award recipient was Christina Floyd.  Christina is a member of the Black AIDS Task force and has been instrumental in 1) making sure the black gay voice was being heard in all outreach efforts and 2) getting the message of HIV/AIDS prevention into the Black church.  Lawrence Moore was the recipient of the Umoja "Unity" award.  Lawrence just recently stepped down from his position as Chair of the Board of Directors of Phoenix Pride.  And the Nia "Purpose" Award went to Antonia D'orsay, transgender educator and activist.  She is the current Executive Director of This Is H.O.W., a transgender halfway house.

I did not truly feel the energy of the evening until the conclusion of the event.  It seemed that no one wanted to go home.  There were so many "great jobs" made to the presenters, so many individuals exchanging information and getting to know each other, and just an overwhelming feeling being in the company of some great people.  I can't wait to see what the five year anniversary will bring.  If you'd like to see more pictures, please visit this link: