With extra younger Black males being raised by single moms, writer Q. Allen poses an intriguing query together with his new stage play Can a Girl Elevate a Man? And his reply is definitive. “A mom’s love is unimaginable,” he declares to EBONY. “There’s an outdated proverb that claims love is stronger than loss of life. After I thought I would not make it, she helped me to grow to be all the things, and it would not have occurred with out her continued love. I want this Mom’s Day that every one the households with moms and sons can be wholesome.”
The trail Allen took from single-parent youngster to playwright wasn’t a simple one. His mom and father divorced when he was a teen, and Allen responded by performing out. My mom had numerous hassle making an attempt to regulate me and reel me in, and for her to simply perceive what I used to be strolling by way of, it was only a problem for us making an attempt to determine it out.” Can a Girl Elevate a Man, based mostly on his e book of the identical identify, has been his salvation. “With the ability to flip particular person ache into objective and present a household getting from the aspect of wrestle, trauma and drama to triumph is simply an unimaginable story.”
Right here, Allen talks in regards to the manufacturing and his life journey and affords recommendation for fathers, moms and their communities on elevating sons.
EBONY: What’s Can A Girl Elevate A Man about? Is it a rock musical? Is it a gospel? A press release on the state of issues?
Q. Allen: It’s all the above. It is an city downside. It is a nationwide downside. It is a global downside of placing the ability of households again collectively. We use all of it in an unimaginable panoply, and it is based mostly on real-life happenings I went by way of.
You wrote this after going by way of a divorce and also you had been briefly homeless?
I did not like to speak about this earlier than, however completely. Divorce might be financially burdensome. I attempted to make some strikes and simply, in all my ache, I made a decision I used to be going to strive to return to the streets. So I actually left southeast Washington D.C. and headed towards California, making an attempt to get again into the “avenue life” as I wanted about $20,000 to battle for the children in coordination. However simply by serendipity, and now I’d say by the grace of God, that transaction by no means occurred. I misplaced more cash and I ended up in Las Vegas all on my own. I used to be very offended on the white man and the Black man and each man till I appeared, like Michael Jackson would say, on the man within the mirror. God started to take care of me and that is once I started to jot down. It was very cathartic. I’d sneak into this outdated deserted constructing for shelter. That they had a pc lab on the premises and the girl would let me are available in, and I’d simply keep there and write all day. It was my means of coping with what was occurring, and I spotted that I had essentially the most phenomenal mom on the earth. She had finished her job. And now it was time for me to do mine. I confronted a few of my private demons and pains, and I reconnected with my father.
What are a number of the private experiences you communicate of within the play?
My mother was a religious Christian, you will see her within the play, we had been in church on a regular basis. I by no means noticed any sort of lasciviousness from her. My father, then again, was on the church, however we had some issues getting him to show from stone-cold gangsta. They had been simply opposites; it made for very considering childhood. They break up and sadly, my father ended up again on medicine. I used to be about 12 or 13 once we walked into the single-parent dynamic, after which it was simply my mother, my sisters and I. That’s the place the birthplace of this discovery, ache and wrestle started, we simply weren’t used to being that sort of household unit.
Is your father’s story mirrored within the play?
There is a character based mostly on his unimaginable restoration, from preventing substance abuse and drug habit to changing into a bishop, pastor and group chief. He did numerous firsts in his group on the east aspect of Baltimore; I like that man. We struggled to construct a relationship at one level, we tried to battle one another. However sooner or later, I spotted that if I battle him, I am preventing me. Now he is like my greatest pal. We speak day-after-day, and I am making an attempt to maneuver him into my home proper now. We simply love one another rather a lot. This story isn’t just in regards to the ache, however the objective; there may be one other aspect in case you can simply endure and get to it.
What was one of many hardest issues to take care of as a younger man rising up with out your father determine?
I feel I went by way of what numerous younger males undergo, simply wanting to assist. I’ve a chapter in my e book known as “Emotional Insights.” As a younger man, I wished to step into that father function, however I simply did not have the talent set nor the communication and provisionary expertise. Additionally, numerous instances, you see guys flip to the streets and do no matter, looking for a approach to do the perfect that they’ll. I feel Tupac stated it greatest. In his music “Pricey Mama,” he says, “regardless that I promote rocks/It feels good puttin’ cash in your mailbox.” I watched my mom dig ditches, I watch her take two or three jobs at a time, and I simply knew I needed to do one thing. You bought to decide on your means out—it is both going to be crack rock or a depraved bounce shot. It may be very difficult.
What in regards to the greatness you noticed in your mom?
My prayer life and my tenacity are from my mom. We had been big part eight and meals stamp infants. However my mother would make me get into oratorical contests. I actually had a scholarship on the native Playhouse there, which is wonderful. When everyone else informed me I had studying disabilities, my mother stated, “No, not my child.” I went from not with the ability to learn to writing performs and sonnets and all the things, all due to that lady. Whereas we could have been within the hood, she would by no means let a hood mentality get within us. I inform her on a regular basis I’m so grateful for what she did and what so many moms do.
Did you see a giant distinction between your sisters and your self being raised by your mother?
I feel they could have had an excellent more durable adjustment as a result of they had been daddy’s ladies. When that wasn’t there, you see the dearth of identification and numerous ache. And there was numerous volatility. Our mother did not have that different voice to stability issues out. So it was tough. I’d be there breaking apart arguments. We needed to discover ways to perform by way of all these totally different dynamics.
Inform us extra in regards to the music within the manufacturing.
We use some gospel requirements that everyone is conversant in. So you are going to come, and it’ll really feel like Sunday morning. I wrote some authentic songs, the theme music and the anthem, and I wrote a music in a scene the place the character Tim, the supporting male lead, loses his son; he cannot get to him anymore, and he is in ache. I wrote that music as a result of I perceive it firsthand, I have been on each aspect of that equation. So it is a fantastic amalgamation. We have got Grammy Award winner Kierra ‘Ki Ki’ Sheard and gospel star Jokia Williams within the manufacturing as effectively.
So what’s the reply to the query: can a girl increase a person?
The outdated African proverb says it takes a village to lift a toddler, so the reply to can a girl increase a person is that she ought to by no means need to. The group and everybody ought to get entangled. We must always have a tradition of caregiving, particularly for single moms and single-parent households, to get to the opposite aspect and switch ache into objective.
You now have youngsters of your personal. How do you keep related to them?
Hear, I inform all of the fathers, you might not be bodily there, however my children are gonna get fixed texts and help; my daughter now has a type of money apps. I pay attention and once I can, I’m there. So fathers, we simply obtained to maintain exhibiting up in no matter capability that appears like. And I bug them, they get morning messages and I ship them prayers and I get on their nerves. However they do not know that greater than something on the earth, being their dad is my biggest privilege. I am so joyful to say fatherhood is the best hood you can ever be from. I am so glad to be a father and be part of their lives.
Can A Girl Elevate A Man is enjoying Might 13 and 14 at Park 8 Occasion Heart in Houston, and streaming stay on Mom’s Day at DFTV Sports activities @QALLENGLOBAL.COM.