That’s right. You heard me. His name is Eduardo Noriega. He is a movie director from Venezuela who got wind of my movie project through a copy of my novel, given to him from a neighbor of mine! He worked for one of the largest film production companies there before moving to Miami, away from his country’s political upheaval. He’s worked on movies like Transporter 2 and looks to re-establish his career in film. Check this out, Eduardo is also with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the biggest organization in the country when it comes to mentoring – which just so happens to be the major focus of North of the Grove (remember?) Oh, how did I feel about all this? Well, it’s akin to buying a new suit if you will…
Eduardo and I met at a BBBS meeting on Florida Memorial University’s campus. The university is partnering with BBBS, the first partnership of its kind in the country (our president, Rosalyn Artis, is doing big things). Faculty members and the like will be linking up with mentees from BBBS. You know I had to be involved. Eduardo invited me to talk with his some more later on that day and we really explored the challenges facing mentorship (African American males in particular). I did not hold back in what I had learned over the years…
1. A lot of men feel beleaguered in their own homes concerning their own kids. It’s as if anything they do needs the approval of the mother. When you have that type of a credibility and lack of respect in your own house, why chance it with a stranger’s child?
2. These days you can’t even raise your voice to child to get their attention. Everything’s abuse. Many men wonder, what recourse do I have if this kid starts showing his behind with me? Why would I volunteer to be powerless in some no-win situation?
3. I got bills to pay. That takes time.
4. Women applaud the volunteerism, but start “feeling some type of way” (I just used a saying that my students use – ugh) about it, which causes the same complications I explore in North of the Grove.
Eduardo’s serious about getting more brothers to volunteer. I’ll help where I can. In the meantime, he’s going to finish the book (he’s really liking it thus far). After that, we’ll talk about how he can contribute to the project (he’s a real task master with screenwriting. Maybe he can help me further improve in that area. He’s also an actor.) I learned BBBS has a school program with local high schools. You know I had to let him know I’m getting my books into high schools out here so… ah, the possibilities. Eduardo is a man of many talents. As you can see, he has his music as well.
This CD was done in 2003, which is why Eduardo looks
like a dangerous Warren Beatty or something…
I’m just sayin’. Oh, the teaching guide for the novel will be available on amazon.com by this weekend. The webisode is moving along as well. My grind is the truth.