Movie Review: Diary of a Tired Black Man

Hello Sweetea,

Wow. 10 minutes into The Diary of a Tired Black Man film and I was already annoyed and confuse how it started off due to the poor sound quality. When I started to pay closer attention with the volume on blast I recognized it started off with the three-minute trailer teaser that stormed the internet. The three-minute trailer teaser captured the explosion of James, the husband in the movie (Jimmy Jean-Louis) who was frustrated about being dogged by his ex-wife, Tanya (Paula Lema), and her girlfriends because he showed up with a white woman to pick up his daughter during a custody exchange. While remaining cool, calmed, collective and cute at the same time by not reacting to their attacks, he calmly addresses Tanya and her closed-minded friends. Speaking in a well-balanced tone of voice, he gets the last word, letting them know he has been, and still remains a good man to her and his’ daughter. Also he is an exceptional provider, the meaning of a good man so do not address him as a weak Black man.

This three-minute trailer teaser inspired the creation of the feature length film and documentary. This independent project was directed by Tim Alexander and it’s not your cookie cutter standards of Hollywood. This isn’t a family film/documentary so put the children to sleep before watching this film. Not only are there vignettes in the film expanding on the original video, there are remarks from men and women from different walks of life weighing-in on the battle-of-the-sexes. It’s overflowing with people making profane comments and cussing up a storm in the movie which can be a bit annoying and ghetto as if we can’t explain ourselves without a mouth full of profanity. Plus it’s very descriptive about relationship issues one may not be ready to talk to their children about. Also, I wouldn’t suggest this as a learning tool to teach your teenager about relationships because it’s narrow and bashing Black women for why Black men are tired! In spite of this there were some profound and powerful commentary made throughout the documentary which wasn’t a totally waste!

I didn’t want to have a jaded mindset but I really was expecting a very power pack movie since a lot of people I know made a big deal about this movie/documentary.  According to people I know they claim this is a powerful film/documentary and the hidden voice of many Black men, that has been drowned out by the perceptions promoted that all “Black” men are no good! Yes, there are a few movies that portray Black men and Black women in a negative light and leave some viewers thinking Black men and Black women are worthless. However, for this to be a documentary I expected good quality conversations with the public on how to better both sexes, relationships and family structure within the African American race not bashing Black women!! And making excuses to why Black man are tired of Black women!!

I understand the movie was based on both the factual and fictional parts of the picture that some Black man around the country experience. Nevertheless, in the movie I didn’t see the husband trying to find outside resources to help his marriage. The couple attended church, why didn’t he seek counseling from his pastor? Why did he expect his cheating friends to be helpful! I need people to do better with the circle of people they call friends!! Are you kidding me?! Like the wife clearly pointed out he married her for her looks not because she was a strong woman holding her own, not for her lack of skills in the kitchen, cleaning and being domesticated. Can you complain when James was trying to be what I call “Captain Save a Hot Hoe?!” Just like females, guys know what their getting into and they make the CHOICE to stay. If he wanted a WIFE, he should have never settled for outer beauty and really evaluated her VALUES, MORALS, and STANDARDS OF ETHICS when it comes to BUILDING a family, friends, role of a woman and man. We always focus on females trying to change their man well the same goes for the males! If you accepted her ish and married her than what are you complaining about? Maybe couples should take the time to become each others best friends and really get to know one and other!!

James knew Tanya for 3 years before getting married to her for 4 years! That was plenty of time for the masks to come off and really get to know what you’re getting yourself into. Yes, I agree people do change overtime and that is when you keep evaluating and communicating what is going on in your relationship! You have to keep checking in and making sure where the pulse of your relationship is.  I always ask “What are people pretending not to know when getting involved with someone?” When counseling couples, I always ask them to go back to the basics and explain to me why did you guys decided to get marry or involved? I also always asked did the couple seek marriage counseling before getting married. I firmly believe before marriage all couples should seek a good marriage counseling program which can be a life changing experiences for the relationship and the couple become closer to each.  You learn so much about each other and your values on marriage, children, family, ect if it’s a VERY GOOD marriage counseling program you guys become BFFs!

However, I guess it’s the counselor in me I felt he didn’t show how to seek help in your relationship if things aren’t going well. If there is a hump you and your mate are going through, there wasn’t a message with a positive solution.  I totally understand the wife really didn’t know her role and the husband had valid reasons to be upset. But he lacked communication skills himself to get her to see what was wrong within their relationship and what they needed to work on to make their home happy and healthy for themselves and their daughter. Just complaining you are tired isn’t good enough if you failed to communicate what you are tired of or lacking the skills to give a solution to try and mend the problem. Relationships and marriages are examples of having a job and a career! Which one do you want a job or a career? Either or it requires a lot of work to maintain it and to make it successful! Some may not like my correlation but you know it’s the truth!  In matter of fact I might just do a piece on that… To be continue

As we proceed, people make too many excuses it’s a race thing when it’s a relationship issue. Be it White or Black we all have our fair share in our own relationships. However, I feel Whites are more willing to seek services outside their marriages to try and fix it before throwing in the towel. While some Blacks will stay or leave but just quit on the relationship and most quit on their children too.  I did in fact like that some people interviewed did point this matter out and they made valid points about absentee parents affect how their children behave towards the opposite sex and their future relationships.

President Obama said it best, “Parents need to take responsible and be there for their children in order for them to be successful citizens in our society and break the dysfunctional cycle within their family tree”. Meanwhile, Jesse Jackson had the nerve to chew President Obama up for his comment! So, Jesse wonders why he never became president!! What is he pretending not to know!? I totally agree with Mr. President Obama! No matter what race you are, it’s a universal rule both parents are better than one. However, it’s a major issue in the African American race which was quoted in the movie 90% of African Americans are raised in a one-family household. So, based on my educational, professional and personal experiences I think this is the syndrome for Black families and it effects them growing up and establishing a healthy relationship! This is an issue that is eating away at the Black community, and it must be changed and focus on. This isn’t an Anger Black Women Syndrome because we have a lot of Anger Black Men Syndrome too!!

This was the creation of first time director Tim Alexander and I must honestly say I felt let down and I was disappointed with the movie! However, based on the interview below I understand why he did the movie and respect him for it but didn’t really like how he went about doing it. According to Tim Alexander, “The Diary of a Tired Black Man isn’t a movie, it’s a message.” Conversely, I say it’s both because if his intent was to spark an overdue discussion and convey a message of change, I’d say congratulations he succeeded in starting the dialogue. It’s fair to say that this film/documentary will evoke a reaction from all viewers. In fact the website for the film is and you can see that the forums hold over 50,000 comments discussing the aspects of the film and its topic. There is a lot to be said about a film that provides a deep-rooted experience for those that see it.

However, I felt the movie does come down rather hard on sisters, even though it doesn’t let brothers get off the hook entirely but it was too much Black women bashing. I expected so much more based on the interviews he had about why he made the movie and hearing him speak. I just felt he focused too much on blaming Black women why Black men are tired! I disagree with judging all women based on one uneducated female that didn’t know how to maintain a healthy home. I totally was disgusted how she conducted herself in front of her daughter and insulting her husband to her girlfriends. Also allowing her girlfriends to disrespect her husband and her household in her presence were just some of the behaviors that prove to a viewer clearly Tanya didn’t know how to be in any kind of healthy relationship.

I did enjoy the fact Alexander did closed the movie out by showing James couldn’t lump or assume all Black women are going to be like his ex-wife! The closing was very powerful for me because it really goes to show one bad red apple doesn’t mean all red apples are no good and one shouldn’t eat it anymore. If you get what I mean all Black men and women aren’t the same so stop judging others based on your past experiences. When you start a NEW relationship remember the key word “NEW” so don’t make the same mistakes but don’t abuse him or her based on your old relationship! James understood that by not giving up on Black women which made the ending very good.

I saw The Diary of a Tired Black Man on demand so I didn’t see it on DVD which I was told that’s the best thing about the DVD, which is not available on bootlegs out there or on demand, is the bonus material. I was told the bonus have expanded commentary by Tim Alexander and some of the people that were interviewed and seen in the movie. Also watching the raw footage of what is said and the full context of what some people think is very interesting and rewarding to the documentary.  I totally need to see the bonus on DVD but for now I think this documentary is okay to spark discussion groups on how to better relationships overall but didn’t focus on the core problems in the African American families! Men let’s not try to blame your lack of commitment, responsibilities and short comings on women and women let’s not do the same onto men!! Let us all take time to keep evaluating ourselves and allow ourselves to grow into better citizens, partners and parents in order to break the dysfunctional cycle!

Sashaying Off,

Precious Pat V


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