I have three children. My ten-year old daughter is the youngest. At the rate we're going, when the time comes, who will be able to marry her?
Every one of us, eventually, albeit to different degrees, succumbs to our environment. While there are examples of people overcoming seemingly insurmountable negative influences, far too many fall through the cracks of hopelessness, drug abuse, illiteracy, and violent crime. In many neighborhoods, there is an overall apathetic attitude towards life. Some people just don't seem to understand that it's okay to love yourself, leaving the rest of us to bear the burden of their self-hate.
Based on the book "Do as I Say, Not as I Do", our film, Ain't Nothing Funny, confronts adults about their choices and illustrates how those decisions affect everyone around them, including their children. As well, the film implores the youth to consider the consequences of their actions. Over 50% of all black males in the inner cities dropout of high school every year. There were a record 7.3 million people behind bars, on probation, or on parole by the end of last year. In 2010, a whopping 41 percent of all American-born children were born to unwed mothers; up from 3.8% in 1940. 50 million American adults are unable to read better than a 5th-grader; 42 million can't read at all.
Ain't Nothing Funny about any of that.
In an effort to combat these ills, we created a film that is to be used as a working tool. The film is presented on DVD. It is intended for use in group settings and discussions, and as an individual reference manual. Every person should own his or her own copy. Because the information is disseminated through an audiovisual medium, the likelihood of success is very high. Studies have shown that visual perception contributes to about 90% of all human learning. 90% of information going to the brain is through the eye, while 8% goes to the brain by ear. Students today live in a multimedia world and appreciate variety in their learning environment. Educational presentations mixed with still images, text, sound and video that emphasize action and convey more than redundant illustrations of a verbal message have proven to elevate long-term retention of the given information.
We believe that hearing something, even if it were the same thing, from someone who you can see has been in your shoes, or currently lives in the manner that you do, encourages a person to be more receptive of constructive criticism. Especially when the previous person is candidly open about his or her own mistakes. Ain't Nothing Funny fights through the rumors and misinformation perpetuated by negative music videos, video games, poor parenting, and an overall disrespect for education. Through thoughtful transparent commentary and creative imagery and sound, the film encourages positive thought, the building of self-esteem, responsible parenting, better decision-making, and abstinence from drugs, alcohol, and pre-marital sex. It advocates respect for authority, education, and a higher being. And in an effort to bring about family restoration, Ain't Nothing Funny also promotes love, goal setting, and building a strong work ethic.
To right the wrongs we are facing, there will need to be a collaborative effort from the community, the education system, the parents, from businesses such as ours, and from the youth. Student test scores will rise if parents are more involved with their child's well being. Crime and incarceration rates will fall as more young men finish high school. Recidivism rates will decrease as opportunities grow for those who are prepared. Single parent households will decrease as more men discover the importance and the need of becoming educationally, emotionally, spiritually, and financially able to provide for their families.
In this battle of being lost or found, of either going the right way or the wrong way, the tearing down of generational curses and years of bad habits and the building up of new, creative, more positive ways of thinking may be our only hope. Ain't Nothing Funny will help lead us in that direction.
Please watch, listen, and learn.