All Articles Tagged "Iyanla Vanzant"
“Who Holds Him Accountable?” Amina Mosley, Eldest Child Of Jay Williams, Writes Open Letter To Iyanla
We’ve talked extensively about Jay Williams and his large family on this site. We’ve talked about his parents, the women who had his children and even the other men who seem to be following in his footsteps. And while Iyanla said she dealt so heavily with the mothers because she knew they were raising the children, aside from that meeting with Jay on the couch, we didn’t hear too much from them.
Well, all of that changed recently when Jay’s oldest child, daughter Amina Mosley, wrote an open letter to Iyanla, sarcastically thanking her for fixing her father. In it, she explains that instead of being held accountable for his actions, Jay got to walk away from the experience a bit of a superstar, without dealing with the broken relationships with his children.
See what she had to say.
I joined my siblings on the couch as we sat across from you, and then my father entered the room. In that particular moment, it felt like seeing a ghost. I hadn’t had any contact with my Father in over a year, and I was not at all pleased to be in presence. I just could not seem to wrap my head around my father knowing exactly how to reach me and where to find me all of this time but was only willing to talk when there was a camera around. Needless to say, my guard was up, and I did not believe that anything positive could come from this show. I began to worry about my siblings feelings, my family’s reputation, and I even questioned how I could receive any healing with my Father from that conversation. I left Atlanta feeling frustrated. All of the feelings about my Father that I had long since suppressed had resurfaced, and I did not want to deal with them, so I didn’t. I tucked my feelings away as I had so effortlessly done before, out of site out of mind. That is until the first show aired.
It was as if I was listening to someone else’s story, about a family that I didn’t even know. I could not believe that this man has 34 children! I could not believe that all of these women just let him get away with this! Why didn’t he just get a vasectomy? How did he get to this point? Furthermore, How can this be “fixed”? So just like any other viewer, I tuned into the next episode, and the next, and the next. I was able to see how what he created actually looked from another perspective, and was left with one question: Who holds him accountable?
So here’s what I learned from this process; It was never about highlighting the extraordinary circumstances of my family, it was about healing and finding your inner peace. This has tested my ability to compartmentalize the feelings that I have toward my father, so that I don’t allow his mistakes to mold my decisions. I also have to be cautious as not to project my feelings onto others. I am not just the eldest of 34. Who I am and what I feel as an individual does matter. His absence in my life is not a detriment. In fact, it has actually made me stronger, and serves a greater purpose. I know that things may not ever be perfect between my father and I. I am also aware that the time has passed for him to be a Dad, but I felt that this experience would at the least open up dialogue between us, possibly even maybe one day developing a friendship. So, with that thought in mind, before I left Atlanta I took a picture with my Grandfather and my Dad just so that I could have some inspiration to hold on to.
When I look at that photo, I see a young woman standing in between two of the most important men in her life. She is happy because she knows that the man to her right loves her, provides for her, protects her and she trusts him. She knows that when she calls he will answer, and that he will always put her first. She is his first child, Daddy’s little girl And he always has her best interest at heart.
She also knows that this is not real. This photo represents a “fantasy” of the Father that she never had. The reality is that this is the first photo she has ever taken with the two of these men together at the same time.
“I Trusted You And You Left Me” Iyanla Tells Man With 28 Children What It’s Like To Be A Single Mother
After dealing with the women, the mothers of children from men who had fathered several, Iyanla turned her attention to the fathers. In this clip, Iyanla talks to another father, Nathaniel, who has 28 children from 16 different women. And what’s interesting about this conversation is that it involves four people. There’s Nathaniel, standing in front of him is Iyanla and behind Iyanla is Jeff Johnson (formerly Cousin Jeff). And behind Nathaniel is Jay Williams, the man we’ve been following for the past month and some, with 34 children, was standing with his back to him, supporting him, holding him up.
At first, she asks him what it feels like to wake up knowing he has this much responsibility on his plate.
Nathaniel: “When I think about my children, I feel helpless. I’m full of shame and guilt. I’m bitter.”
Iyanla: “Let me talk to you as a woman, as a single mother. I gave you the most intimate part of who as I am as a woman. I opened my soul to you when I allowed you to lay with me and I trusted you. I trusted that you would be there. I trusted that you were the promise that my daddy never gave me. I trusted you with my soul, with my body, with my being. I trusted you and you left me. Not only did you leave me, you left me here with this child. Just like you don’t know who you are, I don’t know who I am. And now I’ve got a child and I’ve got to figure it out. And you tell me, that you get to go off and figure it out and have other women and I’m here with your child? I don’t get to go figure it out. That’s where she is.
Nathaniel: All of them, though? Even that the ones that we weren’t in a relationship…
Iyanla: Doesn’t matter.
Oprah called this moment one of the most powerful she’s ever seen on television. And judging by the audience reaction, she might have been right. Men and women alike were crying real tears, like twisted face tears.
If you’ve followed Iyanla’s career, you know this tidbit about her life. But rarely, have I ever seen someone so accomplished, someone who’s established themselves as a leader open up and share the raw, gut-wrenching truth about what it really feels like to be a woman who believed in a man and ending up having his child, only to have that same man leave. It was intense and so honest.
Did you watch this recap episode?
Watch the full interaction Iyanla and the man in the video below.
When the story of Jay Williams and his 34 children by 17 different women aired on OWN, social media erupted with all types of judgement. Judgement for Jay and judgement for the women who dealt with him in the past and those who continue to deal with him. Iyanla said that more than anyone, she wanted to make sure the women, the mothers, were working towards healing because they were the ones who were raising the children.
So she followed up the three part series with Jay by meeting up with the women again. But this time she had other women in the audience because, as Iyanla said, over and over again, the women who had been with Jay were not all that different from us all.
If you missed the series, know that she dropped some knowledge. Here are some of the lessons we took from the episode.
“That Was Like A Message From God”: Iyanla Says Man With 34 Kids Sought Her Help After Losing His 35th Child
As we told you from the list of things we took away from Iyanla Vanzant’s work with Jay Williams, we’ve been pretty invested in following the story of this man and his 34 children by 17 different women. Turns out, so have you, because the final part of his “Fix My Life” special brought in the show’s biggest ratings since last November. Williams has received a lot of criticism for bringing so many children into the world that he knew he wouldn’t be able to be fully present for. And when Williams contacted Vanzant with his story, she told Sister2Sister that she initially didn’t want to touch it with a ten-foot-pole because she knew it would require a lot of work, more work than she could fit in 60 minutes (make that around 45 with commercials) of television.
“I wouldn’t have done the story if I only had one episode.”
But she was moved. Vanzant says that it was the loss of his 35th child that really pushed Williams to want to do better, so after working to get a multi-part special on Williams, Vanzant got to work.
“In his mind that was like a message from God that you need to look at your kids. And I think in his assessment of his children, he realized that he wasn’t having a good relationship with his children and their mothers and he wanted to do something about that.”
And even after three episodes of trying to get down to the bottom of Williams’ issues, Vanzant says there is still more work to be done. More so for the mothers who were on the show and the women who watched it at home who entertain similar drama with the men in their lives.
“What we’re doing is, I want to have a conversation with the women because that story was about Jay, and his background and his interaction with his children and his relationship with the women. But I want to understand the women. What were they looking for? How did they allow a penis to come between us? I think that’s a conversation that requires some attention because their situation is not unique either.”
Vanzant tells us that while Williams’ story was hard to hear, we should all watch the things we say about him.
“I think that when we’re on social media spewing that negative energy, that we forget that the people we’re talking about have children, have parents, have sensitivities and have issues. People aren’t on ‘Fix My Life’ because they’re living at their highest potential.”
Oprah struck a full gold mine with “Iyanla Fix My Life.” And with each season, the show gets better and better. There’s something about watching other people’s dysfunction that either, makes you see your own or makes you feel a bit better about your life. For the past three weeks, we’ve watched as Iyanla met with a man, Jay Williams, who has fathered 34 children, with 17 different women. We’ve talked about it before but now, after seeing all three parts of the mega fix, there are some things we just have to talk about.
“People Just Got So Vile And Vicious” Iyanla Speaks On Social Media Outrage Behind Her Visit To Ferguson
When we first learned that Iyanla Vanzant was visiting Ferguson, Missouri, shortly after Michael Brown was killed, many felt like it was too soon, or even worse that she was profiting off this tragedy. And in this day and age, with Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media, people made their grievances known.
And while Iyanla didn’t let that stop her from continuing her service in the area, she did notice it and decided to remove herself from social media. She recently spoke about her decision to visit Ferguson and spreading negativity on the Rickey Smiley Morning Show.
“Well what happened was people didn’t understand that– well, you know we think the worst first. I became an opportunist. I was ‘taking advantage of the people’ and ‘why was I going in there?’ People just got so vile and vicious on social media and I don’t participate in things that aren’t healthy or loving. So I just pulled off.”
RIckey Smiley: I don’t understand stuff like that because we have a platform, a national platform to help you with your cause. Did you get paid for going to Ferguson?
Iyanla: No! And that was the other thing. People were upset This was the post where I said, ‘Ok, this is just insane.’ [The post read] ‘Since Iyanla and Oprah are going to make a fortune going to Ferguson, they should share it with the community.’ How did this get reduced to me making money?
I was disturbed by the images that I saw, the young men looting, the police going after the people. So I wanted to get on the ground. I went on the ground, in the community. I went to the site where Michael Brown was killed and prayed and poured libation for him because that’s coming out of my tradition. Just to get that spirit settled. I spoke to the young brothers, 15, 16, 17 years old who were masked and running up and down the street, screaming ‘No Justice, No Peace.’ And I’m like, ‘Why are you saying that? You have no justice, you have no peace. What is it that you want?’ I taught the people how to create an ask. What are you asking for?’
And I’m still in touch with them. I made a commitment to them. I gave them a plan of action, to pause, get clear, plan, prepare and participate. I’m still in touch with the mighty 13, young brothers that I put together to march. I made financial contributions to them. So I’m not worried about the people. What I’m worried about are the hundreds of thousands people who get on social media, powered by electronic waves and spew negativity into the universe, upon a person. We need to use our power wisely. You know how they had that campaign, “Don’t Tweet and Drive,” well I’m going to start a campaign about eliminating negativity on social media because it is dangerous. It is an energetic that we are sending out in the world and we direct that towards one person. I could feel it in my heart, in my spirit, in my soul and so I just backed off. It’s dangerous.
You don’t have to like me but you can’t curse me. We need to understand, particularly people of color, we need to really be clear. Because the way your grand momma saved your butt from going to jail was because she got on her knees and prayed and she spoke those words out into the universe. So we’ve got to start using our power wisely.
I can relate. There really are far too many people, and yes, Black people, who are seemingly always ready and willing to tear you all the way down for every action and reaction. We saw that when we posted pictures for the #DontShoot campaign, people were saying it wasn’t enough or that we should be speaking about other issues. But when we posted news about celebrities, (in addition to the stories we’d already written about Michael Brown), folks asked why we weren’t talking about Mike Brown. You really can’t win these days. Whether you do speak, or don’t speak, there will almost always be a naysayer, who likely hasn’t done anything, attempting to piss on your efforts.
You can listen to Iyanla’s full interview with Rickey Smiley in the video below.
Today OWN released a teaser for the new season of “Iyanla: Fix My Life” that is sure to have people talking. Following her past of doling out tough love, Iyanla prepares viewers to watch her tackle a man whose reckless behavior has left him fathering 34 children by 17 different women. It’s no wonder OWN reports this premiere will turn into a multi-part series for this “mega-fix” because, honestly, how can you address that nonsense in an hour, let alone two?
As crazy as this situation is, we can’t wait to watch so we can get answers to the obvious questions: Does this man not believe in condoms? Who are these women who keep sleeping with this man — unprotected no less — and having multiple children by him? And most importantly, what’s wrong with all y’all? The premiere airs on September 6 at 9 p.m. EST. Watch the drama-filled teaser below.
Will you be tuning in?
When I learned that Iyanla Vanzant was traveling to Ferguson, Missouri I’ll admit I had a bit of trepidation.
I love Iyanla but the fact that she was taking her cameras with her didn’t exactly comfort me. Then there was the picture of police chief Thomas Jackson, seated with Michael Brown’s uncle, Charles Ewing, a pastor, the two of them holding hands with Iyanla’s clasped over them. I’m a Christian and I know we’re supposed to heal and forgive but it seemed to be a little too soon, no? Was that healing authentic? Had Brown’s uncle really forgiven the police department, before he’d even had a chance to bury his nephew?
It felt like too much too soon.
That’s the thing, I’ve started to question about these types of tragedies. It’s a double edged sword in losing your loved one in the public eye, the way Michael Brown’s family lost him. On the one hand, you feel an outpouring of support from strangers who affirm that your relative’s life meant something but on the other hand, the grieving process is a bit rushed and unnatural when you have to explain the depths of your sadness to the media or fight and grieve at the same time.
And apparently, I wasn’t the only one who felt Vanzant’s actions were a bit ill timed.
Though she released a statement through OWN saying she was traveling to Ferguson to “provide a set of tools to begin the healing process while also promoting peaceful change,” Black Twitter didn’t take too kindly to program. And really, that picture, the one you see above, set people off.
People interpreted the message to mean that, once again, Black people would have to be the bigger people and forgive an injustice that has yet to stop hurting and literally killing us. One person wrote:
“There’s been reports of black professors, actors, sheriffs and so on being racially profiled. How much more ‘acceptable’ do we have to be? As a black person, you should not have to prove your worth, your value in order to be treated as a human being.”
Of course, she’s right. Officer Darren Wilson hasn’t been arrested yet. The Ferguson police department has released very few, hard facts about what actually went down during the moments when Brown was killed; but somehow, in the midst of that very important work, police chief Jackson had time to sit down with Iyanla Vanzant…on camera?
And still others are questioning whether or not Vanzant traveled to Ferguson so that she could profit off of the people’s pain.
While I agree, it might have been a better idea to chill on the cameras for a minute, I don’t think she went there with ill intentions.
After all, Iyanla herself has lost a daughter. She knows what type of “work” it takes to heal from something like that, if complete healing is even possible.
And while people outside of Ferguson, looking in, may feel a way about her being there, the people on the street seemed to appreciate having her there to listen to their grievances and even found comfort in the prayers she offered at the site of Michael Brown’s death.
In her prayer, it was clear to me that Iyanla was not there to stunt. OWN’s cameras might not have captured this moment but it was a powerful one. During her prayer, she said:
“We know that in the DNA of our beings, we know what to do. And we are calling it forth right now God and we ask that you give it to us more than we fear it. We ask that you give us the voice, we ask that you give us the clarity. We ask that you give us the courage to call out the things that need to be called out to make life better for those coming up behind us.”
I always found it so interesting that people always take issue with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. And I guess I get it. People think that they’re “ambulance chasers” seeking to gain shine in the midst of tragedies. But I never felt that way. And listening to Sharpton eulogize Mike Brown this past week, that feeling was reaffirmed.
We might not like the way Jesse, Al or even Iyanla seek to bring awareness to these issues but they are doing something. And the only thing worse than making a mistake in doing something is doing nothing and condemning those who are trying.
Did Y’all See? is back! After going on a bit of a hiatus this summer, we’re back with new commentary from our editors discussing the shocking news that happened across the nation during the past week.
Today we’re talking about Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon’s divorce, of course. Did you see their split coming? Do you think one party is more at fault than the other?
Moving from one couple’s separation to another’s union, we’re also talking about Kevin Hart proposing to longtime girlfriend Eniko and Torrei Hart still speaking negatively about their relationship yet again. And of course we’re discussing Ferguson and, more specifically, Iyanla Vanzant’s challenge to rappers to get involved. Is it anyones place to force others to get involved in the movement or should entertainers rise to the occasion? Watch and weigh in.
Earlier we told you that Attorney General Eric Holder was traveling to Ferguson, Missouri to meet with law enforcement to discuss how they can improve the ways in which things have been run down there. It seems to be helping a bit. Today, the governor ordered that National Guard withdraw from the protests. What we didn’t know was that Holder was also planning on meeting with the parents of the slain teenager, Michael Brown.
In a recent interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Brown’s parents spoke about their meeting with Holder and whether or not it restored any of their faith in the justice system.
Here’s what Michael’s mother Lesley McSpadden had to say:
You can read a person. And when you’re looking at them and they’re looking at you in your eyes, it put some trust back there, that you lost. And he did ensure that it’ll be a fair and thorough investigation.
Anderson Cooper: Do you have confidence in the investigations- the county, state and federal investigations?
Up until yesterday, I didn’t. But just hearing the words come directly from his mouth, face to face, he made me feel like one day I will. And I’m not saying today or yesterday but one day, they’ll regain my trust.
You can watch the clip of their interview below.
And in other Ferguson news, Iyanla Vanzant has traveled to the suburb of St. Louis to not only is she there filming a special episode of “Iyanla Fix My Life” but to speak to some of the protesters and community members and pray for peace and healing for Ferguson and for our very troubled nation. Today, at 3 pm she started her 14 day peace challenge while the legal process unfolds. And Iyanla not only issued the challenge, she also asked some prominent members of the Hip Hop community to join her. She said the young people feel like the elders in the community aren’t hearing them or taking part so she asked that people who young people listen to and respect should show go to Ferguson and participate in the challenge. In a video posted on her Facebook page yesterday, Vanzant challenged rappers Jay Z, LeBron James, common, Nas, Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Drake and Lil Wayne. Take a look at it below.