I knew that I liked Raven’s daddy, Christopher Pearman, from the moment he came forward to share his thoughts about his daughter’s comments. He acknowledged that she was wrong and completely misspoke but her also acknowledged that she’s still his daughter and he’s going to support her. And I appreciate that.
I’m sure I’m not the only one. Quite a few folks want to hear more from him, including writer Antonio Moore, fromYour Black World.
The two men, of course, discussed Raven’s recent “ghetto names” comments, Black celebrities who’ve achieved a level of fame and status and subsequently dissociate themselves from the Black community and why no one is talking about the producers’ role in the whole names segment.
Mr. Pearman reminds me of that old school, conscious Black man you hear going at it in the barbershops across the country. He knows what time it is and is not afraid to tell you what’s up.
Check out a few of the highlights from the interview below and then be sure to listen in its entirety in the video on the next page.
On the comments
“Raven’s a comedienne from birth. You saw that on “The Cosby Show” so saw that all through her life. In this particular segment, I believe that it was mostly tongue and cheek…She got comfortable with it.
What got me as a father is that when you said that you would discriminate, you cross the line because you’re breaking the law and you don’t want to put yourself in that position on a national platform.”
Then Pearman shared how he received e-mails from young, Black girls who were hurt by Raven’s words.
“…and I’m very empathetic to that, especially when it comes to our little Black girls because
Black women have been discriminated for hundred years. You don’t want to be a part of that discrimination against your own people.
Now, do I believe that Raven would do that. No. I know that child she’s got a very beautiful heart. She’s just doing what she does, expressing her opinion. And of course she may make some gaffs, we’re human. And she apologized and she saw she was wrong. And that’s how I back her up. ‘Yeah, you were wrong’ but it’s about how you stand back up and face the fire.”
The Segment itself
Antonio Moore, the interviewer, brought up an excellent point about how the entire segment was set up as if it were a joke. Before the panelists discussed the discriminatory practices in hiring, they showed a video of two non-Black teenagers making up elaborate, unrealistic names based on Black stereotypes. He said that all of the blame shouldn’t have been placed on Raven when it was producers who made that call.
Pearman said he would expect Whoopi, the more seasoned panelist and leader of the Hot Topics segment to speak up about that and not his daughter who is new to the show.
Still, he acknowledged Raven’s role in that position.
“My only concern was, it’s important that she watches the words that she uses and understands that she is representing her Black people.”
Viewer’s reaction to her comments
While Pearman didn’t agree with his daughter’s comments, he also didn’t like the way people responded to them.
“People were asking for her head and asking me to give them her head.”
Though he says he would never do that to his daughter, he understands the sentiment, the hurt, anger and disappointment people felt.
“When you hurt Black women in any kind of way, I got a problem with it.”
Raven saying she doesn’t view herself as African American
Listening to Raven’s father speak for 30 seconds, you understand that he’s a proud Black man. So Antonio wanted to know how he felt about Raven telling Oprah that she doesn’t see herself as African American.
“That was messed up. That was just messed up. Dumb shit. But I understand where she’s coming from. I sort of feel that way. If there’s an evolving of us as a species, we will evolve to an intelligence that we all are equal. And for us to still play the color game, it an example of an un-evolving.”
He referenced Malcolm X’s transformation when he came back from Mecca, with a new understanding that people are all the same and should be treated equally. But he did reference that though some things have improved for the Black community, there is still so much further to go. Still, he said that people of this generation, Raven’s generation don’t have the same struggle he did growing up.
He told a story of his grandmother showing him a tree that looked like glass. She told him that this was the tree where slave owners took slaves to trees to whip them. They had done it so often that the bark was stripped from the tree to appear like glass. Though Pearman said he got and understood it, young people today they don’t understand that.
“People of this generation don’t have the same struggle we had.”