Category Archives: Relationships

The relationships category provides man to man advice to young men of color. There are topics and discussion that men need to discuss. This category provides a platform for that firm discussion.

Love is bigger than sex

DISCLAIMER: I am older, so my views may be seen as old fashioned. This is my opinion based on what I’ve done wrong and in some cases, where I’ve lost the most valuable friendships. My hope and goal, as with all my blogs, is to help you not make the same mistakes I have.

(Deep inhale) Here we go…


I think our society is driven by sex, money and power. We try to fit love in there but love has been getting it’s ass kicked by those three. Who you chose to love is really up to you, even if it’s the same gender. I’m surprised to say that but that’s the world we live in. I’ve come to the conclusion that love shouldn’t have prerequisites. If you love someone, it shouldn’t be because they treat you nice or you view them as perfect, because no one is. So the quicker you find the imperfections, the faster you’ll determine how much you love them, if you even love them at all.

It’s taken me several years to recognize that love doesn’t fit in a box. It’s just love. You have to just shake your head at the disappointments because a person, just like you, is going to mess up, going to do something that doesn’t make sense, going to disappoint you

…but you still love them.

To get to that echelon of love, you have to know someone…more importantly you have to know yourself. People have been telling me for YEARS that you should be friends first…for YEARS! I didn’t listen, I just want that good stuff. LOL

The hardest break up I had was in December. It’s hard to call it a break up but we had something really special. I contributed to the break up in my own gemini ways, but I was deeply disappointed at revelations about my friends behavior. It was hard because I had grown to love her, as our friendship matured our sex become something more. My neighbor asked, “You’re the break up king…why was it so hard to get over her?!”  I said…

“because we were friends.”


Before you have sex with someone you should understand what it is. Whether is lust, love or just recreational you should respect the difference. Emotions confuse people and lust, or a recreational romp in the bed gets misinterpreted as love…it’s NOT.

As I said earlier, you have to know yourself.

When you’re young and your frenetic hormones are out of control it’s hard to discern what feelings are involved. Sex is an intimate thing, it’s private, and it’s really no one else’s business. As my mom says, “That’s between the both of you and God” If you do have sex with someone, keep it to yourself. Don’t even tell your best friend. To be quite honest, people are going to know anyway. People are going to see your body language and how you interact with each other. It may very well be obvious (shrug shoulders).

My point is our society makes everything about sex and no emotion. That’s not real. Your emotions are real and tangible. How you think, feel and live is a most important thing in your life. Don’t make everything about sex, cause it really could be nothing.


“Sex is always about emotions. Good sex is about free emotions; bad sex is about blocked emotions.”
Deepak Chopra

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Sing, dance, rap, party to the negativity.

I came downstairs this morning and do what I normally do…turn on Bounce TV.

On the weekend I usually turn on the tv and have it as ambient background while I cook breakfast. My pooch follows me to the kitchen and I notice the video countdown is on. I don’t have cable so this is the only “ethnic” video programming.

I was on #7 Mary J Blige was singing about how she’s tired of some man.

Then #6 was a song entitled, “My girls” by some female group…emphasizing the solidarity of her girls.

Then #5 John Legend talking about love; Family, Country, Heterosexual, Homosexual…love.

Then #4 Beyonce “Lemonade” the video was the “Queen B” walking around breaking up cars, windows, fire hydrants, singing about how she was betrayed hurt by some, you guessed it, man. I thought queens behaved a little differently but that’s just me.

Then Bryson or whatever his name was, talking about some woman that hurt him. This dude is about 20 years old complaining about a woman…please.

What number are we on? Solange talking about rebuilding and trying…wait, honestly, I don’t know WHAT she was talking about.

Finally number #1 Bruno Mars…he was partying about money, vixens,  Vegas and Versachee(spelled it wrong on purpose). I actually like this song.

Ok…out of ten videos, what do you see? I’m not talking to you ladies, I’m talking to the young men. I’ll tell you what I see…a bunch of negativity about black men and this contentious culture with our women. I’ve done my share of hurting and disappointing women, so I’m the last person playing victim here.

My point is this;

  • All women are not gold diggers.
  • All women are not hoes.
  • All women are not cheating.
  • All women don’t dress like strippers.
  • All women are not ALL women.

Regardless of what you see on tv, regardless of what may be around you, treat women with respect. Even if they don’t act like they deserve to be respected, respect them anyway. As a man you have to be the better person, you have to lead by an example of a gentlemen. You have to want better for yourself. If you can’t make someone happy or make their lives better, keep looking. Don’t stay there making each other miserable. Find someone that will appreciate you doing something for them. Sliding off topic…anyway as I said, “ethnic” programming…and that’s just what it is…programming. That’s an interesting word because that’s exactly what’s happening. Well, don’t let videos, tv, social media or the news convince or “program” you to be negative. Keep your perspective positive. Remember All women are not All women. Find that one that’s different and put a ring on it. I need to take my own advice.

I could be blogging volumes about all the other negative influences but I chose to take a bite out of this one.



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Movie Review: “In My Father’s House”

When Caitlyn and Charlie from PictureMotion people contacted me to do the review, I was very skeptical. I didn’t think I could really provide an open-minded review while harboring assumptions about the movie. My assumptions had nothing to do with the movie but everything to do with the consistent reminders of the black male existence in America. My dilemma is with our never-ending challenge to find success in any aspect of our lives, while at the same time, changing the dialogue from defeat and pity to prosperity in a system of systems that are poised against us.

“In order to break a cycle you have to deal with the pain of what ever trauma that you’ve been through.” Donnie Smith(Wife)

They sent me a screening link, and I figured if I can get through the hour and thirty-three minutes it might be something to discuss.

ShareYourTruth-20I set up to passively watch the movie while doing my ironing for the week. I put up my ironing board, iron is hot, movie starts, I pick up the iron…

I didn’t touch any of my shirts, I didn’t iron not one article of clothing. I immediately put the iron down, picked up a pen and started taking notes. I watched the movie twice.

The movie makes the immediate distinction of what it’s not about; Rhymefest’s career, his latest album, another rapper grasping for any glimpse of that first taste of fame. For the first twenty minutes, I could not look away. If I would have tried to iron a shirt I would have burned it. Through my own research I find that Che “Rhymefest” Smith won a GRAMMY award for co-writing “Jesus Walks” with Kanye West. He’s also won an Oscar for co-writing “Glory” with Common and John Legend. The movie is not about that at all, but this movie is definitely his best work.


“I started something that I can’t turn back.” Che Smith

This movie introduces the unspoken dynamics that exist at the core of the individual and most families. These issues are inherent barriers to a man understanding himself. Like Che, I had some unresolved issues in my past that needed to get addressed. I didn’t know my entire father’s side of the family until I was about 14 years old. I didn’t know why they never sought me out. When I met them, I learned and understood where most of my behavior and traits originated. It was like finding my dna, when I met them…I felt complete.

The movie embraced me on levels of masculinity that I didn’t expect. There were iconic images of fatherhood that made me appreciate the viewing; chess playing, the haircut, the dialogue.

“Sometime it ain’t nobody’s fault, it’s just life.” Che Smith


The movie takes you through the painful cycle of homelessness. It pulls you into the emotional layers of single parenting, mentoring, juvenile issues, etc.   Every black child in America could benefit from watching this movie, but every person in America could reap an investment of compassion.

“I wish I was there more too.” Brian Tillman(Father)


Most documentaries are factually rigid and the camera presence introduces a sterile entity that bleaches the ambiance of the movie. Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg direct this movie in a way that you’re not led and you don’t follow. You are in the conversation as a family member in the story. I’m intrigued by the other endeavors of Break Thru Films. Kudos to these two women! Ricki and Annie are on a whole different echelon of filming, you rock!


“The only thing I did good in my life was Che.”

Brian Tillman

February 5, 2016

IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Tune-in to TVOne on Feb. 5 to see if we won the award for Outstanding Documentary (Film)!

IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE will be available on DVD & BluRay tomorrow on January 26th. Please watch with the males in your family.

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Ending a relationship.

Relationships, whether it’s a job, girlfriend or friendship may and will come to an end. Friendships may end because a person moved away or went off to another college or you just stopped hanging with them. You may have had a disagreement or something but that doesn’t mean you are no longer friends. If that disagreement went against what you believe in, then maybe you end the friendship, maybe not. I have a friend that is cheap and it gets on my nerves but he gives good advice about money. I don’t end the friendship because of his “tight fisted-ness” but I know when it comes to money and giving, we’re going to disagree and that’s okay.  I have a friend that doesn’t communicate well but he’s very dependable when it’s time to help me move. If I call him, he’s there and I appreciate that. Yeah, he says he invited me to his wedding but I didn’t know until I got pictures of him on the beach in the Bahamas with white on. Again, he communicates poorly but he’s one of the most dependable people I know. I don’t end the friendship over personality traits that annoy me. I got my own issues that people tolerate and I’m sure I annoy people. I can be judgmental sometimes but for some reason, people still like me. Now…if a friend steals or is a liar then I can’t be your friend. I can trust a cheap person or a person that doesn’t communicate but I can’t trust a liar or thief. Even if I choose to keep a friend that has a problem telling the truth, it’s ultimately my decision to continue to associate with them. If I deal with them I understand the risks and consequences if things go wrong.

Quitting a job is similar to ending friendships or relationships. When you started that job, you were excited, you were meeting new people and everyone was nice to you. After you settled in the position, you found out the work atmosphere was draining and the pay wasn’t as much as you thought because you had to pay for your benefits. Similar to committing to the relationship, changing jobs shouldn’t be done hastily. I’m not saying don’t quit your job or look for better opportunity but know what you’re getting yourself into. I would equally say don’t be afraid of looking for a better opportunity and don’t get too comfortable. When you do transition look at what you’ve learned about the job and position. Understand what you like about the job, and prioritize your must haves, your deal breakers. Don’t become disrespectful or change how you treat people at the job. Keep up the appearances that everything is fine. Don’t be angry and ruin your reputation in the process. I remember a position I had where I coordinated two teams, one lead was racist and he had a hard time receiving advice from me. The other lead was easy to deal with and the progress his team made in comparison was obvious to the management. I didn’t get any awards and wanted to lash out at the “racist” lead. When I announced my departure the “easy” lead sent me an email compliment that I’ll never forget. He mentioned that if I ever was looking to move again, look him up. He had his own company and know that I made that much of an impression on him, made me feel good. If you stay at one job all your life, you never know what’s out there. It’s not a bad thing but adversity makes you better, it gives you an understand of who you are. You need change to grow and know your strengths and weaknesses.

Ending a relationship is the toughest of all three. Ending a relationship is a hard decision, just as committing to a relationship shouldn’t be done hastily. There’s feelings involved and expectations somehow not met. It’s not anyones fault, it’s just a decision to go on or not. It’s not just your feelings but the other persons feelings too. You feel responsible to them but you have to be honest with yourself about why you’re ending it. It could be reverse, she could be breaking up with you. You’re going to be mad and upset but if you see things aren’t getting better then let her go. It’s selfish to want someone to be with you if they aren’t happy. Just as if you’re not happy, ask yourself, “Why?”…and “What are you going to do about it?” Regardless of the outcome you have to be honest. No fighting no abuse of any kind, just end it as friends. You’ll be hurt…she’ll be hurt but if the both of you are not completely happy, then decisions have to be made.  Ultimately it comes down to marriage and the rest of your life. Are you happy and can you live to this level of happiness for the rest of your life. Listen to me…the rest of your life, that’s a long time. Similar to a new job, you can’t go into this hastily. It doesn’t matter who in your family, likes them or doesn’t like them, this is the rest of YOUR life. This past month, I was a witness to a divorce and it was depressing. It wasn’t depressing to be a part of it, it was depressing to see all these other people going through the emotional process in that courtroom on that day in that time slot. The funny thing I had to be a witness to the same person that “told me” about his wedding in the Bahamas….crazy. He’s happier and so is she. They didn’t have any kids and luckily it’s an easy break. Yes, the emotions are there but that pain will subside. Everyone says their prepared to get married but few people even contemplate divorce.  So whether it’s a job, friendship or a relationship go about it with your eyes open and honest with yourself.

“If I get married, I want to be very married.”
Audrey Hepburn

“Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.”
Albert Einstein

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