Hartford Fringe Festival
On Saturday, October 29, 2022, the Fatherhood Manologues will be featured at the Fringe Festival. This is the second show in as many weeks as we continue our collaboration with Hartbeat Ensemble. We did a pretty good job at a show at Black Eyed Sally's last week. Currently, only Jesse White III, Demetrius Chamblee, Malik Champlain and myself, Abdul-Rahmaan I. Muhammad are performing. It should be interesting to see how things progress over the next few months. Below are a few pictures from the show at Black eyed Sally's. Stay tuned for more to come.
Since, the last post in late December 2021, The Manhood Tree has been on the move. We hosted a Men's Health Panel discussion to wrap up the year which you can view here. This year, we kicked off the year with the Fatherhood Manologues at the Wadsworth. You can watch a clip from that performance here. It is important to keep the Fatherhood Manologues out in our community emphasize the importance of dads. For the past two months, we have done two Dinner and Discussions focusing o Men's Health. Check out our latest work here. Now, you are somewhat up to date on what we are doing. This week on April 19, 2022 at 5pm, I'm going to give a virtual The Manhood Tree Group a try. We will see if anyone shows up. Stay tuned.
Fatherhood Manologues-Amos Lys-Fatherhood a Sacred Calling
The Fatherhood Manologues is a six week group process in which men are coached, trained and supported in the development and writing of 5-7 minutes monologues (which we call Manologues) focusing on being a father or being fathered. The Fatherhood Manologues seeks to highlight the importance, value and contributions of fathers through their involvement and presence in their children’s lives.
The development of the Fatherhood Manologues allows men to come together behind the common goal of fatherhood. Each participant identifies a story from his life and works with the team to develop the story to have the greatest impact as a performance. Through weekly practice sessions, participants trim their stories, memorize and hone their delivery to performance level. After each practice session,the group talks about their personal fatherhood journey’s, bond and shop for fathering skills from the other men present to add to their toolbox. The process to develop the Fatherhood Manologues is therapeutic, empowering and supportive to the men that participate.
If you are interested in doing a Fatherhood Manologue, contact us.
As 2021 comes to a close, I have been taking some time to reflect. Over all, I think we had a good year. We conducted groups, performed Fatherhood Manologues, promoted Men's Health and even got a Fatherhood Pole in the ground. Next year, I hope we are able to build on the momentum that will be left from our Men's Health Event and wrapping up our final group of the year. I'm excited about our 2nd Annual Fatherhood Manologues Day coming up on February 10th in celebration of my dad and a new show with new performers on February 26th of next year. I also have scheduled out all The Manhood Tree groups I will facilitate next year:
We also have monthly Men's Health Dinner and Discussions planned for the first half of the year (location and time TBD). My main goal next year is to build a tribe. In the past, I have waffled back and forth on my leadership never really committing to what I want to accomplish fully but in 2022, I'm ready. I realize that men use other men as a barometer in life and if we are only surrounded by one type of man or not given alternative ways of thinking, or allowed to express ourselves...we don't become the men we could. Through The Manhood Tree groups, performances and events I hope to ignite men to be their best in the areas of brotherhood, fatherhood and manhood. I would like to see this work spread out of Connecticut and go all of the US and then all over the world. Who knows? Either way, I'm excited and ready to dedicate the next few years into developing this idea out fully. I look forward to the people I will cross paths with along the way and I plan to do a better job blogging about each step along the way. Stay tuned.
Last week we started a new Manhood Tree group and I must say the participants were engaged in the information and willing to share openly. We would like to get to the point with our groups that we have at least three groups going weekly and we have a dedicated funding source for the groups.
On Saturday, November 13, 2021 we will be shooting promo videos for our first Men's Health event. Our goal is to pull together advertising that draws the community in and encourages them to attend the event.
We are getting closer to airing our first episode of The Manhood Tree Podcast. We will have it available on the website and will be working on getting the podcast on other platforms as well. We will also be shooting a show that uses aspects from The Manhood Tree Podcast but also focuses on Manhood Topics, Health, Travel, etc.
Later this week, we will be going back to the Makerspace to work on our second Fatherhood Pole. We will be also signing up for classes that will allow for us to operate the machines independent of supervision and allow for us to move the process of building Fatherhood Poles along faster.
Lastly, we are looking for a dedicated group of men to join our Fatherhood Manologues group. We would like to do a six week group that culminates in a live performance and individual videos of each Fatherhood Manologue. If you know anyone who you think will be interested, contact us through the website.
The Manhood Tree...Let's Grow.
On November 2nd at 6pm we will be starting a new Manhood Tree group and on November 4th at 6pm we will be starting a Fatherhood Manologues group. If interest grows, we may offer an additional Manhood Tree Group on Saturdays from 10am until 12pm. We have also rejoined Makerspace CT so we can start working on The Fatherhood Pole. Our goal this time is to create the normal size for the yard and smaller ones for the desktop. We will see how that goes! Also, The Manhood Tree Podcast starts on November 20th stay tuned! Oh yeah, have you been to the doctor this year? Schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Get some blood work. See what's going on with your blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol. Men's Health is serious business.
For the last six weeks, I have been in the hospital and recovering at home. To make a long story short, after 20 years with a kidney transplant, my kidney failed for the second time. Interestingly enough, my doctor and I planned for my kidney failure, therefore, I was prepared for it. On the back burner, I met with my cardiologist and did a stress test. Which came back inconclusive. The plan was to wait for my kidney to fail again and then put some dye in my heart to see what was going on. After being in the hospital a week, they did the test and found out that three of the arteries to my heart were blocked; one 100% and the other two 95%. I had to have open heart surgery! This was unexpected. So anyways, I have been recovering from open heart surgery and going back on dialysis three days a week for three and a half hours.
That being said, it is no better time to get things going with The Manhood Tree again. Next month, we will be hosting a Men's Health event titled, "No More Suffering in Silence". This event will be a panel discussion of men who have been dealing with a variety of health issues and how they have dealt with and processed the situation. We also want to encourage other men to go to the doctor on a consistent basis and be aware of what is going on with their health.
We will also be starting a new Manhood Tree Group next month and looking for individuals to write Fatherhood Manologues. Lastly, we will be starting The Manhood Tree Podcast. Stay tuned, get connected. We are making moves.
For the remainder of 2021, The Manhood Tree will be working to get our schedules together for 2022. Our goal next year is to get funding which will allow us to conduct groups, work on Fatherhood Manologues and Fatherhood Poles and promote The Men's Health Initiative on a consistent basis. We are currently in the process of writing a play with Hartbeat Ensemble based on the first Fatherhood Manologues. We are also updating the Manhood Tree Curriculum. We have been doing a lot of thinking about doing The Manhood Tree Podcast. The podcast would allow for more in depth discussions about the Fatherhood Manologues, Men's Health Initiative and be an open resource for ALL Manhood Tree news. We believe that men could really benefit from having another outlet that allows them to be their true self. We want to create a platform for men to grow. Stay tuned.
My nephew Muraad had a baby on Saturday. His daughter, Najimah which mean "radiant", "brilliant" in Arabic was born two month premature. I told him, "That just gives you two additional months in her life". More time to get to know her, love her. After I spoke to him via Facetime and saw the baby, a thought crossed my mind. His mother, my sister Jamilah who passed away almost three years ago would have loved this moment. She would have loved Najimah. She would have been so loud about it! I could hear her now exclaiming, "This is my baby!" "Don't call me grandma!" Call me Grandma J, or Mama J or some other name with a twist. She would say all the things that a new father would need to build his confidence. She would fill in the gap where things are missing. If Jamilah was around, everything would be O.K..
A lot of the times when we talk about fatherhood, we talk about the importance of young fathers having had a role model, a man to pattern their fatherhood off of. We preach the importance of fathers for boys and speak about how needed men are in the lives of their children. I agree with what we preach but today, my nephew would have really benefited from a cheerleader. He would have been lifted up in a unique way (that not many fathers have the capability to do) if his mother was here. Motherly love is something else! With my sister in mind, I am going to try to muster more energy the next time I speak to him. The journey of fatherhood and relationships have their ups and downs, twist and turns; maybe I can be a erratic fan...a uncle that cheers even when our team is down. Maybe I can believe and support him in a unique way, far beyond my normal demeanor; like his mom would. Unconditionally, at least until he gets his footing and feels the strength of being responsible for another human being that he helped bring into this world. I can do that. GO MURAAD!
The performers from the Fatherhood Manologues will be having a conversation with students from multiple disciplines on the intersection of men, families and health on March 25, 2021 at 4:30pm. This event is exclusively for the University of St. Joseph's students.