King Richard: An Interview with Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton

King Richard: An Interview with Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton

King Richard is a film honoring the legacy of Richard Williams, father of Tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams which is in theaters everywhere and on HBO Max this Friday, November 19.

The film tells the story of Richard and the Williams family’s remarkable journey from the rough environment of Compton, CA to the fame and fortune of professional tennis stardom. King Richard is the Williams family’s tremendous story of faith, perseverance, and triumph that is truly inspiring. The cast was phenomenal and I left the theater wanting to put into action the value for planning, humility, and passion that the family exemplified.

UrbanFaith sat down with Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton who play Venus and Serena to discuss the experience of bringing the lives of these legends to the big screen alongside Will Smith.

The full interview is above!

Courtesy of Warner Bros.

 

 

The Marriage Mindset

The Marriage Mindset

Last summer, the media couldn’t get enough of the word “entanglement” as actors Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith confronted rumors about infidelity in their relationship on an episode of Jada’s Red Table Talk show on Facebook.

The couple displayed a united front, forgiving the indiscretion, and committing to their partnership no matter what happens. For over two decades, people have been attempting to redefine marriage. And as commendable as pledging a lifelong commitment is, there is no difference between that and how God intended for us to approach our marriages.

Marriage used to mean a union between one male and one female, but it’s increasingly becoming a socially constructed concept with multiple meanings. People with nontraditional views of marriage seem to look down on others as closed-minded or inferior when they don’t waver in their traditional beliefs on marriage.

Additionally, the concept of a life partner is gaining traction, as though it supersedes marriage. However, if one looks at how God originally designed marriage, there is no need to create a “better” concept of the dyadic relationship. Perfection can’t be improved upon; it can only be tainted.

In Mark 10, Jesus says, “Let no one split apart what God has joined together.” Those who take this at face value will automatically see the lifelong commitment implication here. The biblical version of marriage isn’t the problem; people have started to consider these sacred words as optional.

Marriage is becoming more about how we feel rather than what we do. If we feel okay with our spouse’s actions on a particular day, we are more likely to want to stay married. If we’re going through a season in our relationship where things seem strained, or we feel disconnected from our spouse, then we look for exit strategies.

Soon, a habit that our spouse has had since we’ve known him becomes magnified, as well as their other flaws. Or we retroactively recall how we never prayed about this marriage in the first place and begin to convince ourselves that this person wasn’t who God intended for us, forgetting how initially, we thanked God for sending us a “soulmate.”

Suddenly, what was a blessing, turns into the biggest mistake that we’ve ever made in our lives. (At least that’s what we tell ourselves.) It isn’t that God’s statutes have changed. We’ve changed our minds and we want to make the Word fit our scenarios.

The Smiths have openly shared how they began to redefine their union during rough patches in their relationship. While some may consider it amazing that this couple has found a way to stay together, others may find the terminology and overall explanation hubristic as it implies that a life partnership somehow transcends God’s plan for marriage. When one enters into a marital relationship with the mentality that there are no exit doors other than death, then the lifetime commitment doesn’t have to be an addendum. It’s built into the fabric of the relationship. When one truly embraces all the components of love, as outlined in 1 Corinthians 13:4–7, there is grace for flaws.

Furthermore, an “entanglement” doesn’t have to be the end of a marriage but could signify the beginning of a new and better one. While marital healing from “entanglements” requires contrition from the entangler and forgiveness from the spouse, couples must learn that infidelity isn’t the problem in a marriage, only a symptom.

Having a life partnership mentality toward marriage is great, but it shouldn’t replace what God has already perfected. Marriage isn’t a meaningless piece of paper or a man-made control mechanism. It’s a God-ordained institution that pre-dates sin. In its heyday, it was flawless. Now that we are inhabitants of this broken world, it’s stained by ideologies and philosophies that attempt to undermine its importance.

A life partnership may be a verbal contract between two people, but a marriage is a covenant between the couple and God. When we realize that, we don’t have to find creative ways to ensure that we stay together because we’ve already decided that we would when we began our journey.

The Marriage Mentality

The Marriage Mentality

Video courtesy of Jamie J. Edwards


RELATED: Marriage and Relationships 101: Pray it, Don’t say it

Last summer, the media couldn’t get enough of the word “entanglement” as actors Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith confronted rumors about infidelity in their relationship on an episode of Jada’s Facebook Red Table Talk show. The couple displayed a united front, forgiving the indiscretion and committing to their partnership no matter what happens.

For over two decades, people have been attempting to redefine marriage. And as commendable as pledging a lifelong commitment is, there is no difference between that and how God intended for us to approach our marriages. Marriage simply used to mean a union between one male and one female, but it is increasingly becoming a socially constructed concept with multiple meanings. People with nontraditional views of marriage seem to look down on others as closed-minded or inferior when they don’t waver in their traditional beliefs on marriage. Additionally, the concept of a life partner is gaining traction as though it supersedes marriage. However, if one looks at how God originally designed marriage, there is no need to create a “better” concept of the dyadic relationship. Perfection cannot be improved upon; it can only be tainted.

In Mark 10, Jesus says, “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Those who take this at face value will automatically see the lifelong commitment implication here. The Biblical version of marriage is not the problem; people have started to consider these sacred words as optional. Marriage is becoming more about how we feel rather than what we do. If we feel okay with our spouse’s actions on a particular day, we are more likely to want to stay married. If we’re going through a season in our relationship where things seem strained, or we feel a disconnect with our spouse, then we look for exit strategies. Soon, a habit that our spouse has had since we’ve known them becomes magnified as well as their other flaws. Or we retroactively recall how we never prayed about this marriage in the first place and begin to convince ourselves that this person was not who God intended for us, forgetting how we’d thanked God for sending us a “soulmate” initially. Suddenly, what was a blessing, turns into the biggest mistake that we’ve ever made in our lives. (At least that’s what we tell ourselves.) It’s not that God’s statutes changed. We’ve changed our minds, and we want to make the Word fit our scenarios.

The Smiths have openly shared how they began to redefine their union during rough patches in their relationship. While some may consider it amazing that this couple has found a way to stay together, others may find the terminology and overall explanation hubristic as it implies that a life partnership somehow transcends God’s plan for marriage. When one enters into a marital relationship with the mentality that there are no exit doors other than death, then the lifetime commitment doesn’t have to be an addendum. It’s built into the fabric of the relationship. When one truly embraces all the components of love as outlined in 1 Corinthians 13:4–7, there is grace for flaws. Furthermore, an “entanglement” doesn’t have to be the end of a marriage but could signify the beginning of a new and better one. While marital healing from “entanglements” requires contrition from the entangler and forgiveness from the spouse, couples must learn that infidelity is not the problem in a marriage, only a symptom.

Having a life partnership mentality toward marriage is great, but it should not replace what God has already perfected. Marriage is not a meaningless piece of paper or a man-made control mechanism. It’s a God-ordained institution that pre-dates sin. In its heyday, it was flawless. Now that we are inhabitants of this broken world, it is stained by ideologies and philosophies that attempt to undermine its importance. A life partnership may be a verbal contract between two people, but a marriage is a covenant between the couple and God. When we realize that, we don’t have to find creative ways to ensure that we stay together because we’ve already decided that we would when we began our journey.

Rooting for Celebrity Marriages

Rooting for Celebrity Marriages

Black celebrity marriages are making headlines this week: musical duo Ashford and Simpson’s for its endurance and Will and Jada Smith’s for its possible breakdown. How important are these relationships to the African American community?

Beautiful Songs Emerge from a Beautiful Relationship

When news broke that Nick Ashford, half of the renowned Motown songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson, died of throat cancer Monday at age 70, not only were the songs he wrote with his wife Valerie Simpson legendary, but so was their 38-year marriage.

The duo wrote some of Motown’s biggest hits for artists like Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, and Chaka Khan, including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” for Ross, “You’re All I Need To Get By” for Gaye and Tammi Terrell, and “I’m Every Woman” for Khan. They also wrote hits for themselves, the best known of which was “Solid As A Rock and, according to the Associated Press (AP), they are credited as co-writers on Amy Winehouse’s “Tears Dry On Their Own.”

Ashford and Simpson met in 1964 at Harlem’s White Rock Baptist Church, USA Today reported.

“They were always comfortable with each other and they made all of us comfortable, because they were comfortable,” Verdine White of Earth, Wind and Fire told AP. “The thing is they were married and working together, that was what was special about them. Everybody admired that.”

“They generated excitement onstage with the tall, leonine Ashford trading harmonies with the sultry Simpson,” Steve Jones wrote at USA Today.

“Their love gave voice to Tammi Terrel and Marvin Gaye,” wrote Oretha Winston at Elev8. “When I was growing up that’s how I learned about the expression of love and true friendship. It was from listening to those songs.”

The Importantance of the Pinkett-Smiths

Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s marriage was in the news too, but only because of conflicting reports that it is in trouble.

Writer Morris W. O’Kelly waxed eloquent in The Atlanta Post on why Will and Jada’s marriage matters:

For whatever many and unfortunate reasons, marriage within the African-American community is the exception, not the rule. You bet, I’m rooting for Will and Jada. The husband is best known for a music and acting career in no way connected to misogyny, drugs and buffoonery. His millions aren’t tainted with the stain of calling women B****s and men N****s, year after year after year. It is what separates him from the likes of a Jay-Z, who at 41 is still as lyrically irresponsible as he was at 21, disrespecting the whole of Black people for a buck. Mind you, this is after his previous career as a drug dealer. It’s not about the money amassed, it’s about the responsibility accepted (or refused) along the way. Integrity matters. Her name is best known for co-starring in TV shows about African-Americans in college (of all things) and running a nursing staff and a host of movies in between the two. These facts speak to the importance of Will and Jada and their substantive contributions.

O’Kelly goes on to add that the couple is the closest thing his generation has to the iconic Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.

What do you think? Are successful Black celebrity marriages important?