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'An American Marriage' Is A Delicious Read That Challenges Your Belief In 'I Do'

Tayari Jones' latest novel 'An American Marriage' tackles the unexpected ups and downs of marriage.

Tayari Jones' latest novel An American Marriage begins like most marriages, with a robust, blissful and of your own volition "I do," but as the novel progresses, and the secrets unearthed, you the reader will wonder "do I?"

Roy and Celestial did more than just intend, they committed. Four years after graduating from Morehouse and Spelman respectively, the two met again during a chance encounter in Brooklyn and shortly after beginning the sweet yet intricate process of intertwining their lives together. The two wed and for 18 months enjoyed life as newlyweds. Roy, an entrepreneurial man by nature helped Celestial, a carefree artist get her business of handmade dolls off the ground. For one year and six months, Roy and Celestial did more than just intend, they committed.

While Celestial and Roy are visiting Roy's parents, their young marriage gets cut short, when Roy is accused of a crime and sentenced. Their 18 months of marriage gets put up against a 12 year prison sentence and suddenly their commitment to one another is challenged.

Jones doesn't bombard the reader with big words to express small ideas, instead the author uses simple words and simple writing to express the complex emotions that river throughout the book.

An entire chapter is dedicated to just the letters Roy and Celestial send one another. Roy's gentle hubris quickly gets exfoliated to the raw meat of humility when he realizes he has nothing to offer his wife, who, in his unintended absence, has emerged into a successful artist and businesswoman. The needs of a woman, financial, physical and emotional cannot be met from his prison cell and Roy, with a clenched jaw acknowledges this truth, and comes just short of accepting it.

While Roy serves his time, Celestial finds comfort in Andre, her best friend from childhood and also the one who originally introduced Celestial to Roy. Taking another man's wife has never been en vogue, and a love triangle emerges while Roy is in prison, before coming to a head when he’s finally granted his freedom.

An American Marriage proves that to love someone does not mean ownership of that person. Jones also shows that it’s in the time spent together, the routine of it all that helps to solidify any union. Celestial and Roy fell in love by choice, while readers may wonder if Andre and Celestial fell in love out of convenience. Jones makes it clear that both of these men need Celestial and her nurturing healing power, and Celestial knows that to offer it to one would ultimately kill the other.

An American Marriage is complicated, it’s messy, it’s bloody, it’s at your wits end. It’s suicidal, it’s inconvenient, it’s sexual, it whispers the responsibility of obligation. It's heartbroken, it’s angry, it’s entitled, it’s rose colored glasses rubbed raw by the realities of life. An American Marriage makes you question if you're ready to go through the hard times with the right one, and then wonder if you ever can truly know if the one you chose is the right one.

"To have and to hold" and  "'til death do us part" don't don the same attire after reading Tayari Jones' An American Marriage.

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Lil Mo Ticked Off Many After Defending R. Kelly

We're nearly three weeks out from the eye-opening documentary and the post-Surviving R. Kelly saga continues. Yesterday, Taraji P. Henson caught the wrath of the internet when she attempted to compare the misdeeds of R. Kelly and those of disgraced entertainment figurehead Harvey Weinstein. The day before, Erykah Badu was booed by fans at a concert for saying that she extends her prayers to the embattled R&B icon. Now, Lil Mo is the next one to receive sharp looks of disapproval.

The "Superwoman" singer and her husband made a pit stop at Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club to promote their appearance on Marriage Boot Camp, when naturally the topic of R. Kelly came up. Mo did not watch the extensive docu-series and alleges she has never met R. Kelly, but she was steadfast in defending him despite her interviewers' condemnation.

“He helped a bucket list dream of mine come true, I’d never been to [53-year-old Dr.] Dre’s before,” she said. “I refuse to allow this industry or anybody to taint his legacy. You mean to tell me that somebody is all of a sudden this monster? Don’t do that. If something happens to the head of the house, the rest of the family struggles and suffers.”

The thoughts didn't stop there. “I’m not gonna let anybody go out as an abuser. It's nobody's business,” she continued, instead posing the nagging question of where the victim's parents were and why they allowed their children to get caught up.

Of course the Internet let her have it.

I forgot to say this... Can we leave Lil Mo’ in 2001?

— Melly (@MellyJB) January 23, 2019

Lil Mo is on @breakfastclubam talking about how she covered for people that were sexually assaulting other people like that’s loyalty and acceptable...and then has the nerve to cry 😑

— Leslie (@Luhv_Lee) January 23, 2019

Watch the full interview up top.

 

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Kerry Washington To Star In And Produce 'American Son' Netflix Adaptation

Kerry Washington's Broadway banger, American Son, will be making its on-screen debut with Netflix.

Steven Pasquale (The Good Wife), Jeremy Jordan (Supergirl), Eugene Lee (A Soldier’s Play) and Washington will be reprising their groundbreaking roles from the thought-provoking Broadway production. Kenny Leon, who served as the play's original director, will be directing the picture and producing the film alongside the former Scandal actress.

The 41-year-old made the announcement on Monday night (Jan. 21) while appearing on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, where she gushed over her role as Kendra and the play's exploration into an interracial families search for their missing son in a Florida police station.

I love you @jimmyfallon 😍 thanks for letting me come on @FallonTonight and share this thrilling news about #AmericanSonPlay 😍😍😍😍 https://t.co/5sk97I4Co6

— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) January 22, 2019

Netflix’s Vice President of Original Content Cindy Holland said in a statement, “We are honored to work with Kerry Washington, [director] Kenny Leon, [writer] Christopher Demos-Brown and the entire cast to bring this story from the Broadway stage to our members around the world.”

The American Son production will come to a close this Sunday (Jan. 27) after a two month running at the Booth Theatre beginning in Nov. 2018. Watch Kerry Washington gush over American Son below.

 

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Not Sicko Mode: Nick Cannon Says Travis Scott Isn't For The Culture

Nick Cannon takes great issue with Travis Scott performing at the Super Bowl but says for Big Boi, it's okay.

During a sitdown with TMZ's Raquel Harper, the host of Masked Singer said "I'm Kaepernick all day," but said Scott doesn't have enough "cultural equity" to perform during Super Bowl LIII halftime show.

"To me, I call it cultural equity. So we're not mad at Big Boi for performing at the Super Bowl. He's for the people," 38-year-old Cannon explained. "[For Scott] he has to walk gingerly."

Harper followed up and questioned Cannon, to which he further explained having a child with Kylie Jenner also reduced his "cultural equity."

"It's more about truly having integrity in your music and in your art form. The people you choose to interact with. The people you choose to procreate with. That decision wasn't for the culture. But we not mad at you," Cannon said.

Harper reminded Cannon he's dated a few white women in his past, to which Cannon then looked into the camera and shouted: "I love white women."

The New England Patriots will face off against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Feb. 3 for Super Bowl LIII. Maroon 5 along with Travis Scott and Big Boi are set to take the stage at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Out of respect for Colin Kaepernick, several artists declined to perform including Rihanna, Cardi B and JAY-Z who reportedly tried to talk Scott out of it.

After Scott agreed to perform, reports revealed he spoke with Kaepernick about the decision. Kaepernick's longtime girlfriend Nessa Diab took to social media to blast Scott and say it was a lie.

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