09-22-2017  8:08 am      •     
The Wake of Vanport
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NEWS BRIEFS

Tim Burgess Inaugurated as 55th Mayor of Seattle

Burgess, a former radio journalist, served as Seattle City Councilmember from 2008 to 2017 ...

Mobile Mammography Van Comes to Health Fair, Oct. 7

Onsite mammograms, music, food, health information, and fun ...

Humboldt Sewer Repair Project Update: September 15, 2017

Environmental Services continues a project to repair more than 3 miles of public sewer pipes ...

NAACP Portland Branch Invites Community to Monthly General Membership Meeting

Meeting takes place from noon to 2 p.m. Sept. 23 ...

Portland to Launch Online Platform to Ease Rental Applications

One App Oregon will reduce barriers to accessing affordable housing for the city's renters ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Trump Can’t Deport the American “Dreamers” Without a Fight

Julianne Malveaux criticizes President Trump’s approach to immigration, the dreamers and DACA. ...

What You Should Know about the Equifax Data Breach

Charlene Crowell, the communications deputy director for the Center for Responsible Lending, reports on the Equifax data breach which...

Jeff Trades an Unknown Known for a Known Known

Jeff Tryens reflects on life in Central Oregon ...

We Must Have A New Poor People's Campaign and Moral Revival

Bishop William J. Barber II pens an exclusive op-ed about the need for a New Poor People's Campaign and Moral Revival. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

By Kam Williams | The Skanner News

Che "Rhymefest" Smith is among the handful of rappers who have actually managed to make it in the music industry. What's even more remarkable is the fact that the Grammy-winning artist also overcame a challenging childhood, having been raised on the rough South Side of Chicago by a single-mom who'd given birth to him while still in her early teens.

Despite his phenomenal success in the music business, one thing that nagged at Rhymefest was why he'd been abandoned by his father, Brian, a man he'd only seen a few times in his entire life, and not at all over the past two decades. He wondered whether his dad ever cared or thought about him? Or might he be dead?

Rhymefest's curiosity was probably piqued because of the guilt he himself felt about having three out-of-wedlock offspring with baby-mamas he'd never committed to.He wanted to understand why he'd perpetuated the cycle of parental neglect, especially since fatherless kids represent 60% of youth suicides, 71% of juvenile incarcerations and 90% of homeless children.

So, first, he proceeded to buy the house that his father grew up in and moved in with his wife, Donnie. Then, after hearing rumors that Brian was a local hobo and an alcoholic, he started scouring the streets of the Windy City for him.

Yes, he did search for and get his dad into rehab right after their tearful reunion. But would the lush find the strength to keep his nose clean with the help of this new lease on life coming in the form of a job, an apartment, and a loving, supportive son?

That is the tension that tugs at your heart while watching In My Father's House, a Prodigal Dad documentary co-directed by Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg. The picture proves to be very compelling as a sociological examination of profound dysfunction, but it's simultaneously a bitter disappointment for anyone expecting a miraculous, happy Hollywood ending.

Unfortunately, Rhymfest just can't get no satisfaction from the father he's craved and loved from afar for as long as he can remember. But at least he continues to flourish professionally, having recently co-written the 2015 Oscar-winning Best Song "Glory" with Common and John Legend for the film Selma.

The movie's message, if any? If you're a successful rap star, you might want to think twice before returning to the ghetto to track down the deadbeat dad you never knew. .

Excellent ★★★★
Rated R for profanity and ethnic slurs
Running time: 93 minutes
Distributor: Arc Entertainment

Carpentry Professionals
Artists Rep An Octoroon
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

MLK Breakfast

The Skanner Photo Archives