A Sincere Wish for Love

by Kimberly N. Brown

(special to The Dreher Report

Been talking with a couple of people about the comments made by television talk show host and personality Wendy Williams on Tabitha Brown, actress and vegan chef. Brown made the announcement that she has asked her husband, Chance, a policeman with the Los Angeles Police Department, to retire so he can pursue his dreams. I am not a fan of Wendy Williams, but her comments prove she clearly is scarred deeply by the infidelity of Kevin Hunter, her former husband and manager.

So many of us are broken. No one talks about how to love in a healthy fashion.

I watched the clip of Williams basically calling Tabitha a fool for giving her husband the go ahead to follow his dreams after he stood by her to help her realize her dream. It was an agreement between both parties. After showing Tabitha’s clip on her show, Wendy predicted “this marriage is going to be on real rocky ground in a moment.” She even went so far as to mock Tabitha’s [southern] accent. What tripped me out is that Tabitha is so well loved, secure in her relationship, and grounded in herself and her faith that she didn’t clap back or lash out at Williams. Instead, she put Wendy in her place and gave her what appeared to be a sincere wish for love. She responded, “Wendy, honey, God Bless you … The pain you must be in to feel this way … and I am so sorry. … This is my prayer for you: I pray that love finds you … and holds you tight … I pray that someone will love you enough to see you … when you are not well. …”

So many of us are broken. No one talks about how to love in a healthy fashion. One of my favorite quotations about loving comes from Paul D, an ex-slave in Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved, who searches himself to find the words to express his feelings for Sethe: “Suddenly he remembers Sixo trying to describe what he felt about the Thirty-Mile Woman. She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It’s good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.” Sixo, who was enslaved along with Paul D on Sweet Home plantation, was the original Sapiosexual. He’s not saying that Thirty Mile Woman completes him; he’s saying that she helps him see things clearly — most importantly, she helps him to see his authentic self.

I pray that someone will love you enough to see you … when you are not well. …

~ Tabitha Brown to Wendy Williams

Sixo’s love for the Thirty Mile Woman is different than that tired shit guys talk about when they say they want women to be their “peace” — the passivity of that statement rattles me. It’s a type of nurturing that is one-sided. I prefer the active quality of being a friend to someone’s mind. Life is chaotic and dangerous. There are many pathways to loving — but this way means someone is helping you see yourself the right way, who you ought to be. They are helping you to become the best version of yourself. That’s what Chance did for Tabitha.

What would happen if we developed an ethic of loving where we sought out friendships and romantic relationships that help us to sort each other out? Tabitha Brown made it known–and made it known clearly–that Chance, her husband, helped her to realize the best version of herself. Now, for all of his sacrifice on their journey, she gave him the choice to follow his dreams now that they have made it to the destination. Wendy, your gossip will not–no cannot riff on this kind of love. I join Tabitha in her prayer that love finds you (and finds you soon).

Kimberley Brown, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has published Writing the Black Revolutionary Diva: Women’s Subjectivity and the Decolonizing Text (Indiana UP). She currently is at work on two book-length manuscripts, IncogNegro Stances: Cross-racial Espionage in Contemporary Literature and Film (under contract with University of Mississippi Press) and Through Ebony Eyes: A Black Feminist and Ethical Praxis of Viewing Contemporary Film.

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