It Takes A Village: Proof Great Things Come in Small Packages

23 Feb

It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village

On August 20, 2008, a special screening of the movie, It Takes A Village, was shown at ICE Theater in Chicago.  Written and directed by Ametra Gibson-Self, the movie is proof that great things really do come in small packages.  This “small budget” film exploded with powerful, relevant and timely messages that spoke to people of all races, colors and creeds in the United States.

It Takes A Village is about a father who fights to save his son and his son’s classmates from failing academically in a poor performing school.  Even though the film addresses how school systems are failing our children, it also emphasizes the positive impact of the involvement of fathers in their children’s lives.  Especially their education.  It doesn’t stop there.  Additional themes emerged during the writing and production of this masterpiece:


§      Grandparents raising grandchildren

§      Teen suicide

§      Absent parents in the home

§      Peer pressure

§      Children crying out for help through negative actions & behaviors

§      Violence at school and shootings of students


The messages in It Takes A Village touched my entire being.  As such, I took the liberty of researching these topics to share the depths of the themes presented.  Interestingly, depression plays a role in many of the issues.


Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

According to reports by the U.S. Census Bureau and American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), approximately 5.5 million children are living in households headed by grandparents.  Two out five children do not have either parent.  Substance abuse, mental health disorders, incarcerations, deceased parents and military service are factors that contribute to the involuntary parenthood of many seniors.


Absent Parent(s) in the Home

While the absence of a mother negatively affects a child; having no father in the home is even more tragic.  Reports reveal that over 25 million children are currently living without their biological fathers in the home.  More specifically, 63% of these children are African American; 36% are Hispanic; and 27% are White.  Adolescent boys of all suffer most.


Studies show that children with absent fathers

·        Are more likely to be poor and incarcerated; use drugs; and engage in criminal behavior.

·        Will experience educational, emotional, health and behavioral problems.  Children without fathers are twice as likely to drop out of high school.

·        Are twice as likely to be involved in early sexual activity and seven times more likely to get pregnant in teen years.

·        Are more likely to be child victims of physical and sexual abuse.


Involvement of Fathers in Children’s Lives

On the other hand, fathers involved in their children’s education positively impact their children’s achievement as was shown in the movie.  These children also have healthier self-esteems, physical, emotional and mental health.


Teen Suicide

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young adults and adolescents 15 to 24 years old.  Painfully, it is the fourth leading cause of death of children ages 10 to 14.  Females are more likely to attempt suicide; males are more likely to succeed in their efforts.  Aggressive and disruptive behaviors as well as depression are documented causes that lead to suicide. This information was obtained from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).


School Shootings

In 2008 over 30 Chicago public school students were violently killed.  Most of them were victims of gun violence.  The first shooting occurred in September, at the very beginning of the school year.  Guns were not used in three of the killings.  One student was stabbed; another was beaten with a baseball bat; and another was intentionally run over with a car.  All of the deaths of these young people were senseless. 




As you read, all of the issues Ametra touched upon in It Takes A Village impact all walks of life.  The thought-provoking and powerful messages in her “small budget” film are proof that great things really do come in small packages.  Don’t believe me?  Check it out for yourself.  Click to learn more about the cast, crew and soundtrack of It Takes A Village.








19 Responses to “It Takes A Village: Proof Great Things Come in Small Packages”

  1. Sporty King February 24, 2009 at 5:44 pm #


    Thanks for this thought provoking post. We certainly know it takes a Village to raise a child… then more than the Village to recommit that child toward reaching back and doing the same.

    Still, I don’t totally buy the stats about fathers outside of the home. I think it waters-down the mother’s impact and resourcefulness. My mother kept us exposed to quality male role models after my father left… and these men stayed in my life when I reconnected with my father. The mutual respect my father would share with some of them gave me another lesson toward manhood: the ability to befriend and respect women on a platonic level.

    That lesson is a huge part of my life now, and has allowed me to be in position to influence young boys and girls who get drowned by the media noise that gives them a behavior scapegoat. Every person can be a “plus” in your life. Every missing relationship is not a guaranteed “minus.” Part of the Village experience for our children is in accepting the responsibility for living a productive adult life, NOW. Every story of tragedy can be topped with a testimony. No testimony comes without the first four letters….

    Meanwhile, I recently met a woman who is doing a collection of poems, quips and stories about the African-American Father’s influence. If any of your readers would like to contact her and submit, the eddress is

    Keep up the good work.

    • Marcie February 25, 2009 at 3:52 pm #

      I totally agree with you about the power of mom. There is no other like a mother. And we thank God for you and men like you who are positive male role models in the lives of young men today. As a matter of fact, we appreciate everyone who cares enough to help raise the village.

      If you could have the young lady who does the poem to contact me, she may be my next story.

  2. Ametra Self February 24, 2009 at 8:35 pm #

    I’d like to personally thank Marcie for such a great review. You did a wonderful job breaking down the statistics. I hope that many people will have the opportunity to view It Takes a Village, especially our youth. We plan to book special screenings throughout Illinois and other cities across the country.

    Thanx, Ametra Self

    • Marcie February 25, 2009 at 3:55 pm #

      Ametra, thank you for putting your hard work and heart into It Takes a Village. I know of your challenges and struggles through our interview, but you did it!! I am really proud of you. I look forward to seeing you blow up to Tyler Perry’s level of fame. Keep on keepin’ on.

      I do have one request. Put me on the VIP list. Continue to be a blessing!

  3. Kendall Bell February 24, 2009 at 8:39 pm #

    Thank you for the nice review. I’m happy to have had the opportunity to be a part of this film. My role was Trevelle Scott, the troubled youth who was crying out for the love and support of his father. I am 14-years-old and the messages in the movie were right on time. I hope it helps many children, youth and young adults.

    • Marcie February 25, 2009 at 3:57 pm #

      You did an excellent job and I can’t wait to see you in future films. I pray that you continue to be a blessing to your peers both onscreen and off.

  4. Dorothy Goins February 24, 2009 at 11:33 pm #

    Our youths are facing a different world than what some of us can recall from our own childhood. Though times were hard, in the 70’s and the issues then were drugs, a hippie type society and the growing ills of racism, today our youth face even greater challenges. We need movies like, IT TAKES A VILLAGE to bring to our awareness what still exists and is growing at a rapid pace, absentee fathers, teen suicide, and depression that expands from all that this movie has touched on. We need more filmmakers who are not afraid to raise issues, approach the topics HOLLYWOOD covers up and masks over with sexual exploitation rather than exposure of issues that are continuing to invade and plague our communities. A voice that empowers the community is what IT TAKES A VILLAGE provokes. Great job, AMETRA SELF and cast!

    • Marcie February 25, 2009 at 3:59 pm #

      We need more people like Ametra to speak up and out about issues affecting our communities by all means necessary. She is truly appreciated.

  5. Jackie Russell February 25, 2009 at 10:09 am #

    GREAT Work! Moopy, keep at it remember, it gets stronger and stronger every time you do something. More Confidence and determination.
    Love Ya
    Ms Jack

    • Marcie February 25, 2009 at 3:57 pm #

      I concur.

  6. KD February 25, 2009 at 11:06 am #

    Wow…I can’t wait to see this movie! Thank you so much for sharing not only this film, but the passion this film ignited in you to dig deeper on some of the issues presented and touched on in the film. Thanks for shining a light on things that need to be heard and seen. GOD bless…

    • Marcie February 25, 2009 at 4:00 pm #

      We can’t wait to hear your contribution to the soundtrack.

  7. Bonita Braxton February 26, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

    Congratulations on a job well done, I hope to have an opportunity to see the movie soon. Everyone need to know that these are real issues and not just based on statistics.. Keep up the good work.

    • Marcie February 26, 2009 at 11:35 pm #

      We are all expecting a block buster hit!

  8. shannon cade February 26, 2009 at 7:09 pm #

    Keep at it. Good job and it shows that you have done your research.

    • Marcie February 26, 2009 at 11:36 pm #

      Ametra definitely touched upon a lot of issues that are affecting a whole lotta people. Maybe her film will shed more light on already existing problems.

  9. Ron Misher February 27, 2009 at 10:09 am #

    Excellent, the movie will bring a light to darkness and a common knowledge of a situation that has plagued a people for decades.

    Let’s not forget this poverty of the mind was designed to kill a people, but it can’t stop faith. The focus has been shifted to divide us in such a spiritual matter with a worldly one.

    In the beginning God’s word created light. His word created all things above and under the earth. Then his word said, “Let Us make man in our own image, according to Our likeness: let them have dominion over…”

    This is the truth about the Village’s focus, it was always about community ( Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). God saw that it was good…so he rested. He had his house in order and walked with his children, daily. He never made anything by itself and said it was good…he made man with woman and gave THEM dominion over everything…that is the focus…get THEIR focus and create movies which gives light to darkness for his purpose of community(Christ’s Body).

    The power is in the WORD we speak. Remember, it can and did create the world. And, the evidence just landed in the White House.

    It takes a Village! Bravo, Ametra Self.

    • Marcie February 27, 2009 at 10:56 pm #

      Amen, Mr. Misher!


  1. Today Was An Excellent Day! « - May 15, 2009

    […] This Is How I Feel So, let me tell you what happened.  First, the story I wrote about It Takes A Village Movie on my blog, AS NOT SEEN ON TV, was read on the radio show of Ametra Gibson-Self.  Ametra is also […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: