28 Days of Black Movies: 5 quotes from ‘New Jack City’ that I use in my parenting journey
“Jack’s New Town.” (Warner Bros.)
I know I know. The idea that Jack’s New Town is a movie that has nothing to do with strong parenting – I consider myself a strong parent – makes no sense. Hell is a movie where a child was picked up and used as a shield during a drive-by…at a wedding where Keith sweatshirt sang. So I understand. I Hear You Watching Me: How the hell do you use quotes from this movie in your parenting journey?
I’m glad you asked. You see, Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes) and G-Money (Allen Payne) and the whole medication management system around them might be made up of terrible people, but this team was a real quote machine. And it turns out that a lot of quotes work well on children or in situations where children are present. Don’t shoot the messenger (not a quote from the movie, beeeteedubs); I’m just here, so I don’t get fined. Moreover, in his heart, Jack’s New Town is a heartfelt story about family and the choices you must make to secure the family legacy. Just kidding, those jerks were all crazy and phew, if that was my family I would change my name and move to El Segundo; I found a wallet there once.
Anyway, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite quotes that I use with my kids in case you need a way to entertain yourself with pop culture while talking to your kids on sound of Cocomelon Where paw patrol screams in the background. Let’s start easy.
1. “RockaBYE BAAAABY!”
The emphasis is all mine. That was Keisha’s catchphrase (Vanessa E. Williams), one of Nino Brown’s henchmen. When Nino told her to leave, she often hit you with the “RockaBYE baby”. Every villain needs a theme song and a catchphrase; one out of two is not bad. Well, it’s by far the one I use the most. When I put my one-year-old to sleep at night, I often tell him that’s how she said it, not because he gets joy from it but because I do. Do not worry; no violence occurs when I say it.
2. “Sit down five dollars before I give change!”
Nino said this to G-Money, who had just been called out for making a major mistake, which ultimately leads to the following quote.
So I never say it out loud – my wife would have a seizure – but I MEAN it out loud every time my kids get up from the table before they’re supposed to or, I don’t know, they just do things that I don’t want them to do when I don’t want them to do them. I stare at them and point with an imaginary sword and say something like, “Hey, sit down, mate!” but in my head it’s Jack’s New Townbaby.
3. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
This is probably one of the most famous quotes in the history of black cinema. I literally have no science to back this up, but it seems fair to me. Anyway, G-Money says this to Nino Brown JUST before Nino kills him. At this point in the film, everything has fallen apart for CMB and Nino is trying to clean up.
I have three little boys, so occasionally when one of them acts like a donkey to the other, I say, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” at them, usually leading to confused stares and questions about “What does that mean, Dad?” Even when I explain, it never quite lands; my children are 6, 5 and 1 years old. But it will happen one day. For now, it’s fun to say it over and over again. I hope one of the kids will tell me one day and I will have won the Pop Cultural Parental Wars: The African American Edition.
4. “We have everything we have!!!”
I like to say that randomly when my kids are mad at each other. It doesn’t mean anything to them yet, but it will one day. G-Money said this to Nino just before Nino smoked him. G-Money was NOT very convincing with his words, as it turns out.
5. “I am not guilty. YOU are the culprit!
Nino said so on the stand. I use this against my kids when they blame me for things I’ve clearly done but have no intention of facing. Let’s say I dropped food on the floor and my kids tell mom or whoever it was me. Yeah, that quote is deeeeeeeeployed.
Panama Jackson is a columnist at the Grio. He writes very dark things and drinks very dark liquors, and is quite classy for a lightweight guy. His greatest accomplishment to date coincides with his darkest accomplishment to date in that he received a phone call from Oprah Winfrey after reading one of her articles (the most important), but he didn’t. Didn’t answer the phone because the caller ID said “Unknown” (Blackest).
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