Events/Campaigns, Featured, Pop Culture, Race & Politics

Introducing #AcrossTheFence: A National Conversation Between Family (Based On August Wilson’s Fences)

The screen adaptation of August Wilson’s iconic Fences — starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis — comes to movie theaters on Christmas Day, 2016. This is a historic moment, the first major August production on the big screen.

The play (and the movie) of course, centers on a father, a mother, a son, and their extended family; focusing on all the things said and tragically left unsaid. To promote this theme of family healing, I’m working with Paramount Pictures and Values Partnerships on a campaign called #ACROSSTHEFENCE.

Wednesday, November 30th, we’re sharing healing messages to loved ones, photo dedications, music and art dedications, and even video interviews with loved ones using #ACROSSTHEFENCE. Today, I’ll launch the campaign with a five minute snippet of a conversation I had with my dad.

#AcrossTheFence (Damon’s Dad talks about his college coach) from Damon Young on Vimeo.

Check VSB over the next week for more snippets of my #ACROSSTHEFENCE interview with my dad. The full version will be published November 30th, and I hope you’ll join us in sharing messages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Snapchat with the hashtag #ACROSSTHEFENCE.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at Or don't. Whatever.

  • Mary

    Wonderful, Damon! My parents went to Morehouse and Clark and talk about all the schools your father mentioned. Thanks so much for sharing that.
    We need to hear and have those kinds of conversations.
    And yes, I’m going to see the movie.

  • brothaskeeper

    I can’t wait to see this movie. The preview was too relatable for me.

    • PriceIsRightHorns

      I loved the stage play and I’m looking forward to seeing the film adaptation. I’ll be at the first show on Christmas.

      • Blueberry01

        I’m mad that they pushed up “Hidden Figures” to Christmas, as well! Now, I’m going to have to see both movies to ensure that I contribute to a strong Week 1 opening.

        • cyanic

          Paramount meshed up canceling the early limited release in NY and LA.

          • Blueberry01

            Oh, so they’re aren’t doing that anymore? I wonder why not. I’m sure they could still do it if they wanted.

            • cyanic

              I think it’ll leak before Christmas.They’re better off doing the earlier platform limited engagement as planned.

            • Blue…
              Where’s my platter?

              • Blueberry01


                Where’s the photo of the LOVE statue that you were going to send me?

                • Heres one I took with selective color edit:
                  Can a bruh get a turkey leg or something, maybe some pie at this point.

                  • Blueberry01

                    Ooh! That’s a nice one, pop. Where in Philly is that, exactly?

                    The only one I saw when I went was on the Parkway.

                    Oh, so you want some of my…pie??

                    • That’s the Parkway alright, and they moved it to demo and landscape that space all over. They’ve relocated the fixture across the temporarily.
                      As for your pie…

                    • Blueberry01

                      I went to Made In America and they had two versions of that one and one (in Chinese, I believe).

                      Hmm, something tells me that blueberry pie is your favorite…?

                      (LOL! I’m just joking, pop. You’re an OG on here…I wouldn’t dare try to taste your seasoned chicken. #ILookButIDontTouch)

        • PriceIsRightHorns

          I didn’t realize that they changed the release date. Thanks for the info.

          • Blueberry01

            Honestly, I didn’t know either. I happened to catch a clip of the AMAs and members of the cast were there. So, when they announced them, they stated it was coming out on Christmas.

            I was like ?

        • I don’t mind this. I’ll time the movies for the crappier basketball match ups. Besides, since my daughter is going to be with her mama, mind as well has something to do!

          • Blueberry01


    • Mochasister

      My mother said she saw the trailer and it almost made her cry. She said just from the trailer you could tell the acting was going to be through the roof.

  • I can’t wait to see this. Kudos for this clip! With grand parents that grew up in the deep south, a dad who is a retired policeman from one of the most racist districts in the city, of Philadelphia and a hardworking mom who could truly make a dollar out of 15 cents – I have a wealth of stories like this to tell. It’s from them that I learned soooo many lessons on his to govern myself accordingly.

    • Mochasister

      I bet a lot of us have good stories to tell. Unfortunately, for me a lot of my elders passed when I was younger and didn’t want to hear that “old timey” stuff. I’d give anything to hear them now.

      • “..I’d give anything to hear them now.”
        Funny you should mention that. My Dad had a car just like this – red leather seats, fully loaded. When he would take us for rides in rhe park on the weekend, WE WOULD SCREAM AND CRY, because we were embarrassed, and didn’t wanna ride in the “batman car.”
        Looking back, I wish I had it now.

      • “..I’d give anything to hear them now.”
        Funny you should mention that. My Dad had a car just like this – red leather seats, fully loaded. When he would take us for rides in rhe park on the weekend, WE WOULD SCREAM AND CRY, because we were embarrassed, and didn’t wanna ride in the “batman car.”
        Looking back, I wish I had it now.

        • brothaskeeper

          That is art on wheels. Cleaner than a ‘skeeter’s peter!

          • Yeah, we didn’t know any better. Ignant youngins.

      • My older family will quickly tell an embarrassing story or a tale of such shenanigans that I hope they are lying. There aren’t enough heartwarming stories being told.

        • Sometimes the story changes with each telling, lol.

    • SweetChariot

      Hey Pops. Happy Thanksgiving. Hugs.

    • fedup

      Happy Thanksgiving Pop!!!!

      And I give thanks for these memes!

  • MzGSquared

    This is so fantastic and heartwarming that you’re doing this. Tell these stories! Thank you!

  • Happy Thanksgiving to all! I got my turkey on deck. Anyone want leftovers?

    • Mochasister

      Looks good! Your mom did a good job! ;^)

      • Um, that wasn’t my mom B. I did that. Don’t sleep.

        • Mochasister

          Are you calling me a female dog?

          • Nah. I’m meaning it in the general New York sense of the word B. LOL

            • Mochasister

              All right. Good to know. I was about to get indignant. Well, as indignant as you can get with a total stranger over the internet. You did a good job on the turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • On point Todd!!

    • Send all baked macaroni to my house, please.

      • <<< Official Baked Macaroni Deliverer.
        (Pardon the half pan bruh.)

        • Margaretrroby2

          Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !sf256c:
          On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
          ??;?? http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash346DigitalTrendGetPay$97Hour ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::::!sf256c:….,….

    • brothaskeeper

      That’s some fair fowl! Gobbly Gobbly drop drop it in the pot!

    • TeeChantel

      That’s a good looking bird, Todd.

  • tgtaggie

    That’s cool Damon. I wouldn’t mind seeing more videos about you and your dad just shooting the sh*t on a variety of different topics. I think it would be fun to watch

  • Your dad seems interesting. Is he where you got your word choice skills from?

  • rikyrah

    That was a good conversation. Wish that it was longer.

  • Nortey

    Happy thanksgiving. ??????

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