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

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

Across the Fence


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.

  • PDL – Cape Girl Shero

    Black Friiiiiiiday!!

    • Lmao @ Al Roker this morning…
      “Why do you have to say Black Friday?! Can’t you say something else…!”

      • PDL – Cape Girl Shero

        Black Friday Black Friday Black Friday Black Friday Black Friday

        Tee hee hee :)

        • **prints it on a tee for CGS and releases her into the wilds of the mall**

          • PDL – Cape Girl Shero

            It’s getting crazy too. I’m heading out. Been standing in line. When did skull caps go from 1.99 to 48.00?!?!?!?!?

          • PDL – Cape Girl Shero

            I had a reply that disappeared. I was asking when did skull caps go from 1.99 to 48.00?!?!?!?!?!?

            • brothaskeeper

              When YT people started wearing them.

              • PDL – Cape Girl Shero

                Sho ur right. I remember them costing a couple of bucks at all the spots in the hood.

      • Blueberry01

        LOL! I used to think that, too, until I learned the saying was referring to a business’s profits being in the “black” versus “red”.

        See, even stores know that being black is a good thing!

    • I didn’t get out of bed until 9:30 and it was awesome.

      • Lucky you.
        I’m on my way to work.

        • I don’t even want to think about it. I’m gonna drive to lowes and pick up a bottle of vodka on the way home. I have plenty of house work to do.

        • TeeChantel

          Telework for the WIN!

          • Sigma_Since 93

            I had to make my way into a branch since the vpn wasn’t working right. I snicker to myself at the looks I get from folks as I sit in these clear cubes dressed waaaaay down while they are all dressed up.

            • TeeChantel

              I had some issues with the vpn this morning, but it is working fine now. There was no way I was coming into the office today. It would have been me and one other person there – and she’s a chatterbox!

          • **admiring the footies on Tees pj’s**

            • TeeChantel


              • SweetChariot

                Morning Tee. * Smiles*

      • PDL – Cape Girl Shero

        I was up and at ’em 8:30! Im heading home

    • grownandsexy2

      Lawd. The stuff we went/still go thru. I got stories as we likely all do.

  • grownandsexy2

    All I got is the AA museum is awesome and the Sweet Home Cafe is the truth. My greedy self had 2 entrees. I don’t feel too guilty tho. Shared second entree with granddaughter.

    • TeeChantel

      Hey now. Can’t wait. I’m going in a few weeks!

  • TeeChantel

    I wish this were longer. I loved this conversation between you and your dad. Also, 3:31 made me smile, because the two of you sat exactly the same way, same pose, some hand placement, everything.

  • RewindingtonMaximus

    I’d like to find a way to do this.

    I envy that conversation with your dad. I can’t do this. He’s just not that kind of man with his family.

    I’m sure if you interviewed him, you’d get way more out of him than I ever could.

    I know mending fences is a great thing so I’d like to see more of this.

    • TeeChantel

      I pray you find a way to do this, Rewind :-)

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        Thank you sweetie. I’m just going to let Dad be Dad, and hopefully that amounts to something in the end.

    • cyanic

      My dad rambles with elongated speech. He’s a rolling stone. So there’s a distortion to all the truth he has to share.

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        Has he ever spoken about where his rolling stone escapades put him in life?

        • cyanic

          Oh I feel like a Knowles daughter with his level of tom foolery.

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            Oh damn. That’s crazy.

            My dad is definitely a womanizer but I don’t know what I’d do if I found out I had more siblings.

            • cyanic

              I don’t accept side offspring as I see that as validating his choices outside my mother.

              • Kas

                Family is family. Your half siblings are innocent in all this. Hate their mother(s) if you must.

                • cyanic

                  I don’t hate them. I choose not to have dealings with people who’ll put me in a negative head space by virtue of who they are.

  • TeeChantel

    I’m sitting here having a true heart-to-heart conversation with my mom.

    I love sitting through sessions that open my eyes to realize my parents are real human beings with hopes, dreams, superpowers and flaws.

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      I really do think that is the detriment to us as children, not accepting that our parents aren’t infallible. They made the best decisions they could with what they had at the time (hopefully) and it’s looking forward that helps us see that.

      • TeeChantel

        Absolutely. I asked Mom if she felt like she made mistakes while raising us, and she asmitten felt that she had. Had to reassure her that she did well, she the best she could with what she had, and most would kill to have a mother like her.

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          That was sweet. I’m sure there were moments of insecurities popping up in that discussion but she is who she is, and you appreciate her for that.

      • LMNOP

        It’s just how kids are though.

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          True but many of us take it well into adulthood, for some, up to when they become parents. I get it now, my parents were just human, confused about life the same way I am. But some people never take their parents off the pedestal and fully blame them for how life turned out, despite how old they are currently.

  • miss t-lee

    This reminds me a lot of the frequent chats I have with my Pops out on his back porch.

  • 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:….,…..

    • SweetChariot

      Smile, laugh some more

    • I wish I’d thought of it first…
      ” Collect moments, not things.”

    • kingpinenut

      Go to Ghana now.

    • LMNOP

      Stab the mother fuckers.

      Or maybe something inspirational, like a normal person.

      • SweetChariot

        Lol. Seriously??!!??

        • LMNOP

          I’m sure 17 year old me wouldn’t act on it.

          • SweetChariot

            Hahaha. I can totally relate

      • I’m up voting it because it’s funny.

        • LMNOP

          And not because you approve of time travel violence? lol

          • Please…
            All I need is Will Smith’s flashing forget thingy, and I’d do a drive by slapping from river to river starting at my job.

    • go for the drawls.

    • Face down. Azz up. Thick thighs save lives. Work hard, play harder.

      Still thinking.

    • Cheech

      Dad’s not that dumb.

      • BeautifulSunshine

        Is it because you are a dad? Lol.

        • Cheech

          Haha, no, I realized it long ago.

          One of my favorite quotes is from Mark Twain. Approximated, it is:
          When I was 14, my father was the dumbest man alive.
          When I was 21, I couldn’t believe how much he had learned in just seven years.

    • fedup

      Don’t second guess yourself.

    • brothaskeeper

      Your parents are right.

      • BeautifulSunshine

        Not always

        • More like…

          Are your parents right? Lol

          • BeautifulSunshine

            Most definitely.

    • MsCee

      Dont date his a**

    • MsCee

      Better learn your worth

  • In case you don’t see the DM…

    To the VSB I saw on the #GreySweatPantsChallenge… Hey Big Head. I’m from Miami….

    So mangoes. Lol

    • ???

    • NonyaB?

      Name names! I noticed it trending but saw very few actually adhering to the true spirit of the challenge. ?

      • I got receipts in case he doesn’t come out of hiding. Lol

        I know, I know… objectifying as fuck. #Guilty

        • cakes_and_pies

          As a fellow Rattler, help a sister out.

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