Authors Bettina E Washington and Fatima Washington who wrote the book The Cliff Dancer: My Love Affair with Ivan Dixon talk to us
Interviewer: Kinte @KinteF website:
Camera: Meosha Bean @MVB_films
BluntedBeatz “Farewell” – HipHop Instrumental (The Island EP Pt. 4)
In the enthralling tale, BETTY WASHINGTON, a mother of three, recounts her life to us about the trials of being a part of the black elite in the 1960’s. At a time when most black women were trapped by society in roles forced upon them, Betty Washington was able to push past those barriers and enjoy a life of luxury. But that luxury came with a shocking price after she is forced to shoot one of her womanizing husband’s multiple lovers at his office. Certain she will never find love again, fate steps in the form of a then little known actor Ivan Dixon who she sees in a film, A Raisin in the Sun. A love affair birthed by fate, and tested by the fires of Washington’s walk with Christ. It’s a battle that forces Washington to choose between her soulmate and her conscience. ***** Bettina Washington presents a life story about passionate self-discovery that reveals the challenges faced by a Black woman fashioning her own path. With feisty and revealing prose Ms. Washington tells an extraordinary story full of surprising turns that include devastating betrayal, extraordinary love, tragic loss and an ultimate triumphant of spirit. This well crafted autobiography is essential reading for anyone who has ever attempted to pursue an authentic life no matter the cost. -Lisa B. Thompson is the author of the book “Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class” and the play “Single Black Female”.
my name is Bettina Washington and I have dedicated my book forklift answer my love affair with Ivan Dixon to any woman who would fall in love the married man to run don't walk you're on sacred ground I met Ivan Dixon when I saw him in the movie the original movie a raisin in the sun with Sydney 48 he played the part of mr. ask the guy and when I came out of the movie I told my best friend I am in love with mr. a cigar and she said to me Ivan Dixon I didn't even know his name I said yes Ivan Dixon and I'm going to your apartment to use your phone to look in your directory and see if he lives in Los Angeles she said what if you find him what are you gonna do I'm going to tell him I just saw you and raised in the Sun and I'm in love with and he's got to take click up and thank you are very crazy lady about seven months later at the wilshire ebell theatre there was a righteous show and I went to the show with other friends and during intermission when I came out of the ladies room there he stood with great Mars and several other actors back after throwing the time and I became so petrified and looking at him because I was so in love with him I just couldn't move I just kept staring and what brought me back to my senses my husband called me from the door and said come on in you're going to miss the second half and I walked right by I mean not looking at it was up with a friend look at him twelve months later the second variety show Ivan walked up to me during intermission and I still went down afraid to look at him so nervous and he said I know your name no one will help me find you I am listed call me in Pasadena I ran back into the theater it took me three months to get up nerve to call him to get his phone number and when I did he answered the phone and he asked me what took you so long and I told him I had to get the nerve to call you he said he wanted date so I made a date for the next day the next night we went out to Malibu very small restaurant right there the ocean and I was so petrified setting aside this man that I love so madly I couldn't talk I couldn't speak so finally after couple drinks he grabbed my hand and kissed my hand and say what are we gonna do about this big love and we kissed passionately and ended up at a motel on Olympic where he made love to me and then he told me he was married and that was a bit too late so I just want to add its overall it's a story of love passion tragic loss and triumph of spirit that's as your daughter and co-author that's really what I take from the story and it really is a message to women and men that marriage is sacred and you know to to not settle and live your own life not yeah what I do now as an educator retired and I still suck is I'm putting forth the idea that we need to teach our children women and men that marriage is sacred because I didn't know that I was married and though I made a bad decision perhaps if I had been taught that I should never ever enjoy relationship with a married man maybe I were said no but since I was so in love with him I said all what the heck I'll just go with the flow and it was a very beautiful relationship for three years I saw him on the screen and he had these beautiful white teeth very dark skin that and the way that he looked at dynasian's and we talked about between a woman and a man certain about affection ship it now I don't know I've already tried to figure out way or when I came out I was throwing to convince that I was in love it never left even when I turned 75 my daughter gave me a surprise birthday party and we already had women and I said why don't you call and invite Ivan Dixon so that we can have a couple of men and tell him bring his wife or significant other so when she told me she had sent him an invitation I had heart attack I've gotta stick it shouted my sister would think I won't see him again it was very very deep in terms are revealing a lot of emotions that I don't even know that I had and I didn't want to have a daughter I have three daughters own em and three daughters who never ever saw me in a real love relationship because girls and boys have to see their parents in a love relationship and so I say well let me write 11 this youngest one no yes you never saw your mother in a deep love relationship but she very much was very deeply in love with a man who happened to be married at 22 children and I had three at the same time but he was the type man who'd emigrated his wife he loved his wife he made it perfectly clear that he loved her and that he was never ever going to leave her but he also told her he loved me for me the experience has been it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience to write and create something with your parent my mom is definitely the main writer I wrote it with her that's why it's with but to write a book with your mom about love and a deep love as a woman woman to woman is a very special experience that I feel very blessed that I think it's a one-of-a-kind once-in-a-lifetime story and it's a once-in-a-lifetime bonding now as not just mother-daughter but as artists and writers together I think it's I think it's pretty cool sometimes you know she drives me a little crazy because she won't get email so imagine writing something with someone who is not on the internet but that's okay I still love you anyway thank you very much all right he's gonna son my favorite Ivan Dixon film is a raisin in the sun he's just a phenomenal actor he's a phenomenal director the spook who sat by the door but a raisin in the sun is by far one of my favorite films at because of ivan i know sydney's great but Ivan's on screen for just a few scenes and he's he's really magical and he said really gifted actor and there haven't been many more like him we are going to write a book in the future i have written strangers it is finish it's the sequel to the cliff dancer i have also written it's called substitute teachers substitute a comedy I talked to 20 years and then there's one that is entitled tourist appeal now i'm going to do that but she's not going to publish until after I've died I don't know I don't want anybody to know of my life when I was a tourist joke he'll strangers is the next chapter after strand so the next book that we aren't going to do together is called strangers and that's really when I came into existence so we'll leave you with that cliffhanger it's a sequel a sequel a sequel to the cliff to answer film um absolutely i have a film coming out with my producing partner called she's got a plan she's got a plan is a film which is about a woman who gives herself 30 days to make it or break it in hollywood she's a writer director she's at the end of her rope it features faizon love kellita smith golden brooks chris williams Charles Malik Whitfield and so my co-director corey johnson AKA sunspot jonz and i put this film together it's been a labor of love and it hopefully will be in the urban world film festival and you know coming to right into your TV screen soon and other theaters so so really it's a strong film where it we're pleased with it well to get in touch with the cliff dancer we are on facebook and we are facebook.com slash the clip dancer and you can reach my mom oh you got a card let's see where else can you reach me i'm on i'm on twitter fatima underscore wash and i'm on what other social media i'm on instagram at the cliff dance and so reach me on all social media Facebook the cliff dancer Instagram the cliff dancer and Fatima wash on Twitter and I'll hit you back