Black Nativity (2013) Script

Sweet little Jesus boy

Silent night You'll get through the night

I heard that when a mother bestows a name on her child, she reveals her hope.

Mine named me Langston, like the poet, Langston Hughes.

She had great hope for me. But whatever dreams she had before... they got deferred in Baltimore.

Been me and her since my first steps on this earth.

My daddy went MIA after my birth.

I used to envy happy families on the street.

After a while, I chose not to see.

Got to stay strong for Mom and me.

Unanswered prayers make you weak.

This right here is a cold, cold town

I don't know why I'm here Or where I am going anymore Mama tried to save me from the street war But I don't need no savior Yo, I'm good Yeah, we 'bout to ride hard I know I'm young, but sometimes I feel old Things I need can't be bought or sold A mother's love or a father's name Nothing heavier than the weight of shame I flip my collar so they can't see The tears fallin' down inside of me Got to roll out, got things to do Lace up, head up, foot down, move Walk like you've got a purpose

I can't let them see me nervous

'Cause this right here is the coldest town You can't let it bring you down

This is my Christmas story.

Yo, yo, yo.

Hey, Ma.

What took you so long?

I ran into Kyle and Snoop.

What's wrong?

We've been evicted?

I thought you were working it out with the bank.

We'd rent it back.

It's hard to get that much together.

So we got to move?

Where will we live, Ma?

Why didn't you tell me? I can help you.

Help me?

You got $5,000? That's what they want before Christmas.

So you're just letting them throw us out?

You have no idea what I had to do just to keep a roof over your head for the past 15 years.

Making sure you got clothes and you're fed. I did that!

And I'm letting them kick us out?


It's Naima.

I need you to take Langston for the holidays.

I'm putting him on the 10 A.M. bus.

He gets into Times Square at 1:15.

He'll have this number and your address.

I hope you get this message.

Who was on the phone?

You're sending me away?

To spend the holidays with your grandparents.

My grandparents? I don't even know them.

They live in Harlem.

What about you?

I got to work. We barely see each other.

So you're sending me off to strangers? They're not strangers.

At Christmas?

No. I ain't going. I ain't leaving you alone.

If I know you're safe, I'll be okay.

I'll come get you as soon as I can.

Langston, I'm just thinking about what's best for you.

I've done everything I can.

Whatever.

This love in my heart Is all I have left That's not enough But it's my best So I'll set you free Pray that you'll fly And come back to me Better than I You've got my mother's eyes And you've got my father's hands And Mama can't teach you Things you can only learn from a man Our hearts beat in sync so I'm gonna be off beat Until the day you come back to me In the meantime I'll be wishing on stars Praying for change And mending my heart In the meantime I'll cry myself awake

'Cause there's no testament Without a test of faith Faith Faith

I look in your eyes And I see myself But you're so much better Be someone else

'Cause I let you down It's time you get up And fight for yourself

'Cause I messed things up You've got my attitude and You've got your daddy's blues I want you to see Love can be faithful and true Our hearts beat in sync so I'm gonna be off beat And hope someday Is sooner than we think In the meantime We'll be wishing on stars Praying for change And mending my heart In the meantime Praying for change And mending my heart Not together, yet never apart Leave the light on for me Promise, baby, I'll be

Hush, little baby, don't say a thing Distance will never come between... us.

Oh...

Every time I look at my mom, I see her dilemma.

I'm the one thing standing between her and being a winner.

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child.

Yo.

I feel you.

When a mother bestows a name on a child... it reveals her hope. Mine named me Isaiah.

Like the prophet.

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child.

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child Sometimes I feel like a motherless child

Right now I feel like a motherless child A long way... from my home

My holidays are hollow days With memories of my mama's face I can see her now, looking at me She smiles But sometimes I feel like a motherless child Motherless child Mama said she'd never leave Motherless child That she'd always be there for me Motherless child Where are you now?

Motherless child

Hush, little baby A long way... from my home Open your eyes.


Damn.


You have reached the Cobbs residence. We're not in now... but please leave us a message. And have a blessed...

What you looking at?

Punk.

You know how to get to Harlem? No?

My man...

I don't have money. I'm sorry.

You know the way to Harlem?

That Way?


Excuse me... where's the phone?

The phone is for guests only. Are you a guest?

We're checking out. Here, use this one.

Excuse me one second.

Hey, hon. I'm still in New York.

The conference just broke up.

I'll be home tonight.

No, don't worry.

No, of course.

I told you, I'm in New York.

Justin, your wallet!

Security! Give me the wallet!

No, wait. Is there a problem?

What you in here for?

I'm talking to you, youngsta.

What they got you for?

Robbery.

A bank or a store?

A wallet.

A wallet?

Did your mama forget to give you your lunch money?

Leave my mama out of it.

I'm just saying...

snatching wallets is weak.

For punks.

Unless you're saying your mama raised a punk.

Know what happened to the last fool who talked about my mama?

Tell me about it.

I stole his wallet.

Langston Cobbs.

Langston?

Like the poet?

You know it.

Reverend, I believe this is the young man you were looking for.

You've made a mistake.

I was told to expect my grandson... not some pickpocket, so anxious to transgress that... rather than wait for his grandparents as instructed... he'd run off and violate the first law he could.

I ain't no damn pickpocket.

I wasn't lifting the guy's wallet, I was giving it back.

This kid jacked my backpack and took all my money.

I was trying to call you.

No one pressed charges. So, we're releasing him into your custody.

Welcome to New York, young man.

Apparently I'm your grandfather.

Where are we?

125th Street.

The main street of Harlem.

Your namesake, Langston Hughes... once said he would rather be a lamppost in Harlem... than the governor of Georgia.

What are you doing?

Hey, Rev. Maria.

Are you being good?

I guess.

Merry Christmas, babe.

My grandson. Nice to meet you.

Maria! Come on, let's do it. Come on.

You're in the middle of the street.

I'm saying hi to the Rev. You're embarrassing.

Would you rather get hit or be embarrassed?


Oh, Lord.

Look at you!

What a terrible way to start your visit. Oh, you poor thing.

Fortunately, Officer Mac is a good friend of the church.

It never hurts to have a friend on the force in case of these... misunderstandings.

We say grace before we eat in this house.

Let us pray.

Lord, bless this food to our use and us to Thy service.

And make us ever mindful of the needs of others for Christ's sake.

Lord Jesus, today we are mindful of the needs of this youth... our grandson, whom Thou, in Thy infinite wisdom, has sent to us.

And be he troubled and in need of guidance... or simply a belt to hold his loose-fitting pants up... allow us the fortitude and patience to set him straight.

For Thou art ever bountiful.

Father God... lead this boy not into temptation, but deliver him from evil.

And allow him to walk in Thy steps down the path of righteousness... and with Your help, obedience.

For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen.

Oh, so...

Langston... to what, besides heavenly grace, do we owe the pleasure of this visit?

She's working over Christmas.

Where is she working these days?

She tends bar Monday through Thursday, and does checkout weekends.

She used to work for the city, but they laid her off.

Does she have anyone to help her... or are you the man of the house?

You guys don't know a thing about us, do you?

No fault of ours.

Then whose fault is it?

May I be excused?

Clear your plate.

Just let him be.


What do you find so amusing?

This place, it's like a museum up here.

A black people museum.

I like to remember where we've come from... and what it's taken to get us where we are.


Read the engraving... in here.

"To C.C. from M.L.K."

Yes.

That's Martin Luther King. Yes.

My father, your great-grandfather... was in King's inner circle.

Look here.

He marched with him in Selma...

Birmingham... and Memphis. I was with him every time.

That's me there.

The year that King died... he asked a few of us children... to come speak at his church in Atlanta.

I was the youngest.

Dr. King felt I spoke so eloquently, he sent me this watch.

This will be yours someday.

I know this is... a big adjustment for you.

For all of us. But I want you to know that we're very happy to have you here.

This is a girl's room, so I hope you don't mind.

What went down with you guys and my mom?

Why don't you talk?

She ran away.

For a long time, we thought she'd come back, but... she couldn't forgive us.

Why?

What'd you do to her?

I think you'll need pajamas, right? Let's see what we have.

These should do for tonight.

If you leave your clothes out, I'll wash them. I'm sorry your bag was stolen.

Good night.


The number you dialed is not in service.

Please check the number and dial again.

Hey, it's Naima. Leave me a message.

Mom, it's me. I'm in New York with them.

I tried the house and the phone was cut off. What's going on?

When are you coming to get me?

Please don't leave me with these people.

We're in this together.

I'll find a way to help you out with everything.

I love you.

Call me.


What are you doing in here?

Trying to call my mom.

But our phone was cut off.

Want to know what's going on?

We're about to lose our home.

They're going to put us out on the street.

You got this tight crib, and all this stuff... and she's struggling.

Why can't you help her?

What kind of parents are you?

We're the broken-hearted kind.

Silent night

Holy night All is calm

Pregnant. Practically homeless.

What some would call a ghetto statistic.

I didn't want that for your mother.

Give this to them.

Sleep in... heavenly peace

Sleep in... heavenly peace

Thank you.


Silent night Holy night Sleeping in... the streets Sleeping in... the streets I ain't try'na be philosophical But it's not logical While some folks freezin' Others chillin' like it's tropical The indifference is mad crazy Like poverty's contagious My hands are dirty, but I'm still worthy Step in my shoes and walk in some mercy They say this is your punishment For such poor judgment You must have lost your mind How you gonna feed it When you're barely eating Get ready for the welfare line I ain't try'na hear it You made the bed, lay in it But I'm way too strong for you to break my spirit Is it me? Am I the cause of all my mother's misery?

This cloud of secrecy on my paternity Did my very birth destroy my whole family?

I'm just a sinner I know who I am Just a beginner I'm not yet a man Send me a signal I'll follow your light Just help me through... this silent night Hush, Child, it'll be all right I'll get you through... this silent night Hush, Child, it'll be all right I'll get you through... this silent night This ain't living I got a mouth to feed But I can't make these ends meet Got an eviction notice But my Lord don't hear my prayers I never been this way The silence is too loud for me Life just ain't fair Is anyone out there? Does anyone care?

Is anyone listening? Is anyone there?

Just let me know I'm part of your plan That you're watching over and know who I am From where we are now Where we are How do we find our way?

Alone in the darkness... with no place to stay Hush, Child, it'll be all right I'll get you through this silent night Silent night Hush, Child, it'll be all right I'll get you through this silent night You'll get through the night Oh, yeah

Sleep... in heavenly peace Sleep in heavenly...


Langston, is that you? Merry Christmas Eve.

You slept late. You going somewhere?

Just for a walk, if that's all right.

Well, this is New York, so walk like you have a purpose.

You can pick up some things from the store for me.

Wait right there.

You okay, sweetie? Yeah, thank you.

Your day could've been a whole lot worse.

You're not from around here, clearly. I'm from Baltimore.

Well, watch where you're going if you want to make it to Christmas.

These cabbies don't play.

Yeah, I can see that.

Merry Christmas. Thank you. You, too.

Gold, silver! Whatever you need, baby, we got it right here.

Yes, sir. All right.

You got what I need, brother.

He took care of you, right?

Step into my office. Come see me.

You need a two piece? What do you need, a two or three piece?

Can I help you find something, young man?

Christmas present for your mother?

Got some lovely items, very affordable.

That's pretty.

Out of your price range.

You buy stuff, too, right?

Just don't bring me no funky Adidas.

That's a lovely watch.

Very rare. Very valuable.

How much can I get for it? It's got to be worth, what?

Five grand?

Oh, it's worth a great deal.

More to its owner than anyone.

This watch belongs to Reverend Cornell Cobbs. It's his prized possession.

See right here?

"To C.C. from M.L.K."?

You know who that is?

Yes, sir. Martin Luther King.

So why don't you tell me how Reverend Cobbs's prized possession got in your jeans pocket?

He's my grandfather.

He gave it to me.

Reverend Cobbs is your grandfather.

You're Naima's boy.

Well, you listen to me, son.

I know your father.

And your grandfather. And my guess is Reverend Cobbs would rather... be buried with this watch clenched in his cold, dead fist than give it to you.

But if by some miracle he ever did pass it on... you guard it with your life, you understand?

You pass it on to your children.

You don't hock it like some crackhead.

Get out of here before I tell him you was here.

Get... out.

Whatever you need, come see your boy!

Your boyfriend left you? Pawn the stuff he bought you.

Lunch money.

If lifting wallets is for chumps, what do you call this? The big time?

This gig is an opportunity, you play it right.

What was you doing in there, buying or selling?

Just looking.

You need something? I got more than you could ever get in a store.

No, I'm good. Thank you.

Anything you can think of, I got it.

I said, I'm straight.

If you change your mind, I'll be right here.

Yeah, whatever.

It's about time. Your grandmother's been waiting for you.

Is it ready?

Tastes good to me.

Okay. You put that there and pour it into the crust.

Mrs. Cobbs?

I don't really know what to call you.

Oh, well... you could try Grandma.

"Grandma" feels weird.

Yes, yes. To me, too.

Maybe we can take our time with it. Let it grow on us?

Okay.

My mom ran away because she got pregnant, right?

That's why she and the Rev don't speak?

Because of me?

No, baby, not because of you.

Your dad was kind of a rascal, pretending to be a gangster, pants hanging below his butt.

He had it rough.

When he was with us, he'd show us his sweet side.

The Reverend thought the devil had his name.

Your grandfather is very proud, in case you hadn't noticed.

Being a prominent minister, he was more than just embarrassed that his daughter was with child.

She was only fifteen.

He wanted to kill the boy.

Threatened to tear him apart with his bare hands.

He kind of put Naima under house arrest.

He wouldn't let him anywhere near her.

But she must have loved him... because one day, we woke up and she was gone.

But my dad left before I was two.

My mom never mentions him or you.

Mistakes were made on everyone's part.

What mistakes? Tell me.

All you need to know is that your grandfather loved your mother... still does, with all his heart.

Anything he did, he did for love.

She was our baby.

The Lord's greatest gift must be to live a life without regrets.

But we're so human.


I'm not perfect But He loves me anyway Wasn't an angel

In my younger days We all have done things That's between us and God There's no better comfort Than being in His arms He loves me...

Still I'm not perfect But he loves me anyway This loneliness fills Every inch of open space But his grace and mercy Give me strength when I am weak And carries me when I can't stand on my own feet He loves me...

Still So glad he loves me...

Still And when I'm down He lifts me up He sees beyond What I've become Lord, lift me up I feel so down Yet he loves... me still So glad He loves me...

Still

How do you keep having faith... when so much bad has happened?

Proof of God's grace is all around you, Langston.

You just have to open your eyes.

Cobbs residence.

I want to speak to my son.

Naima?

Put my son on the phone, please.

Or I'll hang up.

Hold on.

It's for you.

Mama?

I tried calling you.

Are you okay?

I'm fine. I miss you.

I miss you, too. When are you coming?

How are your grandparents?

Mom, when are you coming?

I'll send for you as soon as I can. Send for me?

We have no place to stay.

Don't leave me here.

I can get us the money.

Not from them. I won't take it. Mom, listen.

I have a plan. What kind of plan?

What kind of plan, Langston? Don't do anything stupid.

We'll stay here till I work it out.

I can't do that. You don't understand.

Oh, I understand.

You'd rather leave me here than forgive them.

Langston...

I'm on my way to church.

I'll see you both there later.

What? Church?

Tonight?

You trippin'.

What did you say?

The Reverend's putting on his Christmas show... "Black Nativity".

Well, count me out. I don't do church.

"Choose for yourselves... this day..."

"...which God you will serve."

"But as for me... and my house..."

"But as for me... and my house..."

"...we will serve the Lord."

Whatever.

I'm waiting.

Do you have something of mine?

Do you have something that belongs to me?

Were you going to give it back?

Borrowing it. I see.

I'll see you in church.

Aretha.

Will you make sure he has something decent to wear?

Of course, of course. Go, go, go.

I'll see you there!

You'll just have to open one of your Christmas presents early.

Merry Christmas.

Langston, I know you have a lot on your mind.

And maybe the last thing you want to do is hear somebody preaching.

But this is a very important night for your grandfather.

I know it would mean a lot to him for you to be there.

I got this, Ma.

$100 Knicks win the championship. I ain't rollin'.

Merry Christmas. See you tomorrow.

Yo!

Lunch Money.

Last-minute Christmas shopping? You're late.

What you said, about buying more than what's in the store?

All it takes is money.

What if I needed a gun?

Meet me here tonight at ten.

A'ight.

There you are. Where were you?

I was looking all over for you.

We don't want to be late.

I was just taking a walk.

A walk?

Well, since you feel like stretching your legs, let's walk to church. It's not that far.

Grandma, what happened to my father? Is he dead or alive?

Somewhere in between, I expect The guy at the pawnshop said he knew him.

Pawnshop? What on earth were you doing in there?

I was getting a present for my mom.

I told the guy I was your grandson and he said he knew my father.

A lot of shady people hang around pawnshops... that one in particular. You stay away from there.

You can't tell me what to do.

Listen to me. You're my grandson and I love you.

The Reverend and I would do anything for you.

And your mother. All she has to do is ask.

She won't ask. You know she won't.

It's fine. We'll manage.

This is it.

This is your granddad's church.

Let's get inside. We're late.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Here, sweetheart, take this.

Just can't stop praisin' His name And I just can't stop praisin' His name His name His name His name Name Jesus El Shaddai Immanuel Prince of peace Yeshua Adonai Lion of Judah You sit here so you can see the show and I'll come get you after.

And I just can't stop praisin' His name His name His name His name Name Redeemer!

Deliverer!

Savior!

Only begotten son!

Jehovah!

The Great I Am! The King of Kings!

The Son of Man!

I can't stop praisin' His name I just can't stop... praisin' His name His name Jesus.

Jesus.

Welcome! Welcome, all!

Excuse me, can we sit here?

Welcome, Catholic. Welcome, Protestant.

Sorry, this seat's taken.

Let's go. Don't be like that.

Welcome Church of God, Church of God in Christ, Pentecostal!

Whoever you are, welcome to the Holy Resurrection Baptist Church!

Hey, guys.

Take your seats.

We have very important business to attend to.

I said, we have very important business to attend to.

We are here tonight... on very important business.

Because we are here... to praise the Lord.

How do we praise the Lord?

Hallelujah!

I wish you could see yourselves from here, 'cause you look so beautiful praisin' the Lord.

We are here to praise the Lord because... today He sent His only son.

Today the Lord is come!

Good people... let me tell the story.

Let me spread the gospel.


Yes, Reverend Cobbs, yes!

Jesus, You're worthy of the highest praise

According to the word of God... according to my brother Luke...

it is said that just before the beginning of the common age... that all were called by Caesar Augustus... that is, the leader... and this leader said we, the state... we have no money.

Therefore... you must be taxed.

Not me.

We can't run from the tax man!

I'm running.

But I'm still standing still. He's on my back.

I get my help from my beautiful wife.

My lovely wife, who has protected me, helped me and guided me through troubles and problems.

She takes care of me in so many ways.

I am blessed.

And all went to be taxed, each to his own city.

And Joseph went up from Galilee... out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea... unto the city of David... which is called...

Bethlehem!

What's it called?

Bethlehem!

So Joseph came forth... out of Bethlehem.

And he brought his wife, Mary.

Mary was just a teenage girl... but she was big with child.

She was a teenager!

And she was great... great with child.

And her time was coming near.

Help me praise the Lord this evening all the way into Christmas morning.

Stay with me now as we go on this journey... because we are going to a place where Christ was born.

Where are we going?

Bethlehem

Bethlehem.

The place where Christ was born.

Bethlehem.

The special city where Joseph brought Mary... to bring the Savior of the world.

Oh, Bethlehem

Oh, Bethlehem

Help!

Hey, hey! My girl, she's in labor! A little help, please.

Right now? Yes, right now.

Are you all right?

We got it.

We have to find somewhere to go.

It was difficult times then. They couldn't find anyplace... to take them in.

They couldn't even find a place to stay!

There was no Holiday Inn!

No Hampton Inn, no Ramada, no Motel Six!

No room in all the great city of Bethlehem.

No room for Mary anywhere.

The night is late, the air is cold.

And the doors are locked.

Is anyone out there? Does anyone care?

Is anyone listening? Is anyone there?

This girl's about to give birth!

We got no place to go! I need help.

Lunch Money.

Is that you?

Langston!

He's going to help us.

Sleep in... heavenly peace.

Just come in here.

Just relax. Just relax.

Lay down here.

Please.

Joseph!

Fear not.

For behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy... which shall be to all people.

For unto you, a Savior is born.

Sweet... little Jesus boy

They made Him born in a manger

Sweet little... holy child They didn't know... who you were

They didn't know You'd come... to save us, Lord Take away... our sins

Our eyes... were blind We could not see

And we didn't know... who...

You were For unto us... a child is born... and His name shall be called...

Wonderful.

The Prince of peace.

Jesus.

And the people came to see Him, guided by a star.

There's a star in the East... on Christmas morn Rise up, shepherd, and follow It will lead you to the place Where the Savior's born Rise up, shepherd, and follow Follow Follow Rise up, shepherd, and follow Follow the star... of Bethlehem Rise up, shepherd... and follow

If you take a good heed... to the angel's words Rise up, shepherd, and follow You'll forget your flocks You'll forget your herds Rise up, shepherd, and follow Follow the Star of Bethlehem Rise up, shepherd, rise...

and follow

Rise up.

Rise up Rise up Yeah, I'm the noble one Obi-Wan Kenobi one Drunk mind speak the sober tongue About the Holy One Spread the word, y'all Christ is born The devil's rule over Earth now is soon gone So let the myrrh frankincense burn Y'all been warned Two thousand years ago Now angels sound a horn No crown of thorns Bow down, praise him New God flow now but my style's amazin'

The re-fo so la-ti-do My army suit's my tuxedo I'm a ghetto prophet to my people A ghetto priest Adonis Criminal mind but at least I'm honest So I seek what the Savior promised Then I climb where I stand the highest So I can tell it to every man, woman and child What the time is We sendin' this to all nations The birth of Christ calls for a celebration Rise up Rise up

Rise up and follow, the Lord is come Rise up, shepherd Rise Rise up, shepherd Rise up, shepherd Rise up, shepherd, rise

Jesus was born... to heal us... wash us from our sins, from our pains... in your time of crisis.

In your deepest despair. When the hour is late and the rent is due.

When you think there's nothing more you can do... let your faith lead you through.

Lord, I need...

Fix me... fix me... fix me Lord, I need...

You to fix me Oh, Jesus Fix me for my long white robe...

Lord

And fix me for my dying bed... my dying bed

Lord, fix me for... my lyin'... my lyin' ways Lord, come on and fix me

In the midnight hour

Fix me Come on, come on

Lord Mama.

That's why Christ was born.

Christ was born to turn water into wine.

To heal the sick. Raise the dead.

To make the lion lay down with the lamb. The mighty to be meek.

And the meek... to rise up.

If Christ can do all that, why can't He fix your relationship with my mom?

That's why He came.

When you're feeling down. That's when you need God the most.

And know that that's why Christ was born.

To save you.

Jesus was born to redeem mankind.

He gave Himself... a ransom... for all.

To forgive us our sins... and wash us clean.

But you have to want to be redeemed!

I need...

I need your power, Lord So come on and fix me

Lord, I need...

Shortly arriving in Times Square.

Fix me

Lunch Money, what up, man?

I thought you got caught up in church and wouldn't make it.

They can pray all they want.

It ain't for me.

Ain't no miracle, it's just money. Who got it and who ain't.

You get what I asked for?

Why don't you tell me what you need it for?

That's my business. All you got to know is I need it.

Now you got it or not, man?

I got it.

There's a lot of different guns for different occasions.

And I'm sure cost is a factor.

You can drop between a buck fifty up to 5 G's.

Let's stay on the low end. What do you recommend?

A Davis 380. It's practical, inexpensive.

Does the trick in most situations.

It's what I carry.

Relax, Lunch Money.

I ain't shot nobody in a minute.

Can I see it?


Taxi!

I'm going to Harlem. Convent Avenue.

You ever held a gun before?

You know what'll happen if you're caught carrying?

I won't get caught.

How many fools have I heard say that?

You remind me of somebody, Lunch Money.

Another young punk thought he was hard.

Who's the punk now?

Open the case.

Open the case!

I got to get the key.

I'm just getting the key.

That one, there.

Pull it out.

What do you think it's worth?

About the time you'll get behind bars.

Put it on the counter. I want what's in the register, too.

No.

You trying to die tonight?

Open the damn register!

"What happens to a dream deferred?"

"Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?"

"Or fester like a sore... And then run?"

"Does it stink like rotten meat?"

"Or crust and sugar over... like a syrupy sweet?"

"Maybe it just sags Like a heavy load."

"Or does it explode?"

I told you to shut up.

It's a famous poem... by the great Langston Hughes.

Your mother loved him. Don't talk about my ma...

What?

What did you say?

She loved him so much... we named our son after him.

No.

Not you.

You're not my father.

That's why I asked you to meet me here.

When I first saw you... there was something about you I recognized.

You remind me of myself, when I was young.

Lost. Vulnerable.

At every fork, taking the wrong turn.

When we was in that cell... officer said your name.

No, I'm nothing like you. I'm nothing like you!

You criminal! You blood-sucking scumbag!

Preying on poor people with a little cash.

And you say that here?

Waving a gun in my face?

About to wreck your whole life like I did?

You abandoned us.

I did worse than that.

I sold my soul.

And your grandfather gave me an excuse to do it.

What'd he do?

Tell me what he did.

You know where he's at. Why don't you ask him?

Let's go.

Freeze! Police! Drop the gun!

On your knees! Don't shoot! That's my son!

We were just having a heated conversation! The gun's empty! Check it!

He's just trying to get me to go to the church.

He's asking me why I left him and his mother when he was a kid! Don't hurt him!

That's my son.

What were you thinking? You should be ashamed of yourself!

If anybody else on my force was here, this would have ended very differently.

Officer.

Let him do what he came here to do.

Stop right here.


Mama?

Oh, my God.

Oh, God.

Are you in trouble? Where are you taking him?

He had an altercation with his father.

I'm taking him to the church.

His father?

Tyson?

What have you done to my son?

What did you get him mixed up in?

He asked me questions.

I'm trying to get them answered.

That's it. We're going inside the church. Come on.

Langston, I can't go in there.

Yes, you can.

I want you to go home and practice love.

Practice love on your family.

Practice love on your children.

Love your parents.

Love your neighbors.

And pretty soon, the hardness in your heart will melt and... you will be able to love even your enemies.

Because love is the most creative power in the universe.

Naima!

My baby girl.

Reverend, I got something to ask you.

I got my mother and father in front of you.

And I want to know what happened.

I couldn't bear it.

I couldn't bear to lose you, Naima.

I couldn't bear it.

What'd you do?

I bribed him... to leave her.

I paid him five thousand dollars.

That's all I was worth to you?

All my life, I've tried to figure out what I did not to deserve a father.

And you left me for five G's?

I was trying to take care of you and your mother.

But I was a boy.

Not a man. Or a father.

I got caught up with some bad people in the streets.

Had some debts.

Your grandfather gave me money... and in return... he made me swear to stay out of your lives.

And I agreed.

You took my father away from me.

I thought she'd come home.

That was the plan.

The plan was that I would... show her Tyson's true colors.

And then she would come back.

But she found out.

And the true colors that she saw... were mine.

I hope you never know what it feels like to spend your whole life regretting... one shameful act.

Naima?

Naima. Please.

I want to say, in front of God...

Naima, in front of this whole congregation... that I'm so sorry.

I'm so sorry for meddling in your life.

Maybe you were right.

Maybe she was better off without me.

But I wasn't better off without you.

I had one shot at happiness.

And I messed it up.

Yeah, you messed it up.

I had your child.

I trusted you.

I trusted all of you.

Langston, we're going. Where?

We have no place to go. I don't know.

But wherever I'm going, I'm taking you with me.

This isn't just about you!

This could be what I've been waiting for my whole life.

Don't you see?

We're all here.

Right now.

In this house!

You and Dad.

Grandma and Granddad, family I didn't even know I had.

I didn't even know I had this!

No. No!

I'm not letting you take this opportunity away from me!

No.

This is my Christmas miracle.

It's time to forgive, Ma.

It's time to be redeemed.

And it's time to come home.


Praise Jesus.

Ten thousand times I prayed for this miracle.

I love you so much. I love you, too.

I'm sorry.

God has... not promised me... sunshine That's not the way... it's going to be But a... little rain...

mixed with...

God's sunshine A little pain Makes me appreciate... the good times Be...

grateful God desires... to feel... your longings Every... pain that... you feel He feels them... just like you But He can't... afford to let you feel... only good

Then you can't appreciate... the good times

Be... grateful Be grateful Be grateful

'Cause there's someone else... who would love to be in your shoes Be grateful

God said in His word That He would never forsake you Be grateful

God said in His word That He would never leave you Be grateful Grateful for what you got Be grateful Be grateful for what you've got And everything you're not Be grateful Grateful... for everything that you've got And everything that you're not So grateful

Got to be grateful For everything you've got Grateful You got to be grateful... for what you've got Be grateful

For it Will... be all right

Merry Christmas, Lunch Money.

Merry Christmas.

Ma, can we stay? Please?

As long as your grandparents will have us. Stay as long as you like.

You can stay forever.

It's your home. Always.

Always

Always

We all know sometimes life's hates and troubles Can make you wish you were born In another time and space But you can bet your life Times that and twice its double That God knew exactly Where He wanted you to be placed So make sure when you say you're in it but not of it You're not helping to make this earth a place sometimes called Hell Change your words into truth And then change that truth into love And maybe our children's grandchildren And their great-grandchildren will tell Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky Until the ocean covers every mountain high Until the dolphin flies and parrots live at sea Until we dream of life and life becomes a dream Until the day is night and night becomes the day Until the trees and seas just up and fly away Until the day that 8 times 8 times 8 is four Until the day that is the day that are no more Always

Always Always Always Always

Always

Always Always