Too Sweet? Oh. Too Sweet?
Too Sweet? Too Sweet?!
No. Get off me.
Wake up, baby. It's Nova.
You're dreamin'. It's okay.
Shh, shh, shh.
Shh, shh, shh. Shh.
They was beatin' me.
They... they wouldn't stop.
They wouldn't stop.
You're okay. You're okay.
♪ Dreams never die, take flight ♪
♪ As the world turns ♪
♪ Dreams never die, take flight ♪
♪ As the world turns, keep the colors in the lines ♪
♪ Take flight ♪
♪ Dreams never die ♪
♪ keep the colors in the lines ♪
♪ Keep the colors in the lines ♪
♪ Take flight ♪
Now it has been a week.
I paid $139 for expedited services.
Now where I'm from, expedited means faster than your normal slow-ass service.
Yeah. Yeah. I hear ya.
Y'all need to tighten up over there is all I'm tryin' to say.
What's that all about?
Me and Leanne paid for one of them quickie divorces.
And they're not quick about it.
And I can't pull up on your aunt without some proof.
You ain't never lied.
You know, I never really even noticed it before.
But you sittin' behind this desk?
You look like your Daddy spit you right out.
Got that same look on your face and everything.
What look's that?
Now go and handle this business.
I'ma Holler at ya in a little while.
Hi. You've reached Charley Bordelon West.
I can't come to the phone right now.
Please leave a message.
We gotta figure out this meal deal.
We don't grind, that's 1.5 million worth of cane just bein' left out to rot.
Call me back, Charley.
What do you think?
Good things usually are.
Equipment's not up to date.
That's not gonna cut it.
Well, not now. But I'll... I'll buy new equipment.
You know, I'll... I'll clean it up.
Charley, that'll take you at least 6 months to set up.
By that time, we will have missed harvest.
Come on. We can do it in less time than that.
How much is it?
Owner says the boudreauxs are offering eight.
But he said, if I get closer to nine, it's mine.
But they want an offer by the end of next week.
Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Wait. Nine million dollars?
Charley, farmer loan wouldn't lend you enough money to get through harvest.
How you gonna come up with 9 million dollars in a week?
I have an investor in mind, Frank rovner, the New Orleans stingers owner?
I'm meeting him this afternoon.
He'll go in for half! ...Hopefully.
Tell me why.
'Cause this is beating the boudreauxs at their own game.
They'll never see this coming.
So this is a revenge purchase?
You said I needed to go all in.
Yeah. I meant with the farm.
But you know I'm not a farmer, Remy.
I'm a businesswoman, a CEO, someone in control of their own destiny.
And what I plan to do with this is turn it into my own business.
Yeah. I'm sure the durands had that very same thing in mind.
This parish is littered with abandoned mills and people like you who took on goliath and lost.
No. I've taken on bigger giants than the boudreauxs before and won.
And if you help me, maybe host a potluck for some of those farmers that I met before...
Ah, here we go.
I'm gonna be honest.
Feelin' a little bit used.
That's okay. It's okay.
We can talk about it tonight over dinner and wine.
Are you asking me out on a date?
I guess I am.
Yeah. It's okay.
Also, boogie wants you to come to dinner now that me and you are a thing.
So, wait. You and I are like...
You kiss me all the damn time.
Okay. But wait. He's met me before.
Why does he want me to, uh, come over?
Have you dated a black girl before?
Why are you asking me this?
Does it matter?
You're in the south now.
When you date a black girl, then you meet her Daddy.
He make sure you got manners and put a little fear in you.
I meant to ask you.
Why do you call your Dad "boogie"?
Boogie's my step-Dad.
My real Dad left me when I was little.
But boogie's been way more of a Dad than he ever was.
Have you, um, talked to your Dad?
No. I mean, what's the point?
So he can tell me that he's sorry again?
So he can tell me that I don't understand?
I mean, Kiki, he was sleeping with prostitutes for years, acting like this perfect Dad.
I don't even know who he is anymore.
Micah, your Dad loves you.
And that stuff is just between him and your mom.
Okay, well, it affected me, too.
So why do I have to talk to him to make him feel better?
I don't mean to be all...
Don't apologize for sayin' what you feel.
You sure you can't come over after school?
Not if I wanna pass calculus.
Let me help you study for calculus, then.
You sure you'll remember?
You've been out of school for a while now.
I think it'll all come back, you know, once we start.
It'll start to.
Hey, Nova. What's up?
It's me and Ralph.
Yeah, where are you guys?
At my place.
He came by to tell me about this really impressive idea he has for the harvest without a Landry or boudreaux in sight.
Can't call me back?
Went out to St. James.
They real nice. So, grind wit' 'em.
No. No. St. James is too far.
But I researched a truckin' company that leases out refrigerated trucks, you know, for like produce and stuff.
We could haul our cane in that.
That way the sugar and the cane don't crystallize.
We shouldn't be out nothin' 'cept what, the...
The trucks and the diesel cost, which ain't cheap.
But what other choice we got?
I told you. I'm handling it, Ralph Angel.
You didn't sign anything.
No. But I want to. That's the point.
I told you to wait.
Aren't we partners?
I mean, maybe if you listen.
I'm working on something.
I told you. I've got it handled, you guys.
Just let me get things in order. I've gotta go.
Okay? Bye-bye. Hi.
I know she didn't just hang up.
Yeah, she did.
Ain't nothin' new, though.
If she don't come up with the idea, she don't wanna hear about it.
At least she picked up your phone call.
She sent me straight to voice mail.
I'll get into her.
It's a pretty damn good idea.
Proud of you.
How are you? I'm well.
How's your son? He's doing well.
Good. Uh, please.
Do you want some, uh, water, or...
I'll have what you're having. But I'll take it neat.
A woman after my own heart.
So I think Davis would consider coming to play for the stingers if the offer's competitive.
Oh, I told you. Marquee player like Davis is too rich for my blood.
If I could arrange a sit-down with Davis, would you hear my proposal?
Tell me this... honestly.
Would Davis West thrown down 25, 30 points a game without Felix Evans feeding him the assists?
'Cause before Felix got to the gladiators, Davis wasn't puttin' up those kind of stats.
So you're saying you'd like them both?
I'm saying that's not an option.
But Felix and Davis have all but signed on the dotted line to play together in New York.
Well, you can't compete unless you make an offer.
I'm meeting with Felix tomorrow if I can get his agent to quit jerkin' me around.
Respectfully, Charley, do you have the access and the approvals to even negotiate on Davis' behalf?
He's my husband, Frank.
That answer should be obvious.
And the approvals?
I am the approval, always have been.
Nothing's changed in that department.
Charley, you don't have to rush out.
No, I see I have something to prove to you.
But that's okay.
I've been underestimated before.
It's always a great vantage point in negotiations.
Am I right?
Have a good day, Frank. I'll be in touch.
I look forward to it.
I didn't hear you come in.
I was asleep.
Same ol', same ol'.
Won't let me do anything, say nothin'.
It's all her... all the time.
Can't even do nothin' without her permission, like she runnin' this farm and not me.
You're the one taking care of this place.
But she don't see that.
It doesn't matter what she does.
You're the one up at dawn planting and weeding and taking care of this place day after day after day.
You've accomplished so much around here, Ralph Angel.
Your Daddy would be so proud of you.
I'm proud of you.
You know what you've done. And that's all that matters.
It's Charley. How are you?
Oh, my god. Charley.
So good to hear your voice.
I heard a little rumor that you might be in town.
You know I'm livin' just outside of New Orleans, right?
I forgot your family was livin' out here.
Uh, I got a sister here, too.
I remember. You stayin' with her?
No. Felix and I are stayin' at the W.
You know how it is stayin' with family.
They think you're bougie 'cause you like espresso and your own bathroom.
So while you're in town, we should get dinner, you know, catch up.
Oh, Felix and I are leavin' tomorrow.
Oh, perfect. We can go out tonight, just us girls.
That would be great, Charley.
I'll come to you.
Hotel bar, 7-ish?
[Door opens, closes]
Hey, aunt Vi.
That for me or Hollywood?
Well, I admit I drove by earlier this morning and saw his truck.
I didn't think he was comin' back from the rig until Saturday.
I thought I'd drop by, say hello.
Got back a few days ago.
Sorry, he got back when? Few days ago.
Wood? You got a visitor.
Thought I smelled your macaroni and cheese.
You been back almost a week, and you ain't thought to stop by?
Not to the high yellow or my house?
I can explain.
Come on, aunt Vi. Aunt Vi.
My bad, Wood.
Don't, Hollywood. I'm late for work.
Come on, aunt Vi.
♪ Need someone, oh ♪
♪ Need me through the night ♪
♪ Need someone, oh ♪
Get those divorce papers yet?
Maybe you played this all wrong.
I didn't play it right, that's for damn sure.
♪ I need your love ♪
♪ So bad ♪
I told Felix I would divorce his ass if he signed with Milwaukee.
It's like winter eight months out of the year.
And if you haven't noticed, there's not a lot of black folks livin' there.
Why don't you convince Felix to move here?
He and Davis can play together.
You know they make a powerful combo.
Well, yeah, but...
Or are they already planning that?
It's too early to talk about it.
Oh, you should talk to Davis. I'm sure he'll tell you.
Sorry. Let me grab this.
Oh, my god. I am so, so, so sorry.
So you did stand me up.
Not really. Okay.
So you on your way? No.
Then you stood me up.
And let me tell you something.
I'm lookin' pretty fine if I do say so myself.
I know you are.
Whoa. Whoa. Wait.
Are you out on our date without me?
No. No. I...
I had to meet a friend who flew into town.
And I spaced.
I will make it up to you.
Okay. I gotta go.
I'll call you soon. Bye.
Forgot I had other plans tonight.
You and Davis were the perfect couple.
Honestly, like a fairy-tale.
Isn't there some way you two can work it out?
I know too much now.
I mean, don't you?
How could you go back to Felix?
What do you mean?
Didn't Felix ever tell you what happened that night?
She was a prostitute that extorted money from us?
So you never met with her?
No. We just paid her off like you.
No. I met with her.
So... you know what happened that night?
Just the truth.
You're gonna convince Felix to withdrawal from the New York deal.
I don't want Davis up there.
I want him here, close to Micah.
You refuse to go to Milwaukee.
You wanna be here, close to family, your sister, and your friends, me.
Felix will do what you want.
And this is what you want.
Are you threatening me?
It's all about spin, about reputation.
I am not gonna be blackmailed.
If you don't convince Felix to play in New Orleans, a tape of Melina Gludenian retelling what your husband did to her that night will be on every gossip site you've ever heard of by tomorrow.
I guarantee it'll ruin the Knicks deal.
It'll ruin Felix's career.
And if you're anything like me, it'll ruin your fairy-tale.
I told his cheap ass I didn't play double dutch when I was a girl.
And I don't pay dutch now that I'm a woman.
You shoulda seen his face. He was lookin' stupid.
Pay dutch. You buggin' out.
Well, I don't pay my wait staff to sit around and talk while they're on the clock.
So get up and get back to work.
Uh, what work? Ain't nobody in here.
Well, you better find some work to do.
Because this little open mic night comedy session you got goin' on?
You know you need to get out, girl.
Get your mind off Hollywood.
Dance a little bit. Have some fun.
You'll forget all about him.
Oh, hey, baby.
Put those over in the corner.
Of course, Miss.
Mm, you should come out with us to the juke tonight.
What y'all know about that?
We know enough.
What you got to say about it, Mr. delivery man?
My name's Dale.
Me and a few my boys gon' be there.
We gon' be there, too.
What? Well, I hope you let me buy you beautiful ladies a drink then.
He gon' buy us drinks.
Girl, get to work.
We gon' party.
Come on in.
Mr. Deshawn, Nova Bordelon, "New Orleans' daily news."
Right. Have a seat.
So you wanna know about the life of a public defender.
I'm flattered. But it's...
Actually I'm here about something else.
The interview was just a ruse to get past the guard dogs.
Oh. You can see I'm busy.
I'll be fast.
I'm here about one of your cases.
It's a kid by the name of Devonte Von Clair.
He goes by Too Sweet?
I was told you were his assigned defender.
He's been out on bail for a couple of months.
And he hasn't heard anything back...
No offense, Miss Bordelon, but I don't have a clue who you're talking about.
And I'm not gonna know... Not until his folder works its way up to that stack and that stack over there.
You say that like it's okay.
Look. This isn't some law show where the good guy represents the innocent kid and everyone goes home happy.
In real life, we're so backed up here we can't even represent folks.
We're turning people away.
The cases we do have aren't going to trial for years.
So this kid's supposed to just live in limbo?
Don't know if he can move on with his life or if he's gonna get thrown back in jail?
Do you know what that does to a person?
It's... it's inhumane.
We don't have the money or the manpower to move faster.
It's like purgatory for all of us.
So am i.
And after all these years, she don't give me the time of day?
Like I'm somebody off the streets. No.
No. I deserve better than that.
You right about that.
And I've been good to Vi.
Ain't nobody say you ain't.
Except aunt Vi.
Now ain't that the truth.
Darla: Blue, we've already read three books.
Blue: Please, Mommy, just one more.
Listen to your mom, Blue.
Go to bed.
Enough about me. Uh, what's up with y'all?
What you talkin' 'bout us?
Nothin', you know, it's just... We just...
Don't give me that nothin', nah.
I ain't see you grin this hard since hush was a puppy and tator was a tot.
Things just good.
Man [Rapping on door]: Hey.
Hey, I hear y'all in there.
Boogie, come on in here, boy.
Hey. What's up, boogie?
Hey, Ralph Angel.
Oh. Each time.
Y'all know what goddamn day it is?
All right, now.
So where the party at?
Hey. We gotta live.
Especially you, walkin' 'round with your head all down lookin' like your dog died.
'Cause you sad about Violet? Come on, man.
Let's hit up a place.
I appreciate it, a'ight.
But today just ain't the day.
Hey. You killin' me, Wood.
I'ma go check on Darla and Blue.
Wood, we gon' do this.
Oh. We are.
Hey, get your head in the game.
Go talk to him, boogie.
Get your head in the game.
Now you heard what he said, now.
Don't be makin' us look old in front of young blood here.
There's you over there with that Halloween candy cane shirt.
Okay. So a'ight. Come on, then. A little bit of fun ain't never killed nobody.
Right? It's just one night.
[Hip-hop music playing]
Thank you, baby.
Well, you can't just stand here.
Everybody good? Yeah.
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
All right. That's what I'm talkin' 'bout, man.
Hey. A'ight, man. I'll grab us some drinks.
All right. All right, dude.
I got you, Wood.
You know what I'm drinkin' on, huh?
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I got you.
He's so excited.
Hey, I'm glad you came out, man.
You can't be actin'...
All right. Okay.
I'ma do good. Okay?
A'ight. A'ight. Okay.
Let's see what happenin'.
♪ No, no ♪
♪ Don't walk away, boy ♪
♪ I'll be right there for you ♪
Man, hold up.
You don't wanna do that.
Nah, man... Wood.
Tell boogie I bounced.
Wood. Hold up.
I didn't know you could move like that.
Now you do, Dale.
Night ain't gotta end like this.
Well, uh, me and Roberta, we...
I got my own ride home, Vi.
I got music back at my place.
We could pick up right where we left off.
You know, I had a really nice night.
Mm-hmm. But it's late and I'm goin' home, gettin' in bed by myself.
And I will see you the next delivery date.
Good afternoon, Xavier.
And welcome to our conversation series on social justice.
I'm Melissa Harris-Perry.
And joining me on stage today is Nova Bordelon.
She's an award-winning investigative reporter with the "New Orleans Daily News," and my soeur. Welcome.
Thanks for having me.
Now, Nova, our conversation today is gonna focus on the idea of the journalist as activist.
And looking at your body of work, of which I'm a big fan, you've covered everything from police corruption in low-income communities to the problem of the American migrant workforce.
When you think of your role as a journalist, do you feel a sense of responsibility to take an advocacy position in your work?
I absolutely do.
Uh, I've worked hard to get to place where I can choose the stories I wanna cover.
And it's important for me to reflect humanity in my work.
And so there's definitely an advocacy component in everything that I write.
I think it's critical that you use your platform, whatever that is, uh, blogs, Twitter, social media, uh, whatever, to empower as well as... as educate.
So let's talk about a piece you wrote earlier this year on the...
The for-profit prison complex and...
I understand that you were able to help the young man featured in that story.
His name is Too Sweet.
Yes. That's correct.
Uh, he's been released on bail.
But we still have a huge uphill battle to get his charges dropped.
The public defender's office in Louisiana is woefully underfunded.
Yet they are sure happy to keep the bail money coming in.
It could be years before Too Sweet gets a trial.
But I just want to reiterate his charges are quite serious.
I mean, i... i... Intent to distribute, assault on an officer.
So those are... those are pretty serious charges.
Serious charges if they were true.
Now, regardless, no minor should be held in an adult prison.
They are not equipped to handle the emotional and psychological trauma of prison cultures.
Uh, it's a good point.
That's a form of PTSD that we rarely talk about.
Now I know you're not publicly affiliated with the black lives matter network or movement.
But BLM has really changed the way that civil rights and social justice are articulated and the way they're executed in this country.
But now with one tweet you can move the needle.
So as a journalist, give me your thoughts on the black lives matter movement as a whole.
The... the BLM energy was formally birthed in response to the 2012 acquittal of Trayvon Martin's killer.
And there have been chapters around the world that response to incidents of anti-blackness and state-sanctioned violence against black people.
The movement is for people who are interested in the liberation of black lives.
And yet there is serious criticism of BLM.
What do you make of those critiques, especially of their relationship with law enforcement?
Uh, the... the one criticism that frustrates me the most is this idea that there's a need a leader.
Uh, which is this coded language for meaning that there's no straight, male leader at the helm.
Uh, but truth is civil rights work has been organized by communities of women, queer and, uh, gender nonconforming people of color.
Secondly, there's this misconception that anything pro-black means anti-white.
It doesn't. Anybody who wants to fight for equity and justice should feel empowered to do so.
I mean, reality is law enforcement in this country is built on anti-black racism.
As a community, we need to interrogate our relationship with the police.
It's critical for our survival.
We deserve to be served and protected.
And I want to work hand-in-hand with the brave men and women who agree with that on the force.
'Cause they do exist.
I know that for a fact.
I wanna thank Xavier University for sponsoring and supporting us today, and also for all the folks on Twitter here for being willing to talk about social justice.
Thank you for engaging with us.
Oh. I'm so sick of this. Okay. What number?
It's all good. We got one more. Let's do the last one.
So slope equals rise over run.
Slope M is equal to...
You talkin' 'bout you needin' help.
You gonna be the oldest sophomore...
So this is your study group?
Yeah. Yeah. You remember Kiki, right?
Kiki, mom. And these are her friends, La'tisha and Ceasar.
Hi, Miss West.
Hi, Kiki, and just Charley is okay.
Miss Charley, I follow you on Twitter.
And I love your style.
It's so good to meet you.
Micah, uh, isn't it gettin' a little late?
Well, yeah. We're just gonna finish up a couple problems.
And then we'll be done.
Don't stay up too late.
Good luck on your finals.
Good night. Love you.
Oh, my gosh. Your mom?
That's Miss West for you.
I'm gonna be just like her, too.
All right. Number five.
All right. Focus.
Girl: Right. Right. I got that question.
It just takes me a little bit longer.
Okay? I'm younger than you.
And I already know this stuff.
Kind of like accelerated math.
It's about Micah.
No. No. No. He's fine.
But I'm really worried about him, though.
Well, he's... He's been acting out.
He's hanging with the wrong crowd.
No. He won't listen to me.
He needs you here.
Yes. I do.
You should get down here as soon as you can.
Micah: No. That's a no.
That's a no.
Girl: Thank you. Let him know. Let him know.
[Darla and Ralph Angel conversing]
Hold on for a second. I'll be right back.
Whatcha say, Wood?
Darla don't drink no more.
And I'm havin' trouble finishing this one.
Nah, go ahead.
You headed back to the rig already?
Thought you just got done?
Think if I leave early in the morning I could pick up a shift.
I'll just stay down there, get me a crib.
Ain't no use in rushin' back here if I ain't got nobody, huh?
You heard me?
You know my door's always open to you.
Ain't no askin' needed.
Thank you, man.
You don't need no roommate no more.
You got a new life.
Darla: You okay?
Ralph Angel: I'm all right.
You sure you gotta do this?
Maybe you should tell aunt Vi you're leavin'.
Look, if them divorce papers come here, you just send 'em to me, a'ight?
I'm not even here no more.
You know you're always gonna be my unc', right?
Me and Blue, we gon' come visit all the time.
Oh, I'd like that.
Take care of yourself, Ralph Angel.
Love you, Wood.
Love you, too, partner.
It took three books.
Blue is finally asleep.
I promised to make him blueberry pancakes when I come back in the morning.
So... what are you doing?
Can I have my purse, please?
Maybe you should stay here for the night.
And I'll go to the store in the mornin'.
Moved out today.
We got the place to ourselves.
♪ Hold on tight ♪
♪ Hold on tight ♪
♪ Let me take you far away ♪
♪ Hold on tight ♪
♪ Hold on tight ♪
♪ Hold on tight ♪
You were dazzling on that stage.
It meant a lot to see you there.
It's been too long, for me anyway.
Yeah, for me, too.
What you said...
The world needs more people like you in it.
You believe in Too Sweet. So I do, too.
Due to insufficient evidence, all charges against Too Sweet have been dismissed.
He's a free man.
I have a contact at the D.A.
I just, kind of, called in a favor.
I don't know if I'll ever be able to thank you enough for this.
Don't. You never have to say thank you to me.
I love you.
We can't keep doin' this, fallin' back together again.
I... I can't handle being broken again.
I miss you.
But I can't share you anymore.
I need to move on.
And you're not mine to have.
I left my wife, Nova.
♪ Hoping that things will change ♪
♪ Hoping to lift away ♪