Phaedra Parks

Phaedra shares her experience working as an attorney and defends her husband's character.

on Oct 11, 20100

Clearly, this is a very important episode to me since it deals with crime and the black community. As an attorney, I have spent my career defending black men. Whether it's a misdemeanor marijuana charge or a felony racketeering charge, it's unfortunate all the same. However, as Malcolm X so eloquently put it: "Stumbling is not falling." Yes, my husband is a convicted non-violent offender, but I did not marry him because of his past, I married him because I love him. I married him because I'm a Christian, and I know that your past does not dictate your future. Be you a Christian, ordinary citizen, or just identify yourself as an American -- this country and the justice system, however flawed it may be, was built on the power of redemption. Charles Dutton was a convicted violent offender before he was the beloved actor, playwright, and director we know him as now. Martha Stewart, Michael Vick, and even Don King are convicted felons who served time and still make a difference. Prison didn't stop Malcolm X, it enlightened him and gave him the perseverance to fight for others. It is because of the difference people like Malcolm X made that I decided to become an attorney, to fight to make the idea of redemption more of a reality than the statistical likelihood of recidivism. 

And speaking of statistics, we all know that headlines can be deceiving. We must be wise and look beyond words and labels for truth, especially when it relates to African-American men and the justice system. If we believe statistics, we would believe that 1 in 3 African-American boys and 1 in 17 African-American girls born in 2001 are at a risk of imprisonment during their lifetime. Indeed, African-American men are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system. The percentage of African-American men in prison is nearly 3 times that of Hispanic men and nearly 7 times that of white men. Despite the fact that African-American men represent only 14% of the population in the U.S., they represent over 40% of the prison population (this figure does not include the number on parole or probation). While I am not glorifying crime or making excuses for my husband or for anyone else, this is the world we live in.

Just as social status, race, nor education can indicate a person's character, neither can having a clean criminal history. I am confident in the depths of my husband's character as I have known him since I was in college. I trust, love, and believe in him. He is a blessing, and each day I am filled with an even stronger sense of gratitude for him. The gossiping about my husband's past fills me with great sorrow. How unfortunate that in this era of hope and change in America, during the term of our first African-American President, instead of being inspired to go out and make a difference, so many of us are still suffering from the "crabs-in-a-barrel syndrome" debasing instead of supporting one another. With so much behind us to celebrate and so much more ahead of us to accomplish, people who are still keen on hating should really be ashamed of themselves!

Phaedra 

124 comments
lesliekay
lesliekay

Very well said... I have grown to love... love you on the show. Keep up the positive and hold your head high... much love to you and your family.

stopthehate-educate
stopthehate-educate

Unfortunately people spend too much time trying to judge others character. The fact is that this woman went to school and her presence as a leader is needed in any community. I'm proud that she is educated and can still be who she is. What? Just because you're educated you should try to act like someone other than who you are? Being educated doesn't mean being classy nor does it make you a leader. It's your role in society, contribution to the next man and dedication to helping others that makes you a leader. It's refreshing to see someone with money act normal for a change. It's sad how everyone can only find the worst in people, even when they are willing to share their world with you for your own entertainment. If she's that bad go watch House Wives of Beverly Hills or something. Go watch folks who spend all day acting ghettoless... And for the sistas hating on sistas..enough is enough! We are all beautiful! Represent for those of us that have been educated. Encourge more education. Come on now!

ms. grands
ms. grands

Phaedra, u are becoming one of my favorites among the housewives..... and ur husband is very handsome.... forget about those who talk about him, everyone has a past so move on with ur lives......

Maria in AZ
Maria in AZ

You are becoming my favorite housewife. I love that your do you your way and don’t care if anyone else likes it. I thought the baby shower was different, but then again so are you. You are a powerful successful woman with everything all of us women want so I wish you all the best and look forward to watching more of you next season.

PiperProsperous
PiperProsperous

Girl, you hubby is fine! I am so glad you stood by him.

Vicki J in Texas
Vicki J in Texas

Kudos for this entry. I agree with your poignant comments. I have held judgment until the end and as I read now, I am fully enjoying all that is Fakedra...lol...and there is nothing FAKE about you Miss Phaedra! You are a classy, sassy, addition to this cast and I hope they drop a few of these mongrels and add some REAL BLACK HOUSEWIVES of ATLANTA! NeNe is so rude,mean girlish and a brute in a dress. It's simply not cute anymore. Sheree has insecurities and doesn't have a real profession. Kandi is ok but where is her Prince charming and how is she displaying healthy black love? Same for Kim and poor poor Cynthia. I felt so bad watching her on screen knowing her daughter was being exposed to her desperate behavior!! Not good at all for any viewer to see. Thanks for an insightful commentary on the penal system. It is often just another form of high tech lynching for many black men and women. Especially those who have been exonerated thanks to the advnced developments of DNA proof these days. You drive the point home -in that Malcolm X, Charles Dutton and many more have gone forward in huge ways. You said in an episode...every saint has a past. Girl, we all gotta sin to get saved! You mentioned Martha Stewart....just think about those of the caucasian persuasian who are never brought before the cameras and are released back into mainstream America only to regain and reclaim their fortunes....just like Martha Stewart. Love love love your cute little bundle of joy.That "mother love" really kicked you in the butt huh??lol...Congrts, on mommyhood, you and your new family are just beautiful! Vicki in Texas

MS.BROWN_98SUGAR
MS.BROWN_98SUGAR

I LOVE PHAEDRA AND APOLLO AND LIL AYDEN,SHE IS ONE OF THE WOMAN ON THE SHOW THAT ACTS LIKE SHE HAS CLASS ABOUT HERSELF(KANDI TO)SOMETIMES SHREE)BUT CONGRATS ON YOUR FAMILY COMING TOGETHER,BEING MARRIED,THE BABY,AND HAVING A GREAT CAREER.

Ashley D. Laws
Ashley D. Laws

I thank God for the courage and the strength you had to post this. I've been with a young man that I've known of for ten years that has been in and out of jail/prison since his teenage years. I see good in him. I believe that this young man has what it takes to succeed, and as long as we are together, I refuse to let him stay down. Thank you for posting this blog.

julissa
julissa

This is just so good that you are defending your husband high props for you my lady

Offended
Offended

Des Moines viewer, I find your comments offensive and judgemental. Why make sweeping statements about black men? Are you a black person? If you are then you should already know the answer to your question about 'why are there so many more black men in prison than other races?' In case you don't, then you should do some research about the judgements handed down based on race, socio-economic status and let's not forget (the lawyer on retainer). How many men of other races get their charges dropped or their records sealed. Do a little research before you start spewing hate. There are many thesis out there about this very issue. Educate yourself.

Tiffanyks
Tiffanyks

Umm, it is crabs in a barrel. That's what most of the country says

livinglifelikeit'sgolden
livinglifelikeit'sgolden

I agreee wholeheartedly, There are several people doing time, but did not do the crime. Innocent people lives are wasting away in a prison. I viewed a story the other day and a man professed his freedom his entire duration in prison. While in prison, his wife received a letter from the IRS. The letter stated that the he pay for wages that he didn't report the prior. Armed with this evidence in hand, this informations freed an innocent man that spent 19 years in prison. How could he work and serve a prison sentence at the same time? There are some things that DNA can't prove. This story revealed that this incident was one of those cases.

Connie Hernandez
Connie Hernandez

this is so true and mrs parks needs to read what you wrote

da brat
da brat

it's crabs in a bucket actually....smdh! When have you ever seen a fish trying to drag another fish back down into a barrel? NEVER....Crabs do it all the time....trying to correct someone and you're wrong as two left shoes....maybe you're trying to say something else. LMAO

MISS NELLIE
MISS NELLIE

Not only is it despicble that Phaedra's appearing on the show is being used as a platform for the African-American community - enough already - but now we must read her statistics. Believe me, no proper Southern gal would have a shower like she did nor avoid the honesty of the length of her pregnancy. AND FOR THE LOVE OF HEAVEN...would THEY ALL learn to speak proper grammar. No amount of education nor social exposure can build the quality of a person unless they speak correctly, conduct themselves with social graces and dress with the quality of good taste.

missbonnie
missbonnie

no dear it is crabs in a barrel, ie crabs crawling all over one another to get out ending up pulling each other down, same as destructive gossip

Laura Grimaldo
Laura Grimaldo

well said!!! You are sooo right! This is my favorite part: "Phaedra, for all your education, you're still ghetto to the core. You think nice cars and possessions give you class and you couldn't be further from the truth. Class comes from the inside and it can't be bought."

Rach2010
Rach2010

:) In swahili there is a saying: Chema chajiuza kibaya chajitembeza. It means that a good thing draws people to it by its own quality and virtue. No need to advertise. A bad thing advertizes itself. Let people see for themselves what you have accomplished, by the way you carry yourself and by your actions. The more you profess "what's good about you" the more phoney you appear to be. Blessings :)

bayoucreole
bayoucreole

You're joking right?! You're quoting Whitney Houston about Bobby Brown...two known crackheads...and you're talking about "Love is where you find it?" Try looking some darned place else!

just me
just me

Its crabs in a barrel. When crabs are grouped together in a barrel and one starts to escape, another will pull it back down with the rest of them. (Although I really don't want to stand up for Phaedra lol)

just sayin'
just sayin'

You are right and wrong at the same time. There are some innocent people in prison we see it everyday especially with new DNA testing. I do believe most people are in jail for crimes they did commit; however, it has been statistically proven that Blacks and Hispanics receive a more severe penalty for the exact same crime their white counterparts commit. Money and race play a big in role in the justice system... Please google or attempt to educate yourself before you weigh in on important topics in a public forum

ms.diva72
ms.diva72

I dont care for this chick at all...where did she come from?/?

Star Madison
Star Madison

this is so true. Phaedra you have a very "stuck up" "Im better than you" attitude. You talk about the other women not having class yet you're on a reality tv show talking mess about others just the same as the one's you talk down about. You speak of the black race moving forward but your attitude is one that holds black women down. When u make something of yourself help another "sistah" out dont go on tv and speak badly about their behavior. Black hating black isn't any better than white/black hating each other.

A.S
A.S

Its crabs in a barrel. she is refering to how crabs will do anything to hold onto and keep any one crab from climbing out, meaning people holding each other down beacuse they are not doing well.

mmbug
mmbug

Phaedra, last night I felt that you were hard on your husband at the dinner table. I feel that your husband is an easy going person and very kind to you. You own no one an explanation, so why keep going on. I am one of his fans.

cckdos
cckdos

It's FISH in a barrel not CRABS in a barrel, at least for most people, maybe you have a different saying, or you might be trying to say something else!!!!!!

des moines viewer
des moines viewer

Regardless of color, the people in prison are there for a reason. They broke the law and got caught. Maybe the question shouldn't be, why are there so many more black men in prison than other races but why do black men commit more crime which results in them getting sent to prison in the first place.

Phaedra, for all your education, you're still ghetto to the core. You think nice cars and possessions give you class and you couldn't be further from the truth. Class comes from the inside and it can't be bought.

And I think your arrogant attitude and sense of entitlement reflects the insecurities of a black women who is clearly not comfortable in her own skin,

Desiree P
Desiree P

I actually agree with this statement for the most part and that's a shame because this midwestern belle hates to be mean.

MPFALL
MPFALL

You can tell from how you act on the show and how you write that you are an intelligent, well-mannered lady. I commend you for living your life for you. You are a role model!

ms.lady
ms.lady

phaedra, As you may already know you dont owe nobody any explanation for who or what you choose to do with your life,who you share it with,and why. Honey chile misery loves company.your husband seems to be a very caring,lovingman.At least he's yours and no 1 else's husband(u feel me).You keep doing you boo..shake them haters off & smile.

imotherothers
imotherothers

Welcome to the show.

I have enjoyed your outlook. However, I hope you will take this as an honest opinion but you come off on the show as someone with an ego that has no room for being open minded and learning from your experience on this show. You have labeled yourself and shown in many ways the strength that you have and that makes you able to have the life you have, however, I hope you will consider this experience a learning one and not just a tool to advertise yourself and validate your self labels.

You actually seem like someone that has a wall up and that if you could get past tha twall you'd be a loyal and wonderful friend. I understand you may not want to open up to the show ladies to the point they could damage anything you have built such as what has happened to the DC wives, however taking time to visit with them and being open is something I hope to see from you.

good luck with your baby. My BFF and her husband are attorneys in OKC and this past year with their new baby has been challenging in many ways. We look forward to seeing how you handle it.

scrckett
scrckett

AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jealousy will give one heartburn!

Momofaym
Momofaym

Oh yes please... let's "embrace them"... are you KIDDING ME? "this would decrease the amount of repeat offenders"... really? You don't think that they would do the crime all over again because we're going to "embrace" them... that's the most ridiculous statement I think I've EVER heard...

Ernestine Ray
Ernestine Ray

I agree with you some peopel just like to add the two cents. She didnt say anything like that. Girl do you and dont worry about opther people.

Mrs. Ford
Mrs. Ford

I would not worry about what others say, you have accomplished things in your life that other can only dream of doing because of their lack of perseverance. Thank God for a loving family great job and beautiful home. We all our guilty of something, the only difference between us and those who have served time is that they got caught. Girl, clear your mind of the negativity and raise your baby and take care of your man.

Yolanda Garcia-Berdecia
Yolanda Garcia-Berdecia

Hi Phoedra, Welcome to the Housewives of Atlanta. Drama has already started, but do not worry sometimes you will laugh with all the other housewives. I hope everything goes well for you, your baby and your husband.

Regards,

Yolanda Garcia Berdecia San Juan, Puerto Rico

cassie:)
cassie:)

please explain why you are having a child? you seemed less than thrilled at the ultrasound. and you have spoken about this child as if it a burden and you wont let it stand in your way. being intelligent and a high paying atty does not make you intelligent in life. why bring a child in this world if you are going to raise him to feel as if you have better things to do? you may need to represent him some day

BAToni
BAToni

Girl, please they are jealous! Especially Kim! He is fine and you are happy that is what matters. They are just turning it on for the camera. Somebody needs to punch Kim in her mouth! Oops, did I say that! That wasn't Christian like. See I can't watch this show it gets me all worked up....lol..... Where is my worship music?...lol.... You have a beautiful life and family God Bless :) Pray on mommy moving in...with you hubby ok

mrs. A,Men,rod
mrs. A,Men,rod

I agree with you about a judging others and their loved ones. I to have a husband that has been to prison and when this leaked at work he was forever blacklisted and is always in people's mouths because of this. Clearly it is none of their business because he has never done anything to them and is great and wonderful husband. Marriage should be able to withstand the good and the bad. We truly love each other and I completly feel for your situation and feel that the women on the show shouldn't judge...You're happy with you husband how happens to have a criminal background and they are unhappy with their "perfect" life. Good luck to your growing family......

John smith
John smith

Oh please she didn't say that last part about police so why are you? Get a life and enjoy the show.

surprised
surprised

Surprised that they were talking about your husband...really. Honey, you probably should have watched this show before joining these ladies. That's what the show is about. I'm sure Apollo is a wonderful man but this is about ratings....so I hope you thought it through.

RealTalk7
RealTalk7

Girl your man is FINE!!!There will always be a Hater in the mist. Everybody has a past just some people got caught while others didn't. Do You BOO :-)

India Monet
India Monet

You know what: I agree with your comment 110%!!!!!!

JNIC
JNIC

You're AMAZING. You want the comments to stop about your husband and his criminal history. You've seen the show, you had to know this would come up. My mother always said, treat others the way you wish to be treated. Perhaps if you stop making comments about your cast mates, they will stop making comments about your husband. Walk with truth.

Renee from Dallas
Renee from Dallas

Phaedra

I think you are very intelligent. Much as NeNe talks about you, she may need you to represent her son. Lets hope not. The statistics on our young black men is reality and it scares me that I am constantly praying for our kidsIt inspires me to reach out more in our community because it starts with the general community. Anyway, stay strong on the show because seems like NeNe is out to get ya girl.

Kelly Kel
Kelly Kel

Mentioning Michael Vick is a great example I must say it in more ways then one, from a black male going to jail to the so call everyday joe that Phaedra so eloquently put it why she represent black males today. I never thought that Michael Vick was innocent the truth, however, is that treating him like a mass murderer over his youthful indiscretion was simply uncalled for. Vick's treatment by the media is nothing new: Every year, there is at least one black male athlete chosen as public enemy number one. This person is villified as if they'd stabbed the pope and shot a newborn baby. Before Vick, there was Randy Moss, Ron Artest, Latrell Sprewell, Barry Bonds, Muhammad Ali, Jack Johnson and others. The funny thing about it is that white athletes also commit crimes, but we are somehow convinced that most of the perpetrators of bad behavior are African American. What you see through the camera lens is largely a function of where the camera is pointed, since the media can only report about .1% of everything that happens at any given time. The camera is usually aimed away from black athletes doing good things, like Myron Rolle, the former Florida State Seminol who passed up on the NFL draft to study at Oxford. Instead, it tends to be pointed toward athletes who do things that embarrass their families. Simultaneously, the 2006 exposure of the drunken chaos at places like Duke University reveals that athletes of all ethnicities get themselves into ridiculous situations. So I can go on for days about this and so could Phaedra but the point is that we can all see where the cycle begins but are you on the end where you can do something about it.

Kelly Kel
Kelly Kel

What part of her blog stated that she was comparing her husband to Malcom X? She stated that Malcom X went to prison and for the time he went to prison did not stop him of becoming who he was meant to be. Whatever sent him to prison in the first place gratefully did not have a disastrous outcome. He became a key figure in our history books. Phaedra also commented on how other key figures in america that went to prison did not let that deter them from becoming who they are today. I think you need to read that over again.

Nesa
Nesa

Hey Phaedra,

Good to see you on the show. Love hearing a black female support black females and males in the community. Don't get caught up in the drama or at least not too much of it. Help a sister out (NeNe), she is a good woman though. She is who she is and has demonstrated much compassion last season and some already.

MoKay
MoKay

"1 in 3 African-American boys and 1 in 17 African-American girls born in 2001 are at a risk of imprisonment during their lifetime. Indeed, African-American men are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system. "

I believe you mean: 1 in 3 African-American boys and 1 in 17 African-American girls born in 2001 are at risk of committing a crime, or putting themselves in a risky situation that will result in going to prison. Last time I checked, our police do not go combing the streets to take people to prison -- not matter what race you are.