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Phaedra on the "Hebrew Slave" Comment

Phaedra explains her statement and fills us in on life with Mr. President.

By Phaedra Parks

As we start our sixth season, I want to thank all of our loyal fans for your continued support. Without you, there would truly be no us. On last night’s episode, we caught up with everyone and were able to catch a glimpse of their life. The reigning theme this season seems to be newness and celebration. NeNe and Gregg are newlyweds; Porsha is a newly liberated single woman; Cynthia and Peter have moved to a new business location; Kandi and Todd are newly engaged; and, Apollo and I have bought a new house and added a new addition to our family, our son whom we fondly call “Mr. President.”

And, of course, what would our show be without a series of new dramas, controversies, and scandals?! I would be remiss if I did not address the comment I made during last night’s episode about “working like a Hebrew slave,” to which I understand that some people took issue. Let me first say that the statement was not in any way meant to be derogatory or disrespectful to any culture. It is a description that is commonly used in reference to the requirement of working long, merciless hours without any end in sight.

I get that we live in a culture where political correctness is expected, especially in polite company, but we also cannot divorce ourselves from our history and the references thereto that have found their way into our speech. By that I do not mean racial and cultural slurs, demeaning or degrading descriptions or other sorts of calculated and hurtful (mis)applications of language. As an African American woman and the descendant of slaves, I do not condone any form of racism or oppression. I most certainly do not take lightly our history of slavery and the battles that were fought, and won, to gain the freedoms that we now enjoy. In fact, much of that history fuels my passion for law and social justice. Nevertheless, I regret any discomfort my use of that description might have caused.Being a new mother is a blessing. I adore our new son, but these first few months have been extremely overwhelming. Between becoming re-acclimated with an infant’s sleep schedule, managing both children, working at the law firm and funeral home while going to school fulltime and completing my new book, there have been many a moment when I have begged Calgon to take me away! While you can never be fully prepared for anything, Mr. President’s birth caught me totally off guard.  He was almost a month early. Two days before he was born I shot my prenatal workout video for eight hours without a hitch. As Kandi’s fiancé, Todd Tucker, produced and directed the video, I joked about going into labor because that was his ultimate fear throughout the shoot. Unbeknownst to us, neither he nor I were that far off the mark. I actually went into labor the next day -- and Todd ended up assisting me to the emergency room where my son was later born. I am very grateful to Todd and Kandi for always being supportive.

[video_clip_url:]Despite my lack of sleep, I am happy to report that I successfully completed my final exams following our son’s birth, and my new book Secrets of the Southern Belle: How to be Nice, Work Hard, Look Pretty, Have Fun, and Never Have an Off Moment is due to be released next week on November 12! For more information on my upcoming book tour and contest please visit Again, thank you for your continued support and prayers. We are most appreciative.


Twitter/Instagram: @PhaedraParks
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