I had the pleasure of viewing Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail last Night on television.

I never tire of this character. Although much has been said about Perry’s depiction of this elderly character who is filled with wit and humor, please know that this rendition has a basis in reality.

I think that every Black American family has a Madea.

I swear if I didn’t know any better I would think that Tyler was an unobtrusive observer of my family while I was growing up in Mississippi.

I would often regal my friends with stories of the antics of my grandmother and three other siblings.

Tyler’s creation bears an uncanny resemblance to my grandmother.

I don’t think my grandmother ever completed a sentence without an expletive!!!!

I think her favorite one was B@!&* followed by W&%$#

Besides cursing, criticism and gossiping were her favorite pastimes. Trust me, no one escaped her radar. I do believe that she was the most feared person on our block. It was so bad that the neighborhood pedestrians would cross the street to avoid her.

I don’t mean to demonize my departed grandmother however. She was a pillar of strength for our family. She was the mother figure that I, my brother and two sisters needed.

It is from her example that I suffer fools very lightly. I don’t believe in superficial relationships. With me it is the real deal or nothing at all!!!

For better or worse, I have to say that without a doubt, my grandmother has been the most influential person that has shaped me into who I am.

Grand mom made her transition almost twenty years ago but her larger than life persona still hovers over our family. Almost every time my family communicates, we always remember a funny anecdote or hilarious story about her and laugh until it hurts. I guess some would call this therapy.

Thanks Tyler Perry for Madea. Thanks for highlighting the lives of the southern Black grandmother who always kept it real!!!