Chuck Creekmur Open Letter To Denzel Washington

An Open Letter To Denzel Washington

This story was originally posted on as “Pieces Of A Man By Chuck Creekmur: Dear Denzel Washington.”

Denzel Washington is at the top of the list.

“What list,” you’re asking yourself with your inside voice. I know. Well, I have a very short list of people that I look up to and, quite frankly, serve as faux role models in this world of entertainment and celebrity. To be honest, I like how these gentlemen have aged and maintained their style. Denzel is the number one dude, along with others like Clooney, Will and even Tom Cruise.

Presently, the ubiquitously classic Mr. Washington is featured on the cover of the style issue of GQ magazine. I was one of the first people to send a tweet out a couple of weeks ago – in the most manly way possible – gushing over the coolness of the cover.

The glorious cover touted Denzel, almost 60, with his hair all salt-and-peppery and in a suit as sharp as a ninja’s blade. Inside, the feature story confirmed all that we already know about Denzel: He’s the modern Sidney, Cos, and Harry Belafonte. He is known as an African-American icon and the ultimate man of distinction.

But, since I sent that tweet out, something has nagged me and the only way I could shake it was to write this letter to Mr. Washington:

Dear Denzel,
I hope you don’t mind me using your first name like that. But, I’ve been following you for quite some time. I feel like I know you on some level. I love the moves you’ve made and even more how you’ve aged. Grace is a fleeting trait with just about everybody. But, I’ve got to hand it to you … you’re that dude. We never got to meet, but we almost did at boxing legend Butch Lewis’ funeral in my hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.

But, I’m writing you about something else … frankly, something that concerns me. It was your closing remark in your GQ cover story, where you talked about Black men. You said:

“Take responsibility. One of the things that saddens me the most about my people is fathers that don’t take care of their sons and daughters. And you can’t blame that on The Man or getting frisked. Take responsibility. Look in the mirror and say, “What can I do better?” There is opportunity; you can make it. Whatever it is that you choose, be the best at it. You have an African-American president. You can do it. But take responsibility. Put your slippers way under your bed so when you get up in the morning, you have to get on your knees to find them. And while you’re down there, start your day with prayer. Ask for wisdom. Ask for understanding. I’m not telling you what religion to be, but work on your spirit. You know, mind, body, and spirit. Imagine—work the brain muscle. Keep the body in tune—it’s your temple. All things in moderation. Continue to search. That’s the best part of life for me—continue to try to be the best man.”

Now, I’d like you to take a look at this picture I took in Cincinnati, OH.

(Via: Chuck Creekmur / Instagram)

I thought of you when I snapped it outside of Elementz, a venue dedicated to helping urban kids (keeping it real: budding Black men) on the right path. This young brother was with this beautiful girl, who I assume is his daughter. She never strayed far from him. She seemed happy. He seemed deep in thought, stressed even. This image prompted me to write this letter.

I work with a number of Black men of all ages, backgrounds and social statuses with varying degrees of influence. We huddle up often in support of each other. We build on how to be better men, better fathers, better significant others … just better. This particular event we spent a full day talking to folks about making change in their community through the process of voting, particularly on a local level.

Click here to continue reading “Dear Denzel Washington” at

  • mike malarkey

    nigga u gay….

    • That’s ya pop pop.

      • mike malarkey

        you writing open love letters to denzel washington…. HOMOSEXUAL!!! stalker shit……

      • mike malarkey


  • Galactus

    LMAO! This Is… I can’t even… LOL Dudes showcasing their eternal affection for denzel is MAD SUSPECT. And this is the dude who runs this website?? CTFU Man, Ya’ll really let the cat out the bag on this one….

    • Really? Suspect? You must be insecure about yourself then, playboy. I admire lots of men from Steve Jobs to Jay-Z to Obama to people from around the way and none of it makes me question my sexuality. Too bad you couldn’t actually read the story and get the message in it, but exposed yourself way more than you realize.

      • mike malarkey

        tyler perry looking ass nigga

      • Nah….but he do look like Ray J though!

      • Galactus

        I’m glad you came down to talk to us. That’s cool you admire these people, very successful important people, who, bougii people hold at a high regard. You do come across stanish, hence the assumption on your sexual orientation, but i will take your word for it since you were man enough to come down and defend yourself. But seriously chuck. Stop worrying about what other people think and FIX THIS WEBSITE.

    • mike malarkey

      right but niggas aint listening

  • VJ

    Someone write an intelligent piece, something positive and all you get out of it is “he’s gay”? I think you’re the people Denzel is talking to when he says “step it up”… This article is completely lost on idiots like yourselves.. I can’t believe someone could be as dumb and ignorant as you’ve shown yourselves to go read some rumours about Gucci Mane and whatever dessert he’s decided to tattoo to his face now..I’m sure that will be more on your level @mikemalarkey:disqus @disqus_m0D73QWnfp:disqus

    • mike malarkey

      he aint telling me to step it up because i aint got no kids and i dont need denzel to tell me to take care of my kids if i had em.. i handle my biz slim… but this “open letter” is pretty damn gay….. some stan shit… and you talk about me reading rumors because its more of my level but your on the same site that promotes the same bs u hate… so why are you on here?

      • VJ

        Not saying I don’t read the rumours, what I’m saying is that you read the article and that is all you got out of it.. that he’s gay.. seems the point of the letter was lost on you.. hence why I remarked on Gucci, as it may be more of what you are looking for, an idiot with an ice cream on his face.. yes, Chuck told Denzil of his admiration of his work and the way that he has carried himself over the years but I don’t get where it’s gay on or the level of Stan.. maybe the gay part went over my head.. An the main part where Chuck mentions his admiration is the first couple of paragraphs after which he goes on to make his main point regarding a remark the Denzel made.. but I guess you think telling an elder that he has been a positive influence is gay.. in which case, that’s just stupid.. I don’t get how that compares to Stan.. was it that it was an “open letter”?

      • mike malarkey

        well stan did write eminem and “open letter” too right. and when i read this this was the first thought that came to my mind… the stan video…. and it showed how the STAN was gay and obsessed with eminem. riddle me this….. if i write an “open letter” saying

        Dear VJ,

        I hope you don’t mind me using your first name like that. But, I’ve been
        following you for quite some time. I feel like I know you on some
        level. I love the moves you’ve made and even more how you’ve aged. Grace
        is a fleeting trait with just about everybody. But, I’ve got to hand it
        to you … you’re that dude. We never got to meet, but we almost did during a debate over AHH.

        Now if I wrote that to you you mean to tell me that you wouldnt think I was gay and a friggin weirdo?

        And at the end of his “article” he offered no resolution. He didnt say stop downing all black fathers. he didnt say more black fathers are stepping up. No he just ended it with what he was doing in HIS community. Can Chuck speak for the whole nation of Black fathers and what they are doing? No

      • Stan wrote a “CLOSED” letter to Em & mailed it.

      • mike malarkey

        lol it was closed and mailed….. still the same type of letter in my eyes…. you writing a letter to a celeb u dont know…… just weird

      • I guess, ‘chet I wrote Muhammad Ali back in 1989 / 1990 & he wrote me back, with a pic…..I mean, i doubt Ali actually wrote it, but he could have….the pen was shaking like a Mudda Chucka.

      • johnblacksad

        Right, it’s just that EM went public with it… lol

    • Galactus

      He ain’t talking to me with that. My son is well taken care of, and i understand there is a problem among black/latino males who ain’t picking up on their responsibilities as fathers. But, this open letter does nothing to alleviate the issue at hand. This was was an act of self promotion. I’m sure a series of college lectures will not help to stop the problem, but it is a means of getting some supplemental green in your pocket, ya dig? I see through the BS, I know the game, that’s why Chucky got a pic of himself trying to look “GQ”, with Denzel, and this is supposed to be a open letter attacking denzel supposed stand on your minority fathers?? Nah, this is a terrible attempt at philathropy. so, you respect Denzel soo much, you gonna write a BS letter under the guise of humility, just to put it out there, that ” you’ve been watching denzel’s steps”, Does Mr. Creekmur even have kids? Judging by his website and it’s content, I would say no, and if he does, I think he needs to write an open letter to himself, because this website promotes bullsh*t PRIMARILY. They can have their Jasiri X, truth Minista, etc, but do these people REALLY have a voice in this climate AHH represents?

  • imaman2012

    come one man…you clowning denzel YET you run a site filled with buffoonery.

    • I clowned Denzel? How do you figure?

      • World Wide

        In a way Chuck you did Clown him. What did Denzel say that was wrong? What he said was completely accurate. The problem is this “victim” mentality that many of our people still carry and sites this constantly fuel. Every time a rapper goes to jail we scream free him or it’s the white man or it’s the illuminati or whatever b.s excuse before we even begin to think maybe just maybe that rapper did something that warrants him being in jail. Not every black man is Nelson Mandela or MLK but yet we always treat them like they are or try to justify them and their behavior in some way shape or form.

        For example well he’s from the hood and there no jobs in the hood so he had to sell drugs. Bullshit! We always have a choice in life! I’m from the same type of areas where 90% of the Hip Hop community is from. Did I sell drugs? Did I join a gang? No. I worked two jobs to put my self through college and now I’m working towards my Doctorate in Behavioral Psychology. And I know plenty of other black men that have done the same.

        The difference between a successful man and a non successful one is that we are willing to do everything non successful people aren’t willing too do. That includes working hard, sacrificing and taking complete responsibility for your actions. So asking Denzel to take pity on these guys by asking him to tell them to “stand strong” is bull shit. Pity and stating the obvious (it’s hard out here) gets you no where in life. But eliminating the victim mentality and understanding that no one has power of your destiny (unless you give it to them) will take you far in life.

        I don’t mean to rant but I hate when I hear people make excuses or try to make excuses for other people.

  • Good look on working with the brothers Chuck, that is a good look and while Denzel is a role model, successful, etc, the difference between the two of you is that he is blinded by success.

    Denzel is past the days of “Stop and Frisk”, unless some hick cop stops him like they did Tyler Perry……your not, so you see it when Denzel doesn’t.

    I remember when cops would stop a group of guys, frisk them, find drugs on one and say to the others :
    “Oh! You don’t have any drugs on you? Now you do…HERE, HERE and HERE”….as he divided the drugs up equally and arrested everyone.

    That hasn’t happened to Denzel since…1982? When he was a DR. on St Elsewhere, he left Fordham University ( Fordham Rd / BX in Da’ HOUSEeeeeee! ) and moved out west, so the Crack / Gold chain wars were fought in his absence and face it, even before then, he was living in money earning Mt. Vernon, with Diddy, Heavy D, etc.

    Not the type of place where hardships are abundant like the inner city.

    No knock against Denzel’s upbringing, it’s not that, just saying that there are things that he missed… when he speaks, you have to realize that he is a tad bit detached from the realities that Hip Hoppers see every day.

    “They want us dancing, cooning & hollaring, only respect us for playing sports and modelling, more than racism, it’s “Stay in your Place’ism”, more people are trapped in practical “Black Face’ism”. >>>Civil War ~ Immortal Technique feat Bro Ali

    Don’t look to Denzel to mentor you, look past him & continue to mentor others. Use the site to subliminally inject the positiveness back into the culture…that was removed after the Golden era of Hip Hop.

    Stupid is the new cool in Hip Hop, when stupid should be the old stupid instead.

    AHH / iLLSEED gave me my first chance to be a writer, since then, I’ve received over 120hrs of English, grammar, usage, mechanics and punctuation training, worked my way up from contributor on 4UMF, to writer, to author to editor, becoming well versed in HMTL codes, Excel spreadsheets, Microsoft word, accounting, management & supervision and above all else…..raised in the home of Hip Hop, which produced a strong desire to contribute to uplift Hip Hop.

    That desire produced the groundbreaking series “$chool ‘Em $aturday$” that iLLseed used to feature in his Rumors. Even Worldstar started adding educational / political content to it’s site. That is a powerful influence.

    You have accomplished plenty with AHH, so no need to look for help, just keep looking back to see who needs help and to lend a helping hand to those who really need help!


    >>>>>Exits stage left & passes Triple P back his soap box.

    • I get what you are saying, but the thing I had was the platform is gigantic, GQ magazine. But, I get what you are saying and this is why I referred to the age difference. But I believe he knows the struggle, and he referred to it so I’m hopeful. Anyway, thanks for the comments. Sad to see the idiotic comments though.

      • “When they stop talking, start worrying!” …iLLSEED

        Be grateful that you have haterz, cherish them and imagine how life would be without them, because that would mean you doing bad.

        You are in a position to make a difference, within Hip Hop and I know that is a good feeling.

        Focus on the youngsters and guiding them.

        This is your BBQ and it taste good, but I would appreciate it if you did more. Not to contradict the reap of money, but other things matter too.

        Truth Minista Paul Scott, Jasiri X, Davey D and other AHH writers bring the heat intellectually and I think that you should add a little more to counter balance the rampant negativity that permeates the culture.

        Even the boxing dude ( Muslim Brother, I forget his name ) brings a certain level of etiquette to the table and it won’t take much to add to that. If you / AHH don’t step up to aggressively counter the mental poison the system is steadily feeding our most vulnerable, who will? Q from WSHH? His entire M.O. is based on ratchetness as a key to fame.

        I’m not faulting you / AHH, so don’t take it like that, in fact, take it the opposite way, like ” a pat on the back and a word of encouragement” : )

        “Instead of focusing on how we smoke them trees, on the radio we need to hear more local MC’s. Where they at? This is the difference between MC’ing and rap. Rappers spit rhymes that are mostly illegal, MC’s spit rhymes to uplift their people. Peace , Unity & having fun…these are the lyrics of KRS One!”….KRS

        You saw it with your own eyes, his rise was slow, but his impact is indelible.

        I got some ideas to help the site….well, not really the site, but Hip Hop, that you can flip into helping the site at the same time.

        >>>>Puts velvet lined metal briefcase that’s handcuffed to my wrist on the table, opens it to reveal a pair of vintage ( 1991 ) Yves St Laurent shades for Chuck and opens contract negotiations.

        >>>LOL~N thinking about Sydney Lace’s 1st Rumor * SEX with Iphone

        Don’t front! You had to laugh at that ‘chet too!

        Side Notes:
        4UMF gets the news 1st, so have your writers check the site for topics & if they use them, give us a fat shout.

        Tell Grouchy Greg to follow up on Jimmy Henchmen & try to secure Chuck Phillips for AHH.

        Also grab up a writer that can break down current events and put them into historical perspectives in a way that the culture can relate too…..wait, that’s me.
        : )

        Slip that knowledge in under the radar, educate on the sneak tip, on the meek tip, once you get them hooked….that’s when you let the ‘chet rip!

        Education isn’t cool in the industry and here is the reason why:

        Look at the Watts / Newark riots and look at the music that was charting, actually #1 at the time ” Say it loud! I’m Black and I’m Proud!” “R~E~S~P~E~C~T Find out what it means to me!”

        Timeless classics indeed, but what is music but knowledge put to rhythm? (ABC’s)

        So when you have self respect / pride, you are less likely to let people violate you, so instead of Chuck D, we got Officer Ricky, talking about blamming this one or that one, the white one or the black one, because a diamond fell out his Versace shades, in between selling Kilos etc…..and we wonder why the 72% non violent offenders locked up for drugs are kids who listen to RAP.

        IMHO, that is your lane to counter, you have the ability, it may not be profitable, or as profitable, economically, but it pays dividends culturally and socially.

        You are a trailblazer….so blaze trails!

        Set the standard high & make others follow.

        It’s not like we want to do wrong, it’s more like we don’t know better.
        Show us!

        Officer Ricky & crew & not even them, you can pick almost any industry rapper & see that they aren’t about the culture as much as they are about the dollar.

        Even the “Revolutionaries” don’t have a thought about a toilet paper factory… we can wipe our butts after they :
        >>>>In Amistad Voice : “Give us FREeee!”

        We so fugged up, we don’t even think about planetary issues like nature’s capital.

        OIL, water, air, etc.

        Instead of living off the interest, we are spending the capital & going broke, with only weed growers knowing how to grow a tomato.

        Look at the crack babies ( Born in 1980 >>> ) what are they doing now beside long jail sentences? Slaves

        While music may not seem that serious, think about this:

        Take two kids:

        Read one the Wall Street Journal from the time he’s in Daddy’s nutsacks until he’s 26 and take the other and instead, play Drug / Thug rap…..

        Which has the potential to be a Wall Street whiz kid and which has the potential to do a life bid?

        It’s really that simple in the end.

      • we need to get rid of the word hater … like yall said about denzel he lived a different life and may see things from a different point of view … just like the “so called haters” they have thier point of view too that maybe coming from another angle … but most folks brush it off as hate …………… just cause its so left of what they say ….. if they aint on some F.U. and yo momma type talk then imo all comments should be considered 😉

      • Indeed, but I was talking about the F.U. / Yo momma comments : )

      • johnblacksad

        maybe it’s because i ain’t read the whole GQ story but i don’t see anything foul he said in that excerpt… he did say his problem is with the ones that don’t take care of their… seeds!

      • mike malarkey

        THANK YOU and thats what I got from it too….. I dont even see what his beef is

      • Dafaar Leff

        What struggle? There are black men running billion dollar companies not just having a black president. You cats are the problem.”struggle, what struggle we doing this shit to our selves.

    • johnblacksad

      ***watchin this from my private low-level suite… nodding in approval****

      • Order me a cheap beer, I’ll be over with Reggie Miller in a few!

    • good post mane

      • Good look, just trying to contribute!

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  • mike malarkey

    for real for real what did denzel say that was wrong? did he say that was wrong? did he say ALL BLACK FATHERS NEED TO START TAKING CARE OF THEIR KIDS? NO he said he gets sadden by those brothers who dont and make excuses on why they arent doing what they are supposed to do….. You didnt even make the point of what your actual beef was with what he said. You trying to sound smart but didnt even make a real concrete point. You just took one statement he said and you thought he was applying it to all black men and he clearly wasnt and your blowing it out of proportion. smh

    • Actually, what he was saying, from what I got out of it, was the basic, if you are gonna criticize … offer a solution, kinda like what you did in this post, but not in the “Nigga U Gay” comment.

      I see both issues though, from several sides……been a struggling father, seen fathers not struggle & give up, seen them not struggle & do well along with not struggle & fail, get clinked & have kids raised by the street while they were in jail.

      IMHO, fathers don’t need to be told they fuggin up, their parental instinct tells them, but doing the best you can, while some one talks ‘chet isn’t productive…..unless they offer some type of assistance…..even if it’s just advice.

      • mike malarkey

        but there are some fathers who are fuckin up… maybe hes speaking on the perspective of what he saw or people he personally knows… some fathers dont know they fuckin up thats all im tryin to say….. denzel never said all black fathers because thats not true.. but not all black fathers are taking care of their kids and handling their business like they supposed to either and he was speaking on those folks who arent doing what they supposed to

      • I agree, many fathers don’t know better, we see that daily, babies having babies.
        Chuck offered a resolution of sorts, or a suggestion in the end of the letter ~

        “But I humbly urge you to encourage the brothers if you are going to paint a broad stroke. Instead of “Step it up.” Tell us to “Stay strong.” Ask us to “hang in there,” because you know how hard it is out here. A pat on the back and a word of encouragement is often all you need.”

      • mike malarkey

        i didnt click on the link to read the rest of the letter i just read what he posted on here which makes more sense….. i still say some dudes need tough words instead of a pat on the back… works both ways

      • Co-Mudda chuckin’ sign…..and in reality, all Chuck was doing was telling Denzel the exact same thing. Not to lump them all together, give a pat on the back & words of encouragement to the ones that deserve it & the same goes with a foot in the @$$ if it is deserved as opposed to painting all Blackmen with the same brush!

  • Jae D

    Nice read!!

  • johnblacksad

    That GQ cover was fly! No gushing, no homo…
    makes me wanna holla at my tailor! no homo either
    Savile Row! £££…I’m talkin poundz!

    • Yeah, I holla’d at my tailor over at the Army Surplus store & told him to order me the burgandy fatigues…..I’m on some fly ‘chet now.

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  • being too passive will create passive results … imo weve gotten this far because of pressure … get too leisure and stuff willl start to fall thru the cracks … look @ white folks they are falling off because of that … the general outlook is that white folks is doing good … so they dont have these discussions and they neeed it just as bad as we do … cause they arent doing good … i graduated in 99 and during that year as far as folks i knew more white folks failed or dropped out of that school then black folks … cause we had that pressure to succeed on us … while they didnt life seem like it was going to be a cake walk for them, @least that was the perception … but no matter your race or status … if you dont work your going to fail @ life …… #rt 😉

    • but i do agree folks is stepping up the game i was just talking to one of my folks yesterday and i was like i dont think i have 1 male friend that is hiding from his responsibility as father …. back in the days dudes was on that I HAD THE JIMMY ON EXTRA TIGHT THAT KID AINT MINES …. sad but true 😉 but with all that said we should still be giving out Tuff love cause as soon as you slack and passive … folks will do the same ……. some never change …… but you cant save everyone just hopefully the youth @least gets the message

      • Honestly, I said the same thing about giving props to Turk for getting a GED after 9yrs in the box……all would have been better giving him a foot in the a$$ for not doing better.

    • You mean earn a living, which doesn’t have to be work.
      3 ways to make $$$ in this country:
      get Paid for what you do
      get Paid for what you know
      let your $$$ work for you.
      ( any combination )


  • bisolabliss

    There’s only so much one can give Chuck a pass on. The present state of this website is deplorable to say the least. How did it get to this? Because of the almighty $, right, no?

    I recall when ‘Poisonous Dart’ had me logging onto to ‘The Reason’ EVERYDAY, that was way before ‘illseed’ took over the rumour section (around 2001/2002), no?

    My gripe with Chuck relates to the present state of affairs of this website, period.

    He admires Denzel, good for him, come to think of it, who doesn’t…

  • YaheardSyndicate

    I think what Denzel said is 100% correct, necessary and true. From working in the inner citys i can tell you, yes we do need to step it up as parents, people and members of society.





  • Reguardless of whom it may come from, wisdom is wisdom. Would you blow off a bumb on the street (when speaking wisdom to you), because he is a bumb? or would you look at him, age and all, and say to yourself, “he may know what he is talking about”? Simply because he is aged and experienced in life. Althought some may take it personal, he may have been speaking to us as a whole. Yes there are positive things in the community, but it does not outweigh the negative.

  • Dafaar Leff

    That shit was stupid. You took one positive out of a million negatives to put Denel in his place. That letter was wack! Drug dealing, going to jail, dropping out of school, gang banging, baby mothers(not wives) etc… Is just to name few of the normalitys of us black men..again you wack for writing that wack ass letter. Are you ok with the majority messing up because a few brothers doing the right thing? Do you see white men having study groups to learn how to men? People like you are our the problem, you thrive on getting pats on the back for “taking care of your kids”. Who told you to make the kid,mnow you looking for credit because you taking care of him or her? Again people like you, Jesse Jackson, Sharpton, Farrakhan are all part of the problem. If we took care of our selves how much power would they have? Again you wack as hell for this. Think before you open your mouth next time. WACK A$$!

  • That_Guy23

    How old exactly is this father? He looks like a young father, in the hood, with his little girl, having to take responsibility for her when if he had made better choices, he’d be in alternate life path all together.

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