- Karen Edmond
Remembering Mr. Paul Mooney.
Revered comedian and truth-teller Mr. Paul (Gladney) Mooney passed away on May 19, 2021. (Malcolm X's Birthday.) Mooney's style was much like Malcolm X's but funnier. Mooney had a way of speaking the truth bluntly with a sprinkle of humor to help the medicine go down. Paul Mooney was born in Shreveport, Louisiana Aug 4, 1941. His parents were George Gladney and LaVoya Ealy. Mooney was primarily raised by his Grandmother Aimay Ealy.
(Below Paul Gladney Mooney pictured with his mother LaVoya Ealy)
Per a 2018 interview on the Health Beats TV Show with host Dr. H. Geoffrey Watson, Medical Director of the James Watson Wellness Center, located in Oakland, California, Mooney shared that when his mother was pregnant with him, she was in a horrible bus accident. Mooney further stated that upon arrival to the hospital that she was pronounced dead. (D.O.A.) Thankfully she was revived at the hospital and later gave birth to Paul Gladney Mooney at home in her parent's house in Shreveport, Louisiana. He later grew up in Oakland, Ca. seven years later.
(Please review the link to see conversation with Dr. Watson & Mooney: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vKrH50Y27s
(Below to the right Dr. H. Geoffrey Watson pictured with his father Dr. James Watson)
Per his T.V.'s interview with longtime friend and physician H. Geoffrey, Watson. Mooney confessed that his grandmother's stories about Africa captivated him as a child. These stories shared by his grandmother, Aimay Elay, a woman who survived slavery, sharpened Mooney's understanding of the immorality of chattel slavery and the foolishness of racism and all of its fallacies.
Mooney had a way of resonating with his audiences. He echoed real-life scenarios with the public that they could understand and relate to. In my opinion, listening to Paul Mooney was like listening to how older Black folks talked about race relations from back in the day when I was just a child. In the old days, when Black folks would go throughout the entire neighborhood on the weekend to say howdy to each other and talk about politics, sports, who's cooking what? And which horse looks like a winner at the track. Black folks expressed their opinions without little to no cussing because freedom was still new in the 70s. And change was in the air.
(Paul Mooney pictured below to the left with Sammy Davis Jr to his right Richard Pryor and Bill Crosby)
Mooney touched on the humor you would hear during summertime barbeques in the back yard or Sunday dinner arguments you witnessed after church. Mooney's humor never swayed away from Black issues. Especially during the 70's when cities were on fire, and the Black family was under attack because of the success of the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s. Mooney's humor glued us back together again with a straightforward and stern look that was often followed by an outburst of laughter and a statement of truth. As a Black man, Mooney did not want us as Black people to bow down to White supremacy. But to laugh at it.
(Below is Paul Mooney's Book cover: Black Is The New White Published Nov 3, 2009)
Mooney mastered the art of communication. And this is why so many people loved and feared his perspective on life, culture, and history. Mr. Mooney was not always perfect, but he was real. And he will be missed. Paul Mooney is survived by his four children Dwayne, Daryl, Spring, and Shane. Per interview with Dr. Watson Mooney shared that he got the name "Mooney," from his friend Don Cornelius of Soul Train. Cornelius dubbed Paul Gladney with the name "Moonisms," where Gladney shortens his nickname to "Mooney," per taped interview from 2018.
(Pictured below are Mooney's twin sons Dwayne & Daryl carrying on their father's legacy in writing.)
Paul (Gladney) Mooney was also a collaborating writer with Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Dave Chapelle. Plus, T.V. shows such as Sanford and Son Show, Goodtimes, S.N.L., In Living Color, and Boondocks, to name a few. In The Buddy Holly Story, Mooney played Sam Cooke. Mooney played the part of June Bug in the satirical and classic Spike Lee Movie. Bamboozle.
(Above Paul Mooney pictured with Spike Lee)
(Pictured below Paul Mooney wearing a white hat to the left Arsenio Hall, on the right Eddie Murphy, Robert Townsend, and Keenan Ivory Waynans.)
Rest in peace and blessings, Mr. Paul (Gladney) Mooney.
Please enjoy Rufus featuring Chaka Khan's 70s hit "He's On His Way to Hollywood."