Proverbs 3:5. It is just such a great loving promise to those who do just what it says. Who better than the Lord to make our way straight, to direct our every path? I love this scripture! I have learned in life that He is the only one that I can trust with All my Heart!
Candie A. Price: Where did you grow up and how many (siblings,parents) were in your household?
Bunny DeBarge: I was born in Detroit, Michigan where I lived with both my parents. We lived in Detroit until I was 12 years old then my mother made her final move to get away from my father to Grand Rapids, Michigan. A couple of years later the twins Darrell and Carole were born. I am the oldest of 10 children. My siblings were 8 brothers and one sister. My father was in and out of our lives.
CAP: How would you describe your upbringing?
BD: My upbringing was hard! Being a child from and interracial marriage in that day and time was hard on us children. I had a very abusive childhood. I would say we, the children, were very much afraid of everyone. Mostly we were afraid of our father. However, our mother brought us up in the church. We were also a singing family. My mother loved to sing and it was her dream to be famous. She taught us to sing at an early age and we were a group that sang in the church. I found it to be very much of and outlet for me from all that I was going through in my home.
CAP: Let’s go back to the early 80’s when DeBarge was a household name. Tell us how your family, DeBarge, got its big break into the music industry and what that meant to your family.
BD: My brothers Bobby and Tommy had already been to Ca. and had managed to get a contract with Motown Records. They were in a group called Switch. This allowed Motown to look at DeBarge to see what we had to offer. It was a way for my family to take the name that we were once ashame of from the pain and suffering we went through as children and become the stars we always felt we could be.
CAP: As minorities in the business how did you deal with racial discrimination?
BD: Being with a company such as Motown most of the artists were minority. I can’t say that we felt any racial discrimination. However, I must say that it was when I did recognize that there was a black chart/R&B and a white chart/ Pop charts. I saw that we had to go on the R&B charts first before we could cross over to the Pop Charts. I saw that when you made it to the Pop Charts that was when you really made it big.
CAP: Tell us about your new book and pending movie venture. What inspired you to share your story and what do you hope will come out of it all.
BD: My Book talks about my life as a child. The abuse that my mother and we kids endured from the hands of my father. It talks about us living as mixed children trying to fit into the black race -feeling that we were not accepted anywhere for who we were. I can say it was very much of an embarrassment for us having a white father and a black mother. It talks about how we got through all of the stares and the giggles. How much we wanted to be loved by our peers and our people. It talks about our life in church and the beginning of our singing career. It also talks about how it was in that day and time to do drugs and how we so indulged in it. I was inspired to write the story at first just so that I could go back and uncover all the things that I had hidden and covered and just walked away from as if they did not matter to me in my life. I had to go back and seek healing. I asked God to go with me. I needed to view the things that I had to forgive and let go of. I had to find out why I was where I was in life. I had to look at all the things that I thought were right and let God show me that I had it all wrong. I had to see all my dysfunctional ways. I had to see the generational curses and choose to break them so that my children could be free as well. I was tired of living a lie and hiding secrets. I wrote the book most of all for my family. I am the oldest and the one to tell it from the beginning. I hope that the family, as well as my parents, will find healing and forgiveness and will also be able to cry their last cries and move on. I feel that DeBarge has gone where life has destined them to be, however, it is not our destiny. I believe dearly that God has kept us for this day where our mess will become our message. I also believe that the book “The Kept Ones” will be a healing to many other families that are or have been through some of the same things. Secrets keep you sick. I have lived this and I was tired of being sick. It’s alright to be wrong if we can come full circle and admit our wrongs and go on in life. Often we continue to repeat the pages. This book is the end of all the pain and the future of where The Lord plans for me to be in life. I can walk into my destiny. I can be all that God wants me to be. Hopefully, and I must say there is talks of the books becoming a movie and I would love for Alicia Keyes to play me. I really do believe that she can relate. What I want to come out of this is for my family to come back to be the loving family we once were and come back to where we first believe. I see us all on stage singing to the glory of God. God will get the glory out of our lives.
CAP: Tell us how you became a Christian and how has being a believer helped you get through your experience?
BD: I became a Child Of God at an early age. However, I only knew Him as my Savior! Always asking Him to save me from this and that. I knew the Word as scripture but I did not make it real in my life. I knew nothing about making Him my Lord. He was there to serve me. I knew nothing about serving Him. I guess you can say I was religious when I needed to be. However, I believe that He was my savior and He saved me early in my life and because He promised never to leave me or forsake me, He covered me until I knew just what it meant to give Him my all.
CAP: what is your favorite scripture and why?
BD: That would be Proverbs 3:5. It is just such a great loving promise to those who do just what it says. Who better than the Lord to make our way straight, to direct our every path? I love this scripture! I have learned in life that He is the only one that I can trust with All my Heart!
CAP: What final words of encouragement can you leave with our readers?
BD: The Beautiful Story of Jesus. That He is truly the way, the truth, and the Light. His truth will set you free. Let Him teach you just what you need to know. Keep your relationship with Him no matter what you are going through. He is the Promise Keeper and He has never failed me yet and I must say He is the only one that hasn’t.
CAP: When and where can your book be purchased and when should we expect to hear more about a possible movie?
BD:Hopefully we’ll know more about the movie possibility in the upcoming months. The Book will be released June 16 th and it will be in all stores and bookstores. You can also preorder it on deborahsmithpublications.com, thekeptones.com or you can go to myspace.com/bunnyDeBarge. I will also be available for motivational speaking and available by contacting the following:
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Sable Soul Entertainment, LLC
Wendy Collins Squirewell