Nia Long sat down for an interview with Charlamagne Tha God, where she opened up about losing her father and their relationship.
Nia has been living in California for numerous years while her late father, Doughtry Long, stayed in Trenton, New Jersey, where he was an important figure in the community as a teacher, a poet, and an artist.
Nia told the host that it took her some time to understand how great of a man her father was and forgave him for not being what she needed in her life.
Nia confessed: “I lost my father recently. He was a great man, and it’s amazing. I learned more about him by being in Trenton for a week, just putting the whole thing together than I never knew. I’m an adult. My life is in California. He was in Trenton. And he was such an icon in the community and did so much for so many of those kids, living down there. I was really proud of him. He is a poet, a writer, a photographer, just a renaissance man.”
She stated: “Loved jazz music and good food. He was really like Larenz Tate in Love Jones but older. The school Trenton High School did a beautiful tribute to my father. They did spoken word, and some of his past students came. I could not stop crying. I was like this is amazing. Because sometimes, what a person can’t do for their own children, they do for the world. And I’m okay with that if that meant that I had to share him.”
She went on to say: “You have to really do it for yourself. If you commit that healing with yourself, it will honestly change the way you experience your own life. Because I think for a lot of years, I was disappointed and angry, and I wanted my dad to read me a bedtime story and be there and do all of the things that a daddy is supposed to do. And I think my father had a very old school way of approaching life because Black people are raised to survive. ”
The star added: “And my mother and my grandmother, coming from the Islands, they had a different philosophy. So had my parents stayed together, I may have still been an actress, but I don’t think it would have happened as quickly as it did in my life, and I don’t think I would have been a part of the era that really helped to define Black cinema. When I look at my life—and I’m going to be 50 this year—I can’t believe it. But my point is when you get to this age, it’s a beautiful time in my life because I can actually put everything in perspective, and now it all makes sense.”
She concluded by: “And I feel more free and alive than I have in the last ten years because I have understanding and I’ve forgiven myself for not forgiving people sooner in my own life or forgiving my father for things that he was unable to do. And it’s a good thing to do.”
Nia is currently promoting her new film, The Banker, and a Netflix project with Omar Epps called Fatal Affair.