The Ditchdigger’s Daughters

Here’s a very cheesy thing I wanna share with y’all real quick:

Whenever I see Kimberly Elise, this is the movie I most associate with her — a shlocky, Family Channel production with questionable storytelling and clunky acting. Not from Ms. Elise though. No, she always brings the same level of Distress to every role, and no matter what she does, she’s still one of the Ditchdigger’s Daughters to me.

The movie itself is based on a book written by one of the daughters. The protagonist is a Black man from New Jersey (or Harlem?) with an 8th grade education who raised six daughters (one adopted) and put them all through college. I hadn’t seen it since I was like 7 years old, but I found it on Youtube and…it’s not really any worse than I remember! It still holds up as a Family Channel Movie about perseverance, family conflict, gender roles, racism — it ticked a lot of boxes.

Plus: he made his girls start a band (because they weren’t allowed to date or do extracurriculars) and I found a clip of them on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour (The foster daughter wasn’t in the band because she didn’t have a musical bone in her body.)

Anyway, this is mostly for people who remember that random movie and want to watch it again. Or for people who miss heavy-handed Family Channel movies. Or for people who want to see the role that gave Kimberly Elise her first award — a CableACE Award for Best Supporting Actress in a TV Miniseries or Movie.

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