11. A Talk with Cynda Williams

Posted: April 13, 2009 in African American, daughters, fathers, Relationships
Tags: , , ,

new20headshots2000213“…And since my sweetie left me,
Harlem, well, it ain’t the same old place
Though a thousand dandies smile right in my face
I think I’ll mooch some homemade hooch and go out for a lark
Just to drive off these mean ole Harlem Blues…”

(lyrics from Mo’Better Blues soundtrack)

Cynda Williams was born in 1966 in Chicago, Illinois. She was known by her birth name, Cindy Williams, until she went into the movie industry, at which point she changed her name to Cynda in order to avoid conflicts with another actress of the same name.

Cynda is most well-known for her involvement in the film industry. She has appeared in the movies Mo’ Better Blues, Wet, The Sweeper, Shooter, Divine Intervention and many more over the past seventeen years.

While well-known  in the movie industry, Cynda had a brief stint in the music industry in 1990 with her appearance on the soundtrack to Mo’ Better Blues, on the song ‘Harlem Blues.’ The single was popular, reaching #9 on the R&B charts on November 17, 1990.

With the success of the single, Cynda had been lined up with Sony to produce her own album. While she was trained in a variety of genres, jazz became pressed on her after the success of ‘Harlem Blues.’ Unfortunately, internal conflicts at Sony caused the album to be shelved and Cynda continued acting.

Today, Cynda continues to act, appearing in four movies in 2007 alone. She also works on musicals and performs in various bands. She has been married to former football star Roderick Plummer since 2001 and they have a daughter together, Sophia Plummer. (Wikipedia)

Recently, we were able to catch up with the actress, songstress, playwrite and author for a rare interview:

FF:  Cynda, while your credits are vast, you are probably best known as the co-star in the Spike Lee Joint “Mo’Better Blues” for your portrayal of Clarke Bentancourt, starring opposite Denzel Washington.  What would you have the FathersFootprints’ audience to know about “Cynda,” the person?

Cynda:  I am very connected to spirit, nature and my inner creative self. I love my family and friends, immensely. I try to use the notoriety I’ve achieved as a platform for inspiring young people.  

FF:  FathersFootprints is excited to feature you as a part of our first literary effort, Daddy, Am I Pretty?  What drew you to this project?

Cynda:  I love my father very much and was blessed that he was an important part of my life. I think it is very important for daughters to have healthy, productive relationships with their fathers. “Daddy, Am I Pretty” is a project that focuses on those crucial associations. 

FF:  We are hopeful that Daddy Am I Pretty? serves as a catalyst for fathers and daughters to either mend broken relationships or to continue to reinforce the good relationships that currently exist. Your relationship with your father strongly contributes to the person you are- and destined to become.  What advice do you have for fathers and their relationships with their daughters?

Cynda:  Financial quality-of-life is important, but time spent with your daughters is vital…And not just carting them around to events…The private one-on-one time (going to the park, playing games, helping with homework, just plain talking to them) goes a long way with letting your daughters know you love and care for them.  I believe these interactions make up the foundation of a young girl’s realization of who she really is- and what possibilities exists for her future.

FF:  You are currently working on a book.  Tell us what we can look forward to?

Cynda:  I have been blessed with a challenging and eventful life. I am in the process of writing an autobiography that hopefully will inspire some folks, young and old. This project will exemplify one of my favorite scriptures, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

FF:  FathersFootprints considers you to be a dynamic actress and powerful songstress. Who inspires you the most artistically, and why?

Cynda:  There are many super talented artists with fame but most of my inspiration comes from personal role-models. My uncle James Wesley Williams taught me how to sing. Watching him perform helped me learn how to interpret songs in ways that would touch people. Mrs. Waites, Nancy Crouse, and Beth Turcotte, my acting coaches growing up, taught me how to find the truth in characters. My grandfather Rev. J.C. Williams was my inspiration for writing.

FF:  FathersFootprints believes that a relationship with God is essential for any type of success; how has your walk with God helped you to cope with life as an artist?

Cynda:  If not for my personal relationship with God, I would not have emotionally, psychologically, or physically survived. I’ve had many experiences that I would not wish upon any young artist coming up…But I’ve continued to thrive because I understand that the journey, in spite of the difficulty, is necessary to help me be the best that I can be…My life remains secure in God.

FF:  Cynda, thanks so much for your time and for helping the FathersFootprints’ audience to get to know you more personally.  We will continue to support your career and wish you and your family all the best.  

Cynda and her dad will be featured in the FathersFootprints’ pilot project, Daddy, Am I Pretty? – an African-American photographical and written account of father/daughter relationships. The monumental work will be in bookstores nationwide in December 2009.

Until next time – be well,


Click the Facebook link to become a fan of Cynda Williams:logo-300x300

  1. Great interview. Excellent, insightful questions. Cynda seems to be beautiful inside and out. Looking forward to seeing more about her in your Daddy Am I Pretty project.

    • Don Hughes says:

      I love Cynda Williams, I think she came out the same time Halle Berry did, not comparing but Cynda is beuatiful I always thought ever since I was a little kid, and she still is (Drop-Dead-Georgous!!!). If you ask me , I think her Academy Award Oscar is long overdue, and I hope she reads this, God Bless, and Best Wishes To You!!!! Don Hughes

  2. Rashad says:

    Good stuff Damon. I saw Cynda when she came to DC (Bohemian Caverns) a couple of years back, and she put on a good show.

  3. Stage66 says:

    Oh, really good stuff, Cynda Williams is a great lady, I like all her films.

  4. Lisa Stevens Burton says:

    I love it! I have always loved that movie and especially that song! What a treat for you and Ms. Cynda to meet and talk with one another. I am happy to know that she is doing well, and still working in an industry that is sure to put you down quick when you are not living up to their standards. Thank the Lord for favor!

    Keep them coming brotha’ Damon!

  5. Greenwood says:

    I have read your interviews and I must say that they are very well done! What could anyone expect from a great brotha like yourself DD!!! I am a huge advocate of great father/daughter relationships as well as great fathers period as WE have lost many of our sisters to the “Dysfunctional Family” environments that have become all to common place in our society. It bothers me and makes me proud at the same time when I am out with my daughter at the park, Jungle Java, the mall, Chuck E. Cheese or any place that kids love to play and someone notes that “aww isn’t that nice…a little girl and her daddy…” These comments are also present when I take Lauren to the doctors office. Many receptionists have made the comment that not many fathers bring their children to the doctors office. That hurts my heart because I can’t imagine it any other way, especially seeing that I am off from work & physically able to go. I love spending time with my little girl! Can’t wait to read more about Cynda’s upcoming project! Damon, you need to befriend another DP grad by the name of Dr. Wendy (Ross) Westbrook c/o ’91 or ’92 on FB. She has some very similar projects going on here in Detroit.

  6. Cassandra says:

    I just read the interview Fathers Footprints did with Cynda Williams. Very nice job. I have enjoyed her work as an actress. It’s nice to learn about another dimension of her work.

  7. Tony Fleming says:

    Good stuff… It is easy to lose focus on what’s really important when you are running from place to place… Sometimes the best times have no price of admission, don’t require a GPS or need a registration form. Now if I could just listen to myself, I could reach my 13 year old…

  8. Cathy says:

    Very nice blog. Thanks Cynda and Damon!

  9. Angie Haygood says:

    Good stuff Damon!

  10. Michael says:

    Dog, you have a lot of unknowns with you. But Cynda is my 1990 hardcore crush. No one can sing Harlem Blues like her, especially the accapella version on the soundtrack. Whew.

  11. WP Bagsby says:

    This is one of our favorite movies & where we got the name for our oldest daughter. Thnx, I might have to watch it tonite.
    WP Bagsby

  12. C. Westmoreland says:

    That was very enjoyable-a nice planned out interview. And now I know where your Hollywood name comes from, it’s served you (and us) well-there’s only one Cynda. Thanks for sharing, C.

  13. Edgar Barkum says:

    Very informative! I thought she was just another actress with a pretty voice. I had no idea she had so much going for her self and taking different avenues to add to her resume. Good job Damon!

  14. Tracey G. says:

    Wonderful piece on Cynda! Its great to know that she is still doing her thing. Looking forward to your and her upcoming book.
    Good interview DD!

  15. Sally says:

    Watched Mo Better Blues again recently. Love the movie, love the music. Really loved this song and her voice. I wondered what happened to her

  16. Damon Sr. says:

    I truly love this interview. She commented on something that hit home for me. When she talked about communication with your kids being important. I’m have some issues with my oldest. I fight that battle of communication with him everyday. This interview was on point for me.

  17. FathersFootprints is now in my rss reader)))
    sponsor: http://xabul.ru/

  18. Kerry says:

    Cynda Williams??? Wow. This footsteps site is the bomb. If Cynda is checking this I’m wondering does she give advice for aspiring actresses and singers? What is the best medium to provide questions to her?


  19. John Wooden says:

    Damon, loved the interview…on point, informative. Glad Cynda has a great relationship with her father!

  20. robminx says:

    Great interview Damon. I couln’t stop singing that song when I first heard it. I look forward to seeing more of her work. A lovely lady she is.


  21. Brad Canelo says:

    R U kidding me ??? Ms. williams is my fav actresss of all time! I have every movie she has ever made!!! IShe is the equivalent of a magician because, she interprets a script with GREAT insight and feministic mannerism that she drowns out most of her casts! INDEED, like a prism, she can played just about anything ( from a lesbian/singer to a downright horror flick) and she is like the camelion, if I may, she blends into any scene thanks to her photogenic looks & appearances! GREAT article on FF brother Damon! Ms. Williams did make me cry when she made that movie (Condition Red) in ’95, though, I am still hurting from her death (Gidell’s)!!! She has beauty, voice, talent, and intuity! I only WISHED I had met her back in ’90 when I was living in LA at the time! Maybe in the next life! Goodluck Ms. Williams on your new careers and I am a very BIG fan of urs, I google U everyday! I am only 2 Y.O’er than U too!

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