Thursday, November 11, 2010

Diary of a Precious Colored Girl Who's Had Enuf of Waiting to Be Loosed While Wearing the Color Purple

For the past several days leading up to and following the release of For Colored Girls, the African American blogosphere has been set aflame with dozens of diatribes regarding Tyler Perry, the film, stories that are told from a female point-of-view, and relationships between 'colored' men and women in general. From the looks of things, a whole lot of people are upset with Mr. Perry for portraying the victimization of women and 'demonizing' Black men in the process (again).

I must admit that the male images in the movie were less than honorable, with the exception of the character portrayed by actor/author Hill Harper, which was not a part of the original choreopoem by Ntozake Shange. We all understand that no individual is a one-dimensional being, so I'm sure that Tyler could have made the men appear more human by adding depth to their roles, but the story was not about them, it was about the women who had to learn how to press past their pain and move forward with their lives. Quite honestly, I don't believe that any intelligent person would take the negative images in that film and apply them to ALL African American men. That's just ludicrous.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Rebirth of 'For Colored Girls': A Movie Review

Like many of you, I was anxiously awaiting the release of Tyler Perry's latest film, 'For Colored Girls,' with bated breath. Although Ntozake Shange's original choreopoem 'For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf,' was published in 1974 and had been performed both on and off Broadway, I did not become familiar with the work until I took a course in women's literature in college (in 1984).

What intrigued me most about the story was the strength and courage of the 'colored girls' featured in the play; ladies who danced across the stage adorned in yellow, red, blue, green, brown, white, and purple. These women had spent time in Sorrow's Kitchen, licked out all of the pots, and lived to tell it! Each sistah's present life had been formed through the pain of her past, yet she still had hope for the future, in spite of the racism, sexism and classism that she faced on a daily basis.