I saw Tyler Perry‘s “For Colored Girls” on Monday evening with one of my good friends. I had never read Ntozake Shange‘s play before seeing the film, so I went into it seemingly blind. The things that the women endured in the film were so horrific, that I literally cried, screamed, and nervously laughed for the entire movie. After taking a few days to process, and read THIS ARTICLE in the Washington Post…I was reminded that there are so many deep-rooted issues in our community that we have yet to address.
Courtland Malloy, the author of the piece in the WaPo, is fed up with the way black men are portrayed in TV and film. I don’t believe that black men are being demonized, when the things that happened in the film ARE happening. The truth of the matter is, incorrigible acts like these are perpetrated against women everyday, across all color lines, and we can not continue to act like they aren’t. How can we be upset that it’s being thrown back in our faces. We can’t always look at life through rose-colored glasses, because in the end we’re just lying to ourselves, and making the situation even worse.
Art, in it’s essence imitates life.
Conversely, I realize that the movies Tyler Perry presents generally showcase dysfunctional relationships among black families, and especially between men and women. This stems from Tyler’s upbringing. He was sexually assaulted…never really saw positive relationships, and thus does not believe in monogamy or marriage. (His words, not mine… read HERE) This is his reality, and unfortunately, since he has been labeled the voice of the black community in Hollywood, we have been presented with an unbalanced view of black men, women and families in mainstream media. I could go on for days about how Madea and Mr. Brown have single handedly dumbed down the entire culture, but we’ll save that for another day.
The question that remains is: what can we do. The easy answer for me is, if you don’t like what you see, you have to change it. My goal as a writer, and a woman in media is to tell positive stories that will help change the face of black people around the world…the question is and will always remain…will we SUPPORT each other when given the opportunity to see some positivity on the airwaves!! If we don’t support each other, in general, our community will continue to suffer. So what do we do…? For all the black men who are angry about how they are portrayed in film and television…I feel you, and support you. Know that I’m on your side, but realize…we have to do more than just talk about it.
- Courtland Malloy: For Black Men Who Have Considered Homicide after Watching Another Tyler Perry Movie (theroot.com)
- “Why are Black Men Mad About For Colored Girls? *Spoilers*” and related posts (blackandmarriedwithkids.com)
- Is “For Colored Girls” Perpetuating Black Male Bashing On The Big Screen? (bossip.com)