I saw the original stage play of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf in the seventies, read, re-read and memorized much of the poetry – when the lines applied to me as I continued to grow up, and out of bad thinking about myself and relationships.
And that's the point of the story. It’s about women, their bad choices – and sometimes about the object of their affections – or the circumstances of their birth and upbringing. In the current movie based on the play, Whoopie Goldberg's character of the mother from hell who was raped and made to have children for a white man who in turn raped their daughter: Who is a villian?
This is not about bad black men. Never has been. Even Bo Willie, a war victim who is denied proper care and benefits, who appears to be the worst villain in the film, is aided and abetted by the children’s mother. We are reminded in the scene when she is told that she had a responsibility to protect those children first.
I participated in the debates in the seventies when these issues (infidelity, STDs, mental illness, drug addition, inattention to veterans returning from ’Nam and love relationships between black men and women) were being debated and interestingly these issues are still with us and now we have the down-low named in the list of ills that affect our society.
We have to keep things in proper perspective.
Look at the small and big screen. We have Blair Underwood as the President. We have A. Braugher as a comedic middle age man. We have doctors, lawyers, FBI agents, fathers, and others, all good guys being portrayed all the time on all the networks.
We have heroes on the big screen, as well.
Actually, I am a fan of Criminal Minds and, to date, there have been only one, perhaps two episodes that have featured a black man as a pathological/sociopathic killer.
To my beautiful, fabulous and manly black men: Stop being so sensitive. This movie is not about you or any of the 100 Black Men – all good guys, we presume.
This is a movie that is about a period in time when black women looked at some of the serious issues and consequences of making bad choices and how they were redeemed.
Remember the last line: “I found God in myself and I loved her. I loved her fiercely!”
Antonia Williams-Gary is a consultant with Miami-based Savings and Grace Enterprise. She may be reached at Toniwg@Bellsouth.net.