~*2Deep*~

Colored Girl vs For Colored Girls:A Review, Part 1

In Take 2: Film/TV Reviews on 6 November 2010 at 12:01 pm

                              VS.                     

5 Nov 10, Noon EST

         For Colored Girls and I go back like hot combs on stoves, with everyone in the kitchen disguised as the family’s beauty parlor. Before I knew that “being black” meant that I was the Lady in Brown , by default, eternally. Before when pink use to be my favorite color, got sick of it and traded up to Purple because I discovered that I was a child of the royal Most High. Before when everyone called me Lady or Auntie Purple, while my house quietly went from Barney’s condo to Eve’s atonement for defiance just because I felt that way. Before I realized that red and blue make Purple and I may very well just be all three or the fact that those two make a whole me. You see, I am a Colored Girl. I’ve always been a colored girl. Long before I graced a stage senior year in High School to perform Lady in Blue’s signature “Sorry” piece…..I was just another Colored Girl who refused to be JUST another Colored Girl.  I was the Lady in Red attaching notes to potted plants after realizing that I couldnt truly use sex as a toy like the boys but did so anyway still longing to be touched by him, by…..somebody with a pulse. Or I was the Lady in Yellow who was the ONLY virgin amongst my friends at graduation who had to pretend like I was working with something…all the while not knowing what that something was. And definately before green became my second favorite color because I liked the way it looked next to purple, the contrast was to insure that nobody ” could almost walk off with all of my stuff“; I’d had that happened one time too many and wasnt letting it happen again. Just like I dont know if I want to let this movie happen. Well, I didnt at first, but now I dont know. Lets just say, to say that I am afraid to watch this film, yet ecstatic at its existence….is a bit like me saying that I am kinda pregnant, its true but doesnt make much sense in the scheme of things.

        Ntozake Shange is staring at me from the back cover of the book that I have had since 1998 when I purchased it from Borders. My co-workers, this morning, all mentioned how well-kept and new the book looks. I told them all that I have to take care of my books just in case I wanted to return the book to the store. But I didn’t have the strength to tell them, both African-American women, that I didn’t want to taint the image of the beautiful woman on the cover who I wished I had the courage to look like. I want to be able to rock my headwraps to work in my office without problems, or being deemed unprofessional. I want to be a Colored Girl at all times and not only when it is deemed appropriate. And with all that said…..I still can’t bring myself to bend back the cover while reading….or tell them that the real reason was because…….I don’t want to force the Colored Girl on the cover to bend over backwards for me.

        The backdrop behind her tearful face, the woman on the cover, seems to be that of a bathroom tile. How ironic that ever since I can remember the bathroom has been my safe haven. I feel safe in there and private in there, and sometimes still til this day I go and sit and cry in there. “Dark phrases of womanhood of never having been a girl”….It is almost a temple that people are just expected to leave you alone. The bathroom was the one place where I was left undisturbed, un-molested, un-attacked, and able to be at peace with myself. And as I ponder about who could this image have been modeled after, this amazing woman…..I wonder why God chose for the tile to be such a presence. And I, for the life of me…cant fight the feeling that I have…this urge to want to shout that I look like the woman on the old cover….I dont look like Janet. Taking nothing away from her beauty… but honey, Janet doesnt even look like Janet. So how can I cling to this rapid pace of change that has been forced upon me? DO I have to? How can I go back and erase the years drawn around this image, this source of inspiration that helped me through my adoloescent years?

        This work of art spoke to me when my high school theatre teacher introduced the book to me so that I may memorize some pieces for a monologue. I was entering into the Walter Trumbauer Festival in 1998. I did the festival every year and my senior year in high school would be no different. But wow, how was a young 17-year-old girl supposed to choose from so many wonderful monologues? For weeks I memorized poem, after poem, after poem because I had rationalized that they were all me and I could capitalize by entering the Monologue, Poetry Interpretation, and Silent Partner competition.  But who would have known that I would have broken up with my high school sweetheart just weeks before the competition? It must have been an act of GOD! Because the last thing that he said to me before walking away was “sorry”.

        You guessed it! I became the Lady in Blue. I memorized and worked on this piece and saw his face for days on end until I sometimes forgot that other people were in the class when I rehearsed. This was written just for me. It became my therapy, my way of speaking without having to tell my own business….I got to hide behind the performance in plain sight. It was beautiful. I won 3 FIRST place trophies that year, and they still are out in my house today some 12 years later. I also got the opportunity to perform the “Sorry” piece in front of the entire school in an assembly to showcase those of us who won at the festival. I found my ex in the crowd sitting next to his sloppy ass new girlfriend ( I NEVER liked that trick) and I performed it directly to him. It was my apology for thinking that he was someone worth my time. I was finally sorry; sorry for having wasted my time. (And for those who have read my Advice from the Other Woman blog here on this site….you know that I wasnt done…yet). It was so dramatic. He sat directly under one of the overhead lights in the theatre and I could point him out in the crowd. My performance would be the talk of the school for weeks because everyone knew that I was talking about his ass! But this year when I finally got tired of his sorries…. I walked away for good, forever…because “I couldnt stand being sorry and colored at the same time”. I had come full circle. I had finally received what I sought for this piece to deliver me from all those years ago. I had found the answer before I could ever understand the problem. It had been confirmed, this play was for ME!!!

        So, who is this movie for? Is it for colored girls who have baptized this play and deemed it their Bible when Zane novels aren’t enuf? Or for colored girls who pray that he (Tyler Perry) doesn’t fuck up our Holy Grail when Why Did I Get Married Too? and Medea’s Great Big Family were enuf? I am afraid to find out. Just from the commercial, the first time I saw it I was captivated and amazed that all of these amazing women were going to be in MY play!!! Who was going to play me? Who was going to tell my story. And then I saw it, the snippet of Janet doing the intro to “Sorry”. BUT WHY WAS SHE IN A RED DRESS?!  That is the Lady in Blue’s SIGNATURE piece… I can’t get past that. I can’t fathom how you could be so careless and I immediately began to get enraged. I was no longer a Colored girl but a Color-ed girl feeling as if this commercial has just thrown bleach on my favorite blue Prada dress! WHERE WAS MY BLUE!!!? I was already upset. I literally ran to my bookshelf and hugged the book and began to cry. Yes, I sound psycho…but you don’t understand…..this is my LIFE that Tyler is playing with. Who were these men in an all woman’s play? Would I feel as if too much had been done to such a sacred script?  Or should I be glad that at least all of these black women were employed? No matter what, I couldn’t shake the feeling that a street graffiti artist had come along and added a few of his homeboys to Da Vinci’s Last Supper and they were depicted stealing food from Mary’s, I mean Peter’s, plate. Or was I taking it too far?

Did I not have the right to prejudge? Was I not justified in thinking that the absence of real men in the play made me internalize what was being depicted on stage, force me to visualize myself in one of those colors? Or was I wrong for not giving it a chance? Or was I upset that another sacred piece of black art was being brought mainstream, mainstream….and possibly amongst “mixed company”? I felt the same way about Good Hair.  But this was Lauryn Hill killing me softly but showing up 3 hours late to do it kind of confusion.

        So, today, I brought the book with me to work. After reviewing it this week from cover to cover and having purchased my tickets Monday in advance…thanks Fandango!….I think I am ready to see the movie. I dont know what to expect. But I think I am ready to have an opinion. So, Dressed in all black , brown skin with a touch of Red….my colors of choice today…..I have 4 hours left……..I’ll tell you what I think. And If I’m wrong….. I’ll apologize

~*Check out Part 2 for My Critique*~

Sincerely,

~*My Mother’s Daughter*~

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  1. Waiting on part 2. I held back so many tears (held most of them back) watching that movie. I plan to see it again, sans the loud ass people who sat next to me in the theater.

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