Everyone is buzzing over the Washington Post piece written by Courtland Milloy titled "For black men who have considered homicide after watching another Tyler Perry movie."
I guess we knew it would come. When I had an extra ticket to the preview of "For Colored Girls" and asked my male cousin if he wanted to go, his response was, "Is that another male bashing movie." I said, "Have you seen the previews. Do you know what it's about?" His response. "No." I mean we've gotten to a point where if a man walks into a theater with a female cast, regardless of what happens, it's all male bashing. Either you're not getting enough attention or there were bad men in it.
Milloy states in his article:
Can anyone name a movie that came out recently starring a black man who wasn't a sociopath? Someone who had a terrific screen presence, like a young Paul Robeson? And he portrayed a character who was complex and fully drawn? Did he respect black women, too?
Anybody see that movie? I didn't. But surely it's out there somewhere, right? An alternative to those Tyler Perry films portraying black men as Satan's gift to black women? But where is it?
Ok. You're stretching for the Paul Robeson piece. I've seen movies where the black men were shown in a good light. They were hardworking and treated their women with respect. How about another Perry movie. The family that preys, where the black men were working hard for the money and it was the black female who treated her entire family like cold scrapple. Most Madea movies, and even I can't watch but so many of them, often have a good black man present. Man and woman hook up. The End. Who else is she hooking up with. The dishes?
Did I mention Just Wright, cult classics like Brown Sugar, Love and Basketball, and Blair Underwood in Set it Off. I guess they weren't recent enough. The black men weren't dynamic enough. Most of us fell in love with Boris or Taye Diggs or liked Mos Def even more because of those films. So they did something.
Back to "For Colored Girls." There was a good guy in the movie. Hill Harper. He played a wonderful husband. Here's what Milloy had to say about him:
Uh yeah. That'd be nothing. He posted a 12 word quote from another writer. 12 words out of his whole editorial.
He also states,
"Our Family Wedding" with Forrest Whitaker was okay. But how many black wedding comedies can you watch?
Why gloss over it? I thought that it was a good movie. The black men were interesting and loving. I can watch a lot of black wedding comedies if they're truly funny. Give me a few comedies and a few dramas and we're good.
The reality is this. The movie is called For Colored Girls. I believe that the play was written to relate to us. Not you. Get over yourselves. Many of these situations relate to us individually, someone that we know, or represents one of our greatest fears.
I understand that you feel under represented and you want to voice that. I just don't believe that this was the movie to do it. Did you notice that the acting was great? Could the cast have been any better? Isn't it amazing that things that plagued women in the 70's are still relevant now? You probably missed that huh? Because of Janets' husband? You probably waived your hands in the air, shook your head, and decided to focus on her makeup. I noticed it too, but I knew that the movie wasn't about that.
Listen, all black men aren't bad. I know good black men. I am related to some of them. I love them. I've dated them. On the other hand. I know some cheating and conniving black men. I am related to some of them. I love them. I'm glad that I don't date them.
Guys stand around and say me and my boys are good men. They don't put us on screen. But think about it. How many of your boys would you hook up with your sister or another close female in your family? Would you want these men for your daughters? If not, evaluate why. You probably wouldn't want your sister to have to put up with some of the cheating or B.S that the guy has to offer. That's why it's in many movies. It's reality.
This movie was about us. How about you just fall back, take note, and act accordingly. And for the record, I do love my black men. I'm excited to see them rise above whether he's the minority in an ensemble cast or he's the main character. So keep the movies coming. Let's get some Paul Robeson-esq characters. Hopefully we can stir up as much emotion about those as we have about this.
What are your thoughts?