Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to check out Tyler Perry’s movie, “For Colored Girls Only”. I was familiar with the book and grew up hearing how amazing the play was and the braveness of Ntozake Shange for writing this book of choreopoems. How Ms. Shange abruptly brought to life emotions, passion and feelings to was bold and courageous to say the least. Remember, this book was first published in 1975. The world wasn’t as inviting back then. She translated things that women all over the world were experiencing through a ladies representing a featured color. Brilliant. Innovative.
A family relative who was deep into the Arts scoop me one evening in Flint, Michigan with my other cousins to go see “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuff”. At the time, I did not understand what each woman was expressing on stage due to my young age. I did know it was powerful and they were convicted with every word that fell upon my ears. Since that experience, “For Colored Girls..” has been in my thoughts and mental files. Anytime, I’ve seen a news bit or rumors of it coming to Broadway, off broadway or the screen my antennas were heightened. I anxiously awaited the opportunity to see it now that I am an adult. (snickers) When I began to hear, Tyler Perry and friends were really making this a reality, I was happy. Then, when I received word from my building manager, the film was being shot in my neighborhood I knew it was a done deal. Plus, Tyler and company were smart to film it in Harlem, the best ‘hood in the world!
As the days grew near for the release, I saw facebook invites in my inbox and e-vites to gather to view and discuss during premiere weekend. My delegation was a small 3-person group who stepped to the highly anticipated screening Saturday morning. Let me start with this, Kudos to Tyler Perry. What a beautiful mind! Throughout the movie I thought, Wow! how did he come up with this and that? Thankfully, when the characters began to recite the poems in the movie, it alerted my memory of parts I remembered from the play I saw many years ago. How beautiful was the vision of all of these actors, amazing black women and me who rock! The superb interpretation of a piece created over thirty years ago was delivered with a level of love and respect. I left the movie theater speechless.
I left the movie theater and purchased a new copy of the book still in awe of the movie. Post viewing “For Colored Girls, my conversation with all of my friends and associates had sprinkles of “Did you see the movie?” and “what did you think?” Our conversations were colorful and received without no judgment. I also was on facebook viewing a few fb friends comments about the movie and was perplexed with the negative statements on the movie. I continued to scroll through various statements that were against the movie and in my opinion “off the mark”. It annoyed me so much that I responded and joined the discussion. My main theme was “Did We Watch The Same Movie?” I guess the reason why I asked that is because why was there so much haterade being poured on the movie? Why weren’t there more praises for this project and less critical comments and analysis this? Yes, I believe everyone should have a voice but Really? Seriously?
Let’s open our minds and eyes and look at the liberation of the project of “For Colored Girls Only”. Each women found peace and a way out of their darkness. This may help someone who’s in a situation where they needed another option to leave or move on to something better. Let’s applaud Tyler Perry and the entire production for bring this amazing cast of actors who happen to be African-Americans to the screen. Let’s support another film from an African-American company. We must ELEV8 one another.
Have you seen “For Colored Girls”? What did YOU think? We’d like to know.