Sunday, November 7, 2010


OMG, it’s been forever since I have written a blog but off the heels of two, a movie and a book, I was forced to write a blog and maybe post it as a note on Facebook.

Sometimes I surprise people when I say I’ve read a certain book, saw a certain movie/play, or can recite a line from a poem, rap, or even a quote delivered in a speech that I have heard only once. Well I had that same look of surprise when the announcement came that a new movie, “For Color Girls” would be hitting theaters and I said I read the collection of poems in high school and I also saw the play (off Broadway of course because I was too young for that). And almost as a challenge these older women would question me about the play, ask how could I understand such depth at such a young age. Now you know it wasn’t in those exact words but nonetheless it was still implied in a manner that would belittle most people who hold a bit of intellect.

Anywoo, these poems I couldn’t recite to you but I can tell you the impact that the play had on me was of one that anyone in world could relate despite race and age. It is a story dedicated to BLACK women, but a story that crosses the boundary that is often set by color. It is coming of age, a story of the value of self worth, and story of encouragement. It is pretty much a story of what you would want it to be, a story that you can see friend, your sister, auntie, grandmother, cousin, mother, or even YOURSELF!

“For color girls who have considered suicide/When the rainbow is enuf” by Ntozake Shange is one of the most creative pieces of work that has been bought to the big screen. The original work start with seven women represented by seven different colors; lady in brown, lady in red, lady, in blue, lady in purple, lady in yellow, lady in orange, and the lady in green. With each woman to represent a different city(I can’t recall the cities) but in the movie had made a few changes. Changes that were not bad; changes that have given the movie an update from the 70’s and bought light issues of our time.

For years I’ve been hearing that India. Arie would be working on a production that would bring this play back to Broadway but NOTHING! Then, I kept hearing that Tyler Perry was to bring it to life once again but on a big screen, YEAH RIGHT I know he is going to mess this up with a million changes! This is one movie that I will not be going to see, as I’m not a fan of his work. But then I saw the trailer, the cast of characters, and after seeing all the post and reviews my Facebook friends posted well I just had to go see what all the hype was and I’m glad I did. The changes were little, if fact they were so little you wouldn’t even notice it. The women were given names, and the men were given faces, instead of acknowledging the Vietnam War we are acknowledging the War on Iraq and pushing the envelope addressing HIV/AIDS, that’s just how little the changes were. Well with the exception the colors were flip around and some poems told by others that were not represented of the color for the play. Again, it’s a story that could be told from any women so who really cares if the colors were switched right? I don’t because it was still great and fit each situation and still had the same meaning! Each setting for each poem was delivered with such force, such gripping magnitude that you allowed you to feel the pain of each person as they delivered line after line and if that were not enough a full visual of what was going on in the mind of each women at each time was mesmerizing.

The Cast was awesome! I mean you can not go wrong with Kimberly Elise-lady in brown(Crystal), Anika Noni Rose-lady in yellow, Janet Jackson-lady in red(Jo). Kerry Washingtion-lady in blue, Thandie Newton-lady in orange (Tangie), Tessa Thompson-lady in purple(Nyla), Whoopi Goldberg-lady in white(mother of Nyla &Tangie), Phylicia Rashad, Macy Gray, Lorette Devine-lady in green, Macy Gray, Michael Ealy, Hill Harper, Khalil Kain, and the guy that played Michael Jackson’s father in that movie. For the most part I can not remember all the names as they appeared in the movie but I know most of them from other bodies of work and for those that I have left out it’s because I don’t remember their names at all but did a great job in their rolls. Macy Gray was only seen for maybe five minutes of the movie but you will never forget her voice, the look, or the words she spoke of what she use to be like as a women of and in the world world, and how now 6 blocks of Harlem is her universe! The lady in white, as I recall was not an original color in the book, but was just as important bring everything full circle. There is something about the character portrayed by Phylicia Rashad that embodied all of the women in one that I cannot put my finger on.

So all in all I give the movie two thumbs up. I give Tyler Perry two thumbs and a four star rating for his directing, production, and his ability to write the screenplay for this wonderful piece! It makes me want to purchase the book for my very own keepsake.
It is a piece for all COLORED GIRLS!