10 thoughts on “For Colored Girls by Ntozake Shange”

  1. So I went in to see the movie with the mindset that it’s gonna be another movie about miserable black people in a black community. But the objections I heard from some bw bloggers (who didn’t even go see it) that Tyler was going to do this or that based on some inhibited rage against the bw was not portrayed on screen.

    Studying sociology- one notices subliminal messages. But the main one I got from that movie, was that there are women who are abused and raped etc and now finally the big screen is taking notice of it. It wasn’t so much a color thing. And despite the horrible wigs all of these women were outstanding and beautiful. It’s not easy to make a movie out of a book of poems loved by Many. So I think the least we can do is commend him for getting people to finally see that bw don’t get aids from the sky but from men who cheat with other men (one way) for ex. Are we really upset at Perry portraying us a certain way or for wm not to see us in a negative light? Cause if it’s still mostly about what white people think about us, then perry isn’t necessily our problem,is he?

    GoldenAh: I think reading the book or being familiar with the material (other movies) will provide context, and doing that before being exposed to TP doesn’t hurt.

    I listed the classic book, because it is a good read.

    Not only do I enjoy watching all variations of Pride and Prejudice movies, I’ll go back and read the book again. I notice that directors / writers respect the material so much they’ll mostly, if not exactly, follow the book word for word….

    Maybe TP’s spin on the book improves the story, adds something, or detracts. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Thanks for the feedback on the movie, Babs. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Thank you for this post. I did not go see TP’s rendition, and would much rather buy the original work.

    It goes along with my goal to put a little extra change into the pockets of bw and those who create postive images of us this holiday season:

    http://foreverloyal.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/lets-make-it-a-bwe-christmas-and-eid-and-hanukkah-etc/

    GoldenAh: You are welcome. I remember liking the book. And I’m certainly not into Debbie Downer material. I found it a good and interesting read. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Great suggestions, Foreverloyal.

  3. Hey G! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve been check for ya, just not commenting a lot recently.

    Yes I remember Ms. Wallace’s book, but I can’t recall if it’s because I read something about the blowback she got because of the book or saw because she was mentioned in a documentary of some sort.

    The synopsis on her at the link you provided indicates her ‘revision’ was in saying that in her opinion at the time black male machismo seemed to be the cause of the shortsightedness of the civil rights leaders and now (1990’s) she would allow there could have been other valid reasons for the shortsightedness (please read mis-leadership!). At least that’s how I read it.

    You are right, Michele Wallace is an original ‘blog mother’ for real. I’ve got to get ‘Black Macho…’ and Invisibility Blues.

    Loving the conversation!

    Peace

    GoldenAh: I remember the heat on her more than book, but I’m sure it was a good read. I think it’s probably still available at any major city library or university library – or used book stores nearby. She wasn’t saying anything different than what’s been discussed at these blogs. Pretty much her question was: white women got feminism, black men got civil rights – what did the sisters get?

    Oh, I read But Some Of Us Are Brave: All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, and I can’t remember the details. It was such a long time ago! But I’d say this book, along with some of the others out there saw what was going with black women and nailed the issues.

    I think the key difference is that they were looking to fix things within the “black community”, and we’ve realized the sale date has past.

    Thanks for the feedback, and great to hear from you, Southland Diva. ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Here’s some background on the book Black Macho and Myth of the Superwoman, and author Michelle Wallace from answers.com:

    At age 26, Wallace published Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman. In it she analyzed the Civil Rights and Black Power movements in terms of their effects on black sexuality, concluding that black men came to equate masculinity with political power. Citing a tendency among black men to date white women, Wallace argued that black men believed the only way to achieve power in a white-dominated power structure was to assert their sexual prowess over white women.

    Daniel Moynihan’s 1965 report on the black family further supported the supposition that black women, as superwomen, can thrive independently of black men, which Wallace maintained further fueled antagonistic relations between the sexes.

    In the second part of the book, Wallace argued her case for black feminism, stating that black women are denied both racial and sexual equality. She suggested that black men and women have, to a certain extent, accepted the myths about them. Wallace then cited this factor as contributing to the creation of sexual and racial barriers for black women.

    In short order, Wallace found herself in a firestorm of criticism for which she was ill prepared. Her detractors accused her of unfounded generalizations and devaluing the Civil Rights movement.

    She later changed her mind. The harassment was too much, I suppose:

    During the 1980s and 1990s, Wallace revised some of the positions she supported in Black Macho.

    This woman saw the future…

    Click here to read in full.

  5. Unfortunately, I read somewhere (Google Books, I think?) that Michelle somewhat reneged on her original position, based on the book, several years later. But I’ve not read the entire book, so I may have misunderstood.

    Ntozake Shange is on my “to read” list.

  6. โ€œBlack Macho and the Myth of the Superwomanโ€ by Michelle Wallace.

    I read this book when I was younger and it opened my eyes to how sexism is just as prevalent in the black community as everywhere else even though black folks won’t admit it.
    The female authors were villified by the establishment back in the day for calling black men out on their bullshit.

  7. Shange has always been a female writer that I have looked up to. I started reading her work in my early teens and was in awe of the power conveyed in her words. “Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo” is a book about three sisters and their very proud, traditional mother. I could so relate to various things in that book. I think that she is very underrated as a writer and should be as big as Alice Walker, Pearl Cleage or Toni Morrison. But with the movie, more and more people are becoming interested in Shange’s work and that is a good thing. I have never read The Black Macho and Superwoman, but they sound interesting and I will put them on my reading list. Thank you for the suggestions;-)

  8. The Black Macho and Supewoman book I saw in a used bookstore, I ought to pick it up. Can you share more on the book Golden Ah?

  9. Thanks for this! I just posted a note on Facebook reminding BW they can go to the SOURCE and not the CULTURE VULTURE if they need affirmation and lo and behold you did a post!

    GoldenAh: You are welcome. I noticed that the TP movie was being mentioned, so I decided to dig up the old classic works. ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. Yeah, read it for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I can see why some women are so proprietary about the work.

    I found ‘For Colored Girls…’ inspiring on a creative level. I want to see more material for bw to sink there teeth into and if the entertainment industry as it exists today won’t provide the content; I know we must.

    Just like Ntozake Shange did…

    Peace

    GoldenAh: Another amazing book I remember that caused a LOT of controversy – it was sort of like these BWE blogs – is the book “Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman” by Michelle Wallace. I had this book, plus many others with a similar theme, but I have no idea where they are. I suspect I gave them away. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Nice hearing from you, Southland Diva.

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