For Colored Girls…

| November 12, 2010

This past Tuesday night myself and 2 of my closest girlfriends made our way into Harlem’s Magic Johnson movie theater for the 7pm showing of Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls, based on the legendary choreopoem by Ntozake Shange entitled For Colored girls who have contemplated suicide, when the rainbow is enuf.

I had read the choreopoem and had been incredibly moved by it – because as a literary work it touched me to the depths of my womanhood and the depths of my pain and my triumphs. But nothing could prepare meĀ for the reflection and Perry’s interpretation on the big screen. In my opinion he has brought to life Shange’s work so that is relevant and vibrant and vital in today’s time. The cast is stellar, and though each of the women have their own brilliance and reputations as strong actresses of Color, together they play off each other like the diamonds they are – brilliantly dazzling and lustrous.

There have been mixed reviews of this film adaptation as Perry is often hounded for his tongue-in-cheek Madea films. Critics have complained that he demonizes Black men, or that he should have cast more white people, but to my mind he has outdone himself here. This is not a film about white men or white women, or of Black men for that matter, it is the adaptation of Shange’s work – and it is unashamedly poignant and painful and hurtful to watch, but it has also the essence of strength and triumph. In a world that asks us so often to apologize for our very existence, as a woman of Color I urge you to read the poem and then watch the film adaptation. It will have something to share – that I can guarantee.