For Colored Girls who Hate Tyler Perry when Common Sense isn’t Enuf . . .

Okay, I was really trying not to have to do this.  Me defending Tyler Perry is like Lady Gaga having lunch with a General who supports Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Shit is just not congruent. But it must be done. IT MUST BE DONE. I need for all of you sanctimonious, all-knowing, Pegro, au-naturael Black Women to SHUT THE FUCK UP about Tyler Perry and his version of For Colored Girls.  I know, at this point, some of you already hate me, and that’s FINE. You can hate me if you want to, but I’m still gonna say what I need to say.

 

 

I must share, that “For Colored Girls who Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf” is my mother’s favorite Book.  When I was 4, I told her about my favorite book {Pat the Bunny} and she told me that her favorite book changed her life.  When I said I wanted to read it, she told me I had to be older.  When I was older, she told me all the poems she could remember.   For her birthday last year, I found her an original Hardcover First edition of the book.  She Cried. {I’m a Good Daughter}

 

For Colored Girls was written in a time of emotional expression and liberation for Black Women.  It made such an impact, because it spoke to the secret problems of an entire GENERATION of black women.  It spoke to the situations they put themselves in, as well as situations they had no control over.  The places they went based on their circumstances, and the struggle to face the world as a Colored Girl.  It’s a POWERFUL statement of the women of that time, this can’t be denied.  But is it the best written play of all time, NO. Are there parts that every women can relate to, yes?  Was it written for everyone, NO.

 

All that being said, Lets Discuss the EVIL Tyler Perry and his movie adaptation.  FCGWHCSWTRiE is a Choreo-Poem.  It involves dancing, singing, and a large stage, usually with several things going on at once.  The only way he would have been able to do the Poem complete justice would have been staging it like the screenplay, and just filming that. But he didn’t, because the impact of some of the poems would have been lost in translation, or to the people that he was making the film for.

 

 

Please Note: I feel that its time for Tyler Perry to let Madea Go. He doesn’t need her anymore to make statements about the world in general.  His best movies, are movies that were orignal screenplays, or things that he adapted.  Why Did I get Married, while it started out as a play didn’t include Madea, and the movie spoke for itself.  The Family that Preys was such a good movie.  Not a sign of Coonery at all. Plus, he was able to turn Sanaa Lathan {The most loved Rom-Com Black Star ever} into a raving bitch, and no one tried to kill him for that.

 

 

 

For Colored Girls is an AWESOME ASS MOVIE. Stop trying to pick at every single thing and compare it to the book/play. It was NEVER meant to be that.  The fact that he was able to take 20 different poems, and make them flow in one movie is a feat in and of itself.  Yes, the delivery of the poems was not done as in the play, but then at times I think it was actually more powerful to see one person do a poem {Anika Noni Rose doing Latent Rapists’} or {Macy Gray doing I Usedta Live in the World}. If you had never read the book, or seen the play, and if Tyler Perry’s name hadn’t been attached to the project, I wonder if people would be so negative about the movie.

 

 

Tyler Perry isn’t male bashing in the movie.  The POEM does that for him.  Actually, the poem doesn’t bash either, it just tells the story.  You take from it what you will. Even Ms. Shange said “Per square inch, there are more negative images of black men in your average rap song or television cop show than in my choreopoem”. He didn’t change any of the male characters, except for creating Hill Harper’s, cuz he didn’t actually exist.  He added a positive role. How is he male bashing? He’s presenting things that actually happen to Black Women.  Maybe, yall are mad because Black Women can relate more to “mean/low-down/triflin/& no count” men than they can a positive male influence.  Or maybe, everyone that had something bad to say about the movie are people who have Good Men and Good Black Male experiences.  You are the EXCEPTION, not the got damn rule.

You live in a bubble, of good men and happy lives.  The reality is, Black Women are taken advantage of all the time.  They are hurt, beat down, bruised and broken by black men from Birth to the Grave.  From the Daddy that never cared, to the Ball Player who raped her, to the Boss who sexually harassed her, to the Husband that cheated.  Life ain’t no crystal stair.  Stop pretending like it is.  Ignoring the problem {Lack of Positive, influence Black Males in the lives of these young women} isn’t going to make it go away.  It’s okay if you have a great life.  It’s great.  {Honestly, TP needs to do more movies about how Black Women tear each other down all the damn time, but that’s another blog for another time.}

But, then again,  what have you done for the people who haven’t had a great life?  How many hoodrats have you talked to today?  We all judge, but make sure your judgement is focused on the right person.  Tyler Perry attempts to relate to Black Women because he knows that Black Men aren’t listening to him.  And that shit is REAL. We, as women, have to also take responsibility for the situations that we put ourselves in.  We aren’t helpless creatures who have been guided down the wrong path {all the time}.

Did he truncate some of the poems, yes.  Did he assign poems to the wrong colors, yes. Was Whoppi’s character Bat Shit Crazy, yes. But the message of Ntozake Shange was still there.  The message that we as Colored Girls have to SPEAK about the problems and the issues, and WORK TOGETHER to help each other deal with them.  In July of 2010, Ms. Shange met with the cast of For Colored Girls, and had this to say . . .

” That ‘For Colored Girls’ continues to resonate so profoundly almost forty years after I first set pen to paper is bittersweet for me. Thought we have achieved many a milestone, the stories and struggles of our lives as women, and in particular, women of color, are still not granted the full address due.”

I will end this rant/review/blog with MY favorite Poem from For Colored Girls entitled – No Assistance

without any assistance or guidance from you
i have loved you assiduously for 8 months 2 wks & a day
i have been stood up four times
i’ve left 7 packages on yr doorstep
forty poems 2 plants & 3 handmade notecards i left
town so i could send to you

you have been no help to me, on my job
you call at 3:00 in the mornin on weekdays
so i could drive 27 1/2 miles cross the bay before i go to work
charmin charmin, but you are of no assistance

i want you to know, this waz an experiment
to see how selfish i couldd be
if i would really carry on to snare a possible lover
if i waz capable of debasin my self for the love of another
if i could stand not being wanted, when i wanted to be wanted
& i cannot
so
with no further assistance & no guidance from you
i am endin this affair

this note is attached to a plant
i’ve been watering since the day i met you
you may water it
yr damn self

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4 thoughts on “For Colored Girls who Hate Tyler Perry when Common Sense isn’t Enuf . . .

  1. You make great points! For example, sexual assault, verbal and physical abuse are all a reality that women of color face on a consistent, every day basis. I say this from experience. I also believe that men as well as women are using the fact that Tyler Perry produced the adaptation as reasoning to criticize the movie. That said, there are plenty of women who could have produced and directed the film who were overlooked. Similarly, just as you are entitled to your opinion/perspective, so are other women, and so suggesting that other women (Black women) should “SHUT THE FUCK UP” is another way of silencing someone who does not necessarily agree with your view. Instead, you should offer this blog entry as an opportunity to enlighten those who are ignorant to the truth.

    • Hey Soror, I really, REALLY enjoyed reading this. I loved your points of view. This really should be published like in Jet or something. It’s amazing how we could only see the good or bad in a piece of art. Help me out here. Do you think Tyler did a good job by making the setting 2010? Some of the words were too dated and kept taking me out of the movie cause specifically they fit but universally they didn’t. I do agree that if Tyler wasn’t attached to the movie I would have enjoyed it more because it seemed like a Tyler Perry movie with great poetry. Same themes, same men, same women. Damn give me something different. Could we say there are different types of acting: Stage and Film? I think Tyler directed them in a very stagey way. I don’t think the best was brought out by Janet, Whoopi, Thandie, hell any of them. They did well, but it was alot of over and UNDER acting. I am blessed that I haven’t experienced much of Tyler’s themes, but I recognize that these stories of rape, incest, man-hating, and abuse NEED to be told. I don’t feel he has mastered this though and therefore butchering great writing. Soror, you don’t feel there was Man-Hating going on in this movie? What’s the difference then? Hill Harpers appearances weren’t enough to draw attention for an opinion. So anyone who says anything for/against him is crazy. He had about 10 mins of screentime. LOL. All the men in (main roles) in the movie were awful and had no redeeming qualities…like most TP films. I loved reading this and I appreciate that you found some great stuff in this. But do you think if you weren’t familiar with the book you would give soo much kudos for a mediocre job? We do agree that another director would have made this movie sooo much better because they wouldnt have the Tyler Perry baggage.

    • @ Nicole “Instead, you should offer this blog entry as an opportunity to enlighten those who are ignorant to the truth.”

      What truth? Tyler Perry’s “truth” doesn’t apply to all women. Thinking and writing it as if its “truth” is part of the problem cause its not and ignorant to think so.

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