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I had the occasion to view a television broadcast of For Colored Girls recently. Although I had seen the movie previously about 2 years ago, it still has a strong emotional hold over me. This is perhaps my third time watching this movie. Like the movie Precious, I vowed never again to watch it. Why?

Because it is too painful to watch the degradation of Black women in this country!!

I know that it is continually happening.

But Still!!

Take the character of the mentally ill veteran who kills his two children by throwing them from an open window.

I struggled with the idea of where to place the blame for the death of these two children.

I mean she was aware that he needed help. Although he had his moments of lucidity, he still posed a threat to the safety of his household.

In all fairness, she still remembered the tender love they shared as young lovers-who loved each other since they were fourteen years old.

In the end however, I decided that Beau Willie should garner 100% of the blame in spite of mental illness as a result of military service.

I wonder if he had the propensity for violence before he was mentally shattered by the military.

Then we have Whoopi Goldberg’s portrayal of the religious fanatic.

Her overly devotion and addiction to a religious cult was a coping mechanism or a way to self-medicate to deal with the pain of her father’s abuse and her eventual rape coerced by her father.

Whoopi’s character reminds me of the way a lot of Black women use religion as a way of dealing with the unresolved pain in their lives.

It is quite ironic that Black women are stereotyped as super strong and invincible.

Yet, we are the most vulnerable.

Our outlets for the incredible amount of pain that we endure on a daily bases includes our staunch devotion to religious sects that probably harm us more than do us any good.

I say that because often times in the church, we are employed to stand by the Black man no matter the damage to our lives and psyches.

Thus, as shattered humans, we have a diminished capacity to fulfill our roles as mothers and nurturers.

This was manifested in Whoopi’s two daughters.

Her eldest daughter portrayed by Thandie Newton was already chronicling a self-destructive path with her promiscuous behavior.

With no positive role models besides her encouraging dance teacher, the youngest daughter was heading down this same self-destructive road.

Even the supposedly super strong women in the movie were self-medicating to deal with pain.

Janet Jackson’s character who portrayed a successful entrepreneur, suffered from low self-esteem.

I questioned why would she would stay married to a man that she knew in her heart was gay?

Yet she used a hard facade to cover her pain.

She never recovered from the infidelities of her first husband.

What did she gain?

Certainly not the loyalty of her husband.

It broke my heart to see that instead of love and loyalty, she inherited disease.

In the end she was just another statistic of Black women living with HIV in America-infected by the very men that we expect to love us above all else.

For me Loretta Devine’s character was the most heart rendering.

She is the embodiment of the strong black woman syndrome.

Taking on the role as caretaker to her sisters, she still allows maltreatment.

I shook my head at the numerous times she allowed a man to use her as a doormat.

Her vulnerability touched me in a profound way!!

Most poignant and hopeful, was the circle of protection and understanding that the women adopted at the movie’s end.

With all of my heart I wish that Black Women in America could find a way to build a sisterhood circle where we can offer support and understanding for the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that are placed in our paths daily!!!

The unique set of challenges that we face almost requires this.

Who else has the capacity to understand our plight?

How else will we acquire the tools to fight the stress of single parenting, economic insecurity and disease?

Just my thoughts.

Until next time…..

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