‘For Colored Girls,’ Not for Black Men

The men of 'For Colored Girls' betray black women at every turn. One writer wonders where all the positive roles for black men have gone.


Perry’s version chose not to write the men in the film as fully human. Instead, they are cardboard props. Even Hill Harper, who plays the token “good guy,” is one-dimensional. The result, sadly, is that at the end of such an emotionally wrenching movie, there is no reconciliation whatsoever between the sexes or with the audience.

We now live in a time when black people have been given relative power and wealth to green-light film projects. Yet many of our movies portray black culture as mere pathology. And we seem to be okay with it. Surely, if white directors had us in their films in this unflattering way, the NAACP would be up in arms. Double standard? I’d say yes.

So how would I sum up current black cinema? We’re no longer black; we’re colored. We’re no longer men; we’re brutes. And sadly, there’s no time for art, only time to get paid.

Abdul Ali writes about culture for The Root. He lives in Washington, D.C. 

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