Excerpt (Spoiler Alert)
Can anyone name a movie that came out recently starring a black man who wasn't a sociopath? Someone who had a terrific screen presence, like a young Paul Robeson? And he portrayed a character who was complex and fully drawn? Did he respect black women, too?
Anybody see that movie? I didn't. But surely it's out there somewhere, right? An alternative to those Tyler Perry films portraying black men as Satan's gift to black women? But where is it?
Maybe I didn't hear about it because of all the buzz over Perry's For Colored Girls, which opened Friday and is based on Ntozake Shange's 1975 stage play, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf.
Or maybe I didn't hear about it because I was retching too loudly after seeing For Colored Girls — and reading so many inexplicably glowing reviews.
"This movie is powerful," Demetria L. Lucas wrote recently in Essence, the nation's premier magazine for black women. "It is incredible. The performances in it are astonishing, but most of all, this film will leave you lifted."
Me, I thought the movie should have been renamed, "For Black Men Who Have Considered Homicide After Watching Another Perry Movie."
"Oscar buzz, breaking news," read The Hollywood Reporter on Friday. "Will For Colored Girls blindside Tyler Perry's critics?"
Too late. I was blindsided while watching the movie, especially when superstar Janet Jackson appeared on screen looking like Michael Jackson with breast implants.
"Don't laugh," says Shadow and Act, an online publication about black films and filmmakers. "For Colored Girls, an Oscar contender?"
Oscar for what?
In the category for best infection of a black woman with a sexually transmitted disease that renders her infertile. … And the winner is: black man.
For best down-low, double-dealing husband who has sex with wife while sneaking around having sex with men on the streets. … And the winner is: black man.
Read this commentary in its entirety at The Washington Post.