Today is a clear and sunny day here in Southern California, and suited for enjoyment for a specific reason that I will share at another time.
The interesting story regarding this story that has been developed into a motion picture by Tyler Perry is that the poster from the original story and screen play known as Colored Girls….. is actually hanging inside of my mothers residence and has been visible somewhere in the house for I would estimate to say the last 30 years at least.
This was before the days of my infamous Janet Jackson wall poster displays as a teenager, and for whatever reason, I am now currently working at an innovative online publication which allows me to do many of the same things that I used to which we can chalk up as a testimonial of destiny.
The movie version, which is to be released on Friday November 5th is laced with notable African American female thespians.
Janet Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, Phylicia Rashad, Thandie Newton, Kimberly Elise, Anika Noni Rose and Loretta Devine.
There is of course concern from critics as to whether or not this particular choreopoem story(poems for stage play) is fit to be what they call “Perryatized” due to Tyler Perry’s history of displaying what some consider negative one dimensional African American character personifications featured in his hit films and television series.
For the sake of this discussion, I simply anticipate seeing Janet Jackson play the central character known as Jo in the story, as the story is one that pulls no punches and tells it like it it/was in regards to the life and times of women of color touching on subjects such as rape, abortion, and domestic violence.
Structurally, For Colored Girls is a series of 20 poems, collectively called a “choreopoem.” It is performed by a cast of seven women characters, each of whom is known only by a color: “Lady in Yellow,” “Lady in Purple,” etc. The poems deal with love, abandonment, rape, and abortion, embodied by each woman’s story, i.e. Lady in Blue’s visceral account of a woman who chooses to have an abortion, and Lady in Red’s tale of domestic violence. The end of the play brings together all of the women for “a laying on of hands,” in which Shange evokes the power of womanhood as the Lady in Red begins the mantra “I found God in myself/and I loved her/I loved her fiercely.”
In closing, there is so much news about the Tyler Perry movie on Google, that it is causing the information regarding the original story to be pushed back in the search engine listings, yet with so much discord about whether or not the film does the story justice, I am at the same time thinking about how many stories of my very own that I have to share regarding the lives and times of women of color and women in general in the modern age, and ask myself this interesting question.
“Wow, so people actually earn major money and acclaim for writing these types of stories? Interesting.”
A different perspective to consider.