a colored girl’s love letter.

(i was gonna write a letter to tyler perry, but i’ve decided against it.  for now, anyway.)

so i’ve been thinking about tyler perry being at the helm of this major motion picture adaptation of for colored girls. and i’ve been reading the choreopoem itself over and over again.  and something i’ve come to realize as a result of this development is that when there’s an adaptation of an original work, lots of things get changed and moved around. i think the “pass” he gets is that he’s going to adapt the choreopoem. which means to me that we’re likely to get the storylines of the women, but with some serious redux. since TP’s subject matter almost exclusively involves heavily dysfunctional black women & men, we’re gonna get the essence of crystal and beau willie brown. we’re going to get the concept of the latent rapist bravado piece, but maybe never the idea that it is never the victim’s fault.
it would pain me incessantly to see this choreopoem turned into an episode of jerry springer with a dash of church music thrown in at the end.  it seems that lots of women i know feel the same way — it would be so tragic to see something we love so deeply turned into yet another reason to hear oleta adams’ “many rivers to cross” or mariah carey’s “fly like a bird” in the context of something that really reduces the black woman’s experience to its lowest common denominator.

so i’ve been thinking about that, too. what is this film adaptation going to look like? is it going to follow the same basic archetype as his other films/ plays (emotionally damaged black woman/ women finding redemption after much pain and strife… with a heavy dose of jesus h. christ for upliftment)? according to the ‘dream cast’ article from broadway.com (linked above), the narratives of the ladies will be incorporated into perry’s own script that leads them to ‘the colored girls center’. i, personally, see lots of his tried-and-true storytelling methods. i feel like that’s a really bad idea, given that most of the impact that for colored girls has (in my experience) comes from the very fact that it is a CHOREOPOEM. not a scripted play with a set and huge cast. not a scripted film with a plot. because linear storytelling, though it can be impactful, is not in tune with how most of us reach our epiphanized selves. at the end of the piece, is there not the mantra of “i found god in myself/ and i loved her/ i loved her fiercely”?  what about that? knowing that most of tyler perry’s viewership identifies as christian, are we going to discuss the divine feminine in this movie? i doubt it. so, i’m pissed.  i think it’s apparent from this piece written by stacia on postbourgie that the concern of colored girls fans is very real, and definitely not imagined or overblown.

an idea i’ve wanted to do ever since playing “lady in green” back in my freshman year of college is to do a series of colored girls readings.  it could be really simple. dinner, cocktails, the reading, then a discussion with notes and feedback forms and stuff.

i will do this. in philly, in nyc, in dc . . . where ever.

interested? email me. sechitatgmaildotcom with colored girls dinner party in the subject header.



10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Aaminah
    Sep 11, 2009 @ 15:58:31

    as always, you rock.


  2. Fiqah
    Sep 11, 2009 @ 16:41:12

    Hearts you so hard the shit is scary. But don’t be skirred.


  3. Trackback: Twitter Trackbacks for a colored girl’s love letter. « incredible juju. [dopegirlfresh.wordpress.com] on Topsy.com
  4. Vizionheiry
    Sep 11, 2009 @ 22:16:48

    I think your dinner party re-enactment movement will catch on, if you’re serious.

    As for the film, I think we should take up our concerns with Ms. Shange for optioning her rights to Perry. After all, it’s her story.

    The positive is that, like Push, (another film adapted from a book written by a Black woman, by a Black man), the film may increase book sales.


  5. omi
    Sep 12, 2009 @ 09:37:13

    you know i’m down…i’ll hit you up via email so you can make links as necessary…


  6. sparkle
    Sep 13, 2009 @ 15:51:33

    @Vizionhery: originally, the rights to adapt the choreopoem into a screenplay belonged to nzingha stewart. from what i gather of the very scattered info on the web, lionsgate tapped tyler perry instead of nzingha stewart to direct. being the one-stop-shop he’s always been, TP is also writing and producing instead of doing what he did with precious (which was serve as co-executive producer with oprah). he can produce all he wants — producers provide resources. directors and directors of cinematography guarantee that the story is told visually, based on the screenwriter’s work. tyler perry may be able to construct a tale, but as sole screenwriter as well as director of an adaptation of for colored girls, i feel that he really might not be able to bring the depth of the original work by shange. if the original director was bumped but the rights to adapt were already sold, how much finger wagging can be done at the original creator of the piece? my eyebrow is raised at lionsgate films, who sent a clear message to the film viewing public by deferring to tyler perry on this.


  7. Wise aka D.L. Chandler
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 15:17:20

    I wish ya’ll the best…word is bond!


  8. Fio Maravilha
    Sep 16, 2009 @ 16:30:51

    count me in.


  9. z.bediako
    Sep 17, 2009 @ 09:19:25

    i’m down.
    – z


  10. Mel
    Sep 22, 2009 @ 18:30:20

    you know i’m in on the schools end. lord knows we have some colored young ladies who could use someone telling them that dry-humping a dude up against the wall in a club isn’t how they need to be spending their time.

    the lady in orange is ready to ride again. count on it.


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