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The Color Purple’s Reception in the African American Community

Upon screening a review of Spielberg’s films. I learned that the Color Purple was not well received by the African-American community. I took that information with a grain of salt, because as we all know, when speaking of a group, our patriarchal society always asks the opinion of men. Ahem! The Color Purple is a story for WOMEN and the experiences women endure. I was pleased to find out that Black women found the film theraputic. As a teenage “Celie”, I sure as hell did. In fact the film helped me void many traps that I could’ve fallen into and never climbed out of. For example: leave men alone of you are not their ideal.


  • CHICAGO, Jan. 26— Some people say ”The Color Purple” is only a movie. But many black people disagree.”No, it is not just a movie,” said Nate Clay in an interview. ”It is a statement made out of context used as a pretext to take one more lick at society’s rejects.” Mr. Clay is editor of The Chicago Metro News, a weekly black-owned newspaper.In living rooms, in taverns, on radio talk shows, in newspaper columns and at community forums in many parts of the country, black men and black women are arguing about the movie’s depiction of black men and its possible repercussions.At the film’s premiere in Los Angeles Dec. 18, dozens of pickets marched outside the theater. On a chilly Tuesday night in Chicago recently, nearly a thousand blacks crammed into the Progessive Community Church for a heated discussion of the film. And Friday night more than 200 people in New York filled the fellowship hall at St. James Presbyterian Church in Harlem for a similar exchange.

    ”No media vehicle since ‘Roots’ has caused this kind of dialogue,” observed Chuck Sutton, host of a program on the subject last week on WLIB radio in New York. ‘One Woman’s Story’

    The movie, directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker, tells the story of Celie, a black woman who was physically and sexually abused by men most of her life. For her portrayal of Celie the actress Whoopi Goldberg received a Golden Globe Award this weekend.

    Many black women defend the film, saying that it accurately reflects their own experience or the experience of women they know. Many black men, and some black women, contend that it gives a misleading picture of blacks in America and distorts their history.

    Oprah Winfrey, host of a television talk show in Chicago who played Sophia, Celie’s stepdaughter-in-law, in the movie, said: ”This movie is not trying to represent the history of black people in this country any more than ‘The Godfather’ was trying to represent the history of Italian-Americans. In this case, it’s one woman’s story.”

    Many women say it is also their story. Eartis Thomas, a telephone company employee in Chicago, said she knew many Celies when she was growing up in Sunflower County, Mississippi. She, her mother and her aunts were all beaten and otherwise brutalized by their husbands, Miss Thomas said. The movie, she said, ”just lifted a burden.”

    Miss Thomas added: ”Black women should not be sacrificed for black men’s pride. Let the film roll.” Arguments Heard Before

    Some of the arguments being heard now are similar to those heard in 1977 about Ntozake Shange’s play, ”For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf,” and in 1979 about Michele Wallace’s book, ”Black Macho & the Myth of the Superwoman.”

    These works confront the often uneasy relationship between black men and black women. Eldridge Cleaver, in his book ”Soul on Ice,” described it as a war. Miss Wallace described it as ”a profound distrust, if not hatred.”

    ”It’s a very touchy subject between folks, always has been,” said Haywood E. McDuffie, a Cleveland lawyer who said he recently argued about the movie with several women friends.

    ”The most frightening thing for me as a male was to look into their eyes,” Mr. McDuffie said. ”I wondered, ‘Is that really what they think of us?’ It’s as if there were an element of cruelty implicit in black men that all black women seem to identify.” ‘Never Showed the Good’

    Willis Edward, president of the Beverly Hills chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, argued in an interview that the movie ”never showed the good” about black men.

    But Clarence Page, a columnist for The Chicago Tribune, asserted, ”This movie is no more destructive of black men than ‘The Burning Bed’ was destructive of white men.” He referred to a television drama about abuse by spouses.

    Others argue that the movie distorts black history and appears to blame the victims of racism for a host of social problems, including a preponderance of broken families and a high incidence of teen-age pregnancy.

    Lerone Bennett, a historian who is senior editor of Ebony magazine, said, speaking of Mr. Spielberg: ”He doesn’t show us the strong black women who nursed the sick and cared for the orphans and organized clubs and, in general, exercised a leadership role denied white women by white society. What Steven Spielberg doesn’t show us, in short, is the color black.” Actor Defends Film

    Vernon Jarrett, a columnist for The Chicago Sun-Times, contended: ”Mr. Reagan, and his Attorney General, Mr. Meese, have decided that they are going to turn back the clock on us. The purpose of movies like this is to make it acceptable to you.”

    One movie cannot do that, insisted Danny Glover, the actor who played the role of Mister. Mr. Glover, who is appearing in a Chicago production of ”A Lesson from Aloes,” a play by Athol Fugard, said more people probably see ”The Cosby Show” on television each week than will see the film and can just as easily formulate their opinions of blacks on that basis.

    Black men are perhaps no different from other men in their attitudes toward women, he said. But he added, ”Lots of times we sweep our own problems under the rug under the justification of upholding black history and the black man.”

    Lee K. Richardson, the artistic director of the Crossroads Theater Company, in New Brunswick, N.J., said: ”It’s not the artist’s responsibility to right the wrongs. There is not just one side to our black experience.”

    As the debate continued, the movie had grossed nearly $29 million through Jan. 19, drawing audiences that are 72 percent white, and the book, according to a spokesman for the publisher Simon & Shuster, has become ”the fastest-selling paperback in a long time.”

    photo of Whoopi Goldberg


    Yeah, Black women don’t trust Black men. I am not angry,  just wary. It also helps that I’ve never been attracted to Black man to begin with (I prefer men of the Mediterranean).  It is a male tendency to conquer the unknown, whatever is different and when living in someone else’s society as Blacks do, one becomes conditioned by the dominant cultures standards of beauty. Black women are the polar opposite of blond hair and blue eyes, heck long straight hair ( naturally), so Black man go for it. That’s fine. Spread those genes just as every other race has. Black women will move on and we have. Once more of us abandon the princess cancer strain, we won’t breed before we’re educated anymore and hopefully, lift our communities of poverty as a result
    Don’t be victimized Celie, ladies. Be triumphant Celie. You may not be Shug or be a Scandinavian blonde, but you’re talented and have a history to draw upon for strength. Be the Celie who inherits the property her body and tears paid for and run your own businesses. Leave men who don’t want you and don’t feel the need to work for you alone. Don’t fall for the duplicitous words of heat seeking bachelors. The Matriarchal African American community will rise to power, changing our negative fiscal situation one woman at a time, one family at a time to be admirable communities…in time.

Out of My Psyche

  • ...and I am so sorry... Despite a tremendous effort, you were defeated. By the smallest of margins and by the technicality of the electoral collage. You missed Wisconsin in your campaign and it cost you dearly. What an upset.  A bigoted demagogue has won the White House and largely because the emerging industries had not reached the regions of White working class voters yet and everyone blamed the establishment. Well, I blame them! Some say you weren’t likable. I like you. Even love you. If anyone is unlikable it’s the White working class that has hatred bubbling right under the surface of their smiling faces. Not all businesses are established by White males. If I were Asian ( which many tech company owners are), I would be afraid to establish a tech firm in Idaho, so where my core employees would suffer under a limited quality of life due to a hostile environment. You did it to yourselves rural America. The “Strange Fruit” you cultivated in the South and Easy Rider lawless in the same region has told every non-Occidental person that it’s not safe to near you. Hillary the Warmonger, the Millennials call you. Part of your defeat was taking an opportunity you saw in the Arab Spring: capturing Quadaffi Muamar Quadaffi, who no one seems to remember was our baddie of the 80's. He may have been dormant, but no were near pacified. He had a yen for for American weapons and dispatched terror cells to acquire them. He was such a threat he ended up in pop culture.  Watch Back to the Future. It was one of Quadaffi's operatives who shot Doc Brown and was the catalyst of the story. TO add to this: by controlling Afghanistan and omitting Quadaffi, we weaken Al Queada/ISIS. They now have no established power to tell the how to establish and hold a caliphate and no established power to secure weapons for them. These were important steps to weaken them to a glorified, international street gang and we're still whittlin them down. However, if we let Putin do whatever he wants (claim bits of Europe that he wants) we're going to have a superpower to deal with on our hands. This corrupt  because big risk politics is complicated) war monger was needed for the good of world security.Thank you third party voters >:(  We took out Destro Cobrala and Zartan, just so Russia can move in an take over the region. If they’re successful, they set their sights on Europe which had been Russia’s ambition since Catherine the Great.  War is not desirable for anyone, but sometimes you have to do a little evil to do a lot of good. I love just about anything Russian. Mikka is Russian. However, I do not like their imperial ambitions.  Putin claims that he does not want the former Soviet empire back, however he has an unhealthy admiration of previous Russian leaders, Peter and Catherine the Great. Catherine the Great vowed that India would be annexed, China humbled and all of Europe will be governed under the scepter of Russia. She tried her best to claim Istanbul from the Turks. To Sultan’s relief, she died before she could fulfill this effort. However, in the modern era it is very possible that Putin will pick up where she left off. NPR reported a few years ago, that scores of men in Russia fell into despair after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Understandable. Yet, it creates a problem from one of the tenets of government: order. What do you with Bezerker personality types? Their energy has to be channeled somewhere or they’ll destroy themselves and others like a live grenade. With so many people in the vast expanse that is Russia, Putin and his populace live in the very real danger a standing army that’s about to bring it’s simmering frustration to a boil. I fear that energy may be unleashed on the Middle East. A region, as a whole. that has not fully recovered from WWI. That is suffering from the lack of the pooled resources of the Ottoman Empire and is in real danger of living under yet another foreign power. This was not the plan of the West. We may want their oil, but we definitely want the Arab states to rule themselves. All we want is their governments to be stable so trade will flow without interruption. Now that Hillary has lost the election, that may never happen. A have friends who feared that Hillary would bring on WWIII. Perhaps. We all know it was going to to happen. However, with Trump giving a looser reign to Putin, instead of the entire West striving to protect the Middle East, the West , with the U.S protecting it as an ally, will have have to save itself from Russia, should the mood strike Putin’s fancy. This is politics. The great quagmire of desires and solutions striving to find order under an elected or unwanted power. It takes a great deal of experience to wield this power well, and the West and Muslim states of the Mediterranean and West Asia has just lost its chance to contain the chaos with someone who someone who was busy at work whittling the problem away, one warlord at a time. Stay in touch, Hillary Rodham Clinton

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