This is my initial response to For Colored Girls, the movie that Tyler Perry wrote, produced and directed based on the choreopoem for colored girls who have considered suicide, when the rainbow is enuf by Ntozake Shange. I know that I will have more to say when I see it again. If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t worry, I promise not to give anything away.
I am thankful for sister Shange and the courage that it took to share this truth. Thank you, to brother Perry for choosing this story at this time. Kudos to all of the people involved in taking the words off of the paper and bringing it to life in motion picture. And a very low bow to Kerry Washington, Whoopie Goldberg, Phylicia Rashad, Kimberly Elise, Anika Noni Rose, Hill Harper, Michael Ealy, Macy Gray, Thandi Newton, Loretta Devine, Janet Jackson, Omar Hardwick, and all the other actors for such a riveting performance.
The movie was lyrical, complex, beautiful, courageous, colorful, intense. I saw myself, my friends, my sister, my mother, I saw you. I cried and cried and laughed (once, I think) for you and for me. I saw how delicately weaved together our lives are. I saw the impact that relationships have on our lives and how we can see the truth about who we are when we are engaged and present in them. I saw the liberation that is available to us when we take responsibility for our lives.
I watched the movie with my shoulders hunched, my elbows planted on my thighs and my breath on pause. I did not exhale until the characters released. I wrung my hands, I scratched my forehead, I shifted when sitting was completely uncomfortable, I wept when I was hurt and cried for joy. The acting was so intense that I forgot that I was in a theater and not enmeshed in their lives. Yet, I am. We are. You are.
I left the theater as a colorful woman; aware of my complexity, ok with my intensity, moving to the rhythm of full a heart, feeling drastically beautiful and urgently me.