'For Colored Girls': About Being a Woman of Color in This World

Sheri Reed
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Colored Girls
From left to right: Anika Noni Rose (as Yasmine), Kerry Washington (as Kelly), Janet Jackson (as Joanna),
Kimberly Elise (as Crystal), Phylicia Rashad (as Gilda), Loretta Devine (as Juanita),
Tessa Thompson (as Nyla) and Thandie Newton (as Tangie) in For Colored Girls.
Photo credit: Patrick Harbron

The new film For Colored Girls, directed by Tyler Perry and starring Janet Jackson, Thandie Newton (love her!), Whoopie Goldberg, and several other amazing actresses is coming to theaters on November 5th.

The film is based on the 1974 play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow Is Enuf by Ntozake Shange, which is a poetic exploration of what is to be of color and a female in this world.  

Shange's drama was originally produced in Berkeley, CA, then off-Broadway, and was  soon honored with the 1975 Obie Award. The play later had a good run on Broadway and received a Tony nomination for best play.

The original play was made up of 20 poems and performed by a cast of women characters. The poems take on tough topics like love, God, abandonment, domestic violence, rape, and abortion.

Tyler Perry probably best known for his movies with the character named Madea (who Tyler dresses in drag to portray) was criticized last year by filmmaker Spike Lee who said, "Each artist should be allowed to pursue their artistic endeavors but I still think there is a lot of stuff out today that is 'coonery' and buffoonery. I know it's making a lot of money and breaking records, but we can do better. … I see these two ads for these two shows [Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns and House of Payne] and I am scratching my head."

Perry rebuttled against Lee's criticism saying, "I would love to read that [criticism] to my fan base. …That pisses me off. It is so insulting. It's attitudes like that, that make Hollywood think that these people do not exist, and that is why there is no material speaking to them, speaking to us." 

I don't have a lot to say about all that (other than I'm not a big fan of Madea movies myself), but it looks like Perry has broken away from his typical comedic style of film to create this movie, which looks thought-provoking and inspirational and one I'm excited to see in the theater.

Here's the trailer for the film For Colored Girls:

Wow, looks really good. Oscar awards anyone?

 

Images via Lionsgate 

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