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Monday, November 8, 2010

Introspection: A Poem For Tyler Perry

After viewing the film For Colored Girls, I was moved. The film, for the most part, is very good. It contains many of the things a great film should aspire to be: compelling, poetic, moving, didactic, stunning, beautiful... and sadly, ugly too. Ntozake Shange created a gem of living, breathing theatrical art. Director/screenwriter Tyler Perry attempted to follow suit by creating a moving piece of cinema. I believe he did so. I believe, in some ways he succeeded, at least to the best of his (current) abilities.

However, in keeping it real, I was also personally hurt, disturbed and offended that a black male director saw fit to continue the Hollywood tradition of cranking out a fleet of stereotypical Black Male Monsters; characters in black face with no redeeming qualities, no life-affirming purpose and ultimately no reason to exist other than to cause harm, shame, hurt, and to wreck demonic havoc upon the lives of others. Because of this, I left the theatre entertained by the thematic nature of the film, engaged by its many vibrant performances, and yet filled with strains of mixed emotions.

My Emotions dictated this piece.

Introspection: A Poem For Tyler Perry :

The way you do me...
The way you do love
Is an offense to my humanity. Hard
To stifle the screams of
My inner child, my inner being,
My inner cries…
While you and your vision wear
This hangman’s smile. Still

I have no hatred in my heart.
I throw no shade
Upon your star. Though
Sometimes, sitting there in
The dark, I almost felt
Pity for you.

It must truly suck
To hate your self
This historic way you do.
The way you portray me with
This absence of pride
Is its own kind of spirit
Homicide. I am more
Than whipping boy
More than felon, fuck-up
Or fraud! More than
Demon seed unleashed
To feed upon our women who’ve
Indeed considered… suicide
Because all this bullshit was

Is this how you really see me?
And is that all you see?
When you gaze into mirrors what
Stares back at thee:

Black and crazy?
Black and ugly?
Black and beastly?
Black and blinded by
Rages no one else
Do you
Ever see the chains
Affixed to my history?

The bloodstains
From my struggles, or
These blisters from
My journey?
Do you ever see the
Attempts of boogeymen
Trying to annihilate me… or
Are you too busy being
One of them?

Ever once
Feel the THUD of my
Treacherous descent? Ever
Notice… my
Beauteous feats, or
The bravery in my attempts?

Ever pay notice to the flight of
My ascendency? Ever once
See these tears raining inside me?

Yes. You see monsters
Where you should see MEN
Who share your fight, & the tone of your
Skin. You do see, plenty,
And you roll call all
The ugly. But

Have you ever once
Looked and saw
The poetry

In me?