Monday, March 08, 2010

Would Hattie be Proud?



Should we be excited that another black woman has joined the Academy? Should we be elated that Mo’Nique has made her way there via dynamic talent? Or, should we be concerned that another black person got the attention of the elite Oscar Selection Committee by way of a Training Day actor's (Denzel) depiction: a ruthless and demented black character?


Believe it or not some events do make me smile. I am serious! I am happy for Mo! With what makes me happy does bring ‘question’. Criticism. Just the way I am programmed. “Satisfaction breeds complacency.” –Martin L. King, Jr.

Consequently, I have serious troubles with movies that portray black people in such a negative light. When I make the decision to watch a film like Precious it is with significant trepidation. I am often prepared to cry – and think about the condition of so many black people around the world while understanding that the events in a movie like Precious crosses racial boundaries.

The 'weight' of movies like Precious typically haunts me psychological for months. What's Love Got to Do with It is an accurate mirror into the life of Tina Turner - but sitting through the early years biography was tough. Yes, based on a true story according to Tina…not Ike: "I never hit Tina." But, the images of the beatings and rape have never left my mind. Therefore, I have vowed to never watch it again.

The same reflective feelings are there for every single movie that sick-minded individual, Quentin Tarantino, makes. One viewing of Pulp Fiction was enough for me to band my soul from his mind creations.

Soul is where so many actors pull from to make their characters real. Many do such a magnificent job movie-goers have to literally separate character from person doing the acting. I am so glad I can do that with Tyler Perry's depiction of http://www.yorkblog.com/flipside/madea_gun2.jpeg. For years now despite my joy for his success, I have held such disdain for him playing a violently angry black woman.

I must admit it appeared Mo’Nique reached deep to attain her Oscar winning moment. Her in that jail house scarf was enough for me to reach for the DVD remote. I did not press stop, I sacrificially endured. I sacrificed my emotional healthiness. Unfortunately, the nightmares have begun. The same toss and turning script that played out as a result of watching Training Day (one of the only movies that I do not own with Denzel as the lead actor) are with me. The day time dreaming and visions are overwhelming too.

Dreams can be beneficial. They actually can restore faith and generate faith. According to dream interpretation experts, dreams are reflections of our subconscious. If that is the case my conscious is polluted. Full of garbage!

Faith is what I develop when I see movies like Invictus. Morgan Freedom did a superb job playing the character of one of the world's symbols of liberation, Mandela. He was not an evil parent or a dirty cop. His depiction was one I respect. One that awakes me at night with good thoughts.

I am still thinking:

Is Mo’Nique's most recent success worthy of Hattie McDaniel’s seal of approval?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3hpmgn7Q30&feature=player_embedded

Perhaps, I should stop making 'things' so RACE important. Perhaps, I should stop holding myself and others to the standard of “being a credit to my race”. Perhaps, I should ignore the conclusions one can formulate after considering the other two main characters in the movie Precious are light skin.

Why does the 'brute' of movies have to always be of darker skin tone? Why do the pathetic have to be of darker skin tone?

“Brian, you have trouble with these movies because you are combating a successful systematically institutionalized hatred. Hatred that plagues you on the daily. Black people cannot escape it.”
–One of Only a Few Friends I have Remaining

Brian E. Payne thinking too much. Not inspired by Chris Rock palming the behind of Gabourey Sidibe, http://necolebitchie.com/tag/chris-rock-gabby-sidibe. He would not have felt comfortable enough to do that to Sandra Bullock’s buttocks.

17 comments:

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Reader Response:

Hattie would NOT be proud because the BLACK culture was so different back then.

-SP

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Reader Response:

The movie is realistic (unfortunately) and she did a hell of a job with her role. In the end, the Oscars are not that serious. People make their own mentality. Those that are wise chhose to see the glass as half full rather than half empty. By the way, I enjoyed a lazy weekend celebrating my wife's birthday in Biloxi, Mississippi of all places. They definitely looked like they fit the billing of being named the FATTEST State in the country yet they treated us well. Take a drive down sometime.

-PM

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Muata responds to PM:

She was CONVINCING. SO good!

Mentality is based on what one experiences. What they ingest. In this case, the mentality of many can be polluted with a pervasive effort to push a reality that is NOT a sole black issue. One thing that I can say that appears to be prevalent issue among people is unhealthiness and a GROWING obesity rate. I can't get away from it. See it everywhere. I want a cheeseburger so bad! LOL! And, the Oscars are not important to who: You? Millions upon Millions watch the Oscars and talk about it the next day. You ain't with the American mode. Get with the program! Be American, or leave. I am told this daily! May as well, you can't defeat Babylon, PM!

-Muata

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Reader Response:

I am glad Monique was able to add to our lmited list of Oscar winners. But in her and most African American mnds.....she knows that it was bullcrap! We never seem to get Oscars unless they are degradng roles and personally I am not happy that they have to sell their souls to a gold idol before they are accepted!

-KH

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Reader Response:

Are we not supposed to play roles that depict abuse? This woman told her story and Monique played the role of the woman that was the villan basically. It had to be Oscar worthy. They don't just give them away. Its not a token award. I appluad her for taking the role.

We are never happy. If we win something there has to be something else to it. The woman won the highest honor that she could recieve in her role. Its worthy of celebration. Black people have won a lot of awards the last ten years. Previously black people were basically shut out.

What is good enough? Are we supposed to win an award for playing a colorless character? Really? Name one that a black perspn should have won in and didn't and the color of the characters skin was irrelavant.

-LS

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Reader Response:

One other black actress that has yet to be given her just due is my girl, Cicely Tyson. By the way, I agree with you.

-AB

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Reader Responds to KH:

Not all have sold their souls for Oscars. There have been at least 6 Oscars won by blacks playing roles that weren't considered degrading.

-ME

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Muata responds to LS:

I believe many blacks are happy. I have read the words: elated, excited, pleased, wonderful, magnificent, and many more from black people. I feel a sense of pride among black people today. Must be that feeling that was in the air after Jack Johnson beat that white so called champion...

It is nothing wrong with black people wanting recognition from roles that are deep-seated/rooted in character. Nothing wrong with that. Actually, that is a honorable position.

Black people are satisfied. Where you been? Look around. It is this essence of 'satisfaction' that keeps many from voicing opposing views and opinions.

I think many of us should use the following question to gauge our complacency level:

'What have I done to stand for something recently?'

I am going to ask myself that every 20th of the month and take tally. You interested in that challenge? Don't say no. If you do you are like all the rest: sold out to Americanism!

Holla!

-Muata

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Nandi responds to Muata:

I salute you on that response. ;-)

Nandi
www.juswritinlife.com
www.eklectiksinc.com
www.ruggedworks.net

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

LS responds to KH:

What makes the role degrading! It's a depiction of a true story. It's acting. To tell the story you have to play all roles. Monique took a risk and it paid off.

-LS

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Muata responds to LS:

Your question is the essence of the issue: "What makes the role degrading?"

Degradation should always be explored. A lot of wolves among the sheep out here. Classic example: President Obama in midst of the democratic congress...They ain't got is back!

Considering the role is based on a true story - I guess it is not humiliating? It is insulting on this level: When we are overlooked for substance e.g. Ali, Malcolm X, Hurricane, Invictus, Hotel Rwanda, etc?

And, to be quite frankly, BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA SHOULD NEVER BE SATISFIED. NEVER! Not even with a Black president leading. NEVER. The effort should always be to push for righteous recognition. For a JUST do. So, black people can always be never satisfied in my book. As long as the energy of dissatisfaction is channeled appropriately. One way we can do this is do what Tyler Perry has done to some degree: Kiss my azz Jew-wood. I am going to do this without your buy-in! He well on his way to STANDING FOR SOMETHING.

-Muata hoping I will be able to tell America to kiss my azz one day. Lord I can't wait!!

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

LS responds to Muata:

My point was this has nothing to do what what roles we didnt win for. Plus Hotel Rawanda lost to Ray. My point is this role at this time was the best and should be celebrated. Nothing degrading about this role.

-LS

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Reader Nandi responds:

Just to clarify--it wasn't a depiction of a totally true story. There was no infant thrown to the floor in the book. Some parts of the movie went overboard, as movies often do when telling "true" stories. But understanding the concept of emotionally drawing in a audience, this movie is no different from the other "based a true story" movies.

Nandi
www.juswritinlife.com
www.eklectiksinc.com
www.ruggedworks.net

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

KH responds to LS:

I don't think anybody is saying they are not Happy or proud of Monique!!! SHE DID AN OUTSTANDING JOB, playing an abusive and ignorant woman in the hood! Great Actress!!Yeah......the skills deserved the award. I was not focusing on Moniques talent........I was focusing on the academy award association and their choices of deciding WHEN African Americans can act and deserves their idol trophy.

Eddie Murphy said it best in 1988 - An angry Eddie announced to shocked viewers that he almost did not show because 'they haven't recognized black people in motion pictures,' only three blacks have won Oscars in over sixty years. At this rate (Eddie said) 'we ain't due until 2004. Ok so Eddie was wrong about the year due for next one. however, the next one came in 1997 with Cuba Gooding for Jerry McGuire.........NO COMMENT!.....The next ones were in 2002, oh then we gave to two blacks in one night...WE'S MOVIN ON UP BOSS.......Halle Berry for her famous line.....OH MAKE ME FEELS GOODS....and Denzel Washington for playing a drug dealing, drug using crooked cop who did everything that represented a foul person. ...Wow....we have arrived. Even Denzel was not happy about his first oscar because he knew that there were several quality movies where his acting skills were extremely outstanding!!! Hollywood still finds it difficult to abandon its demeaning portrayals of blacks. Bryans question was...... would Hattie be proud? I don't think so, because even she knew that she was being played for her oscar.

People give tyler Perry a hard time about his movies in a dress, but even he had sense enough to build his own studios so that he could not be controlled. You may not agree with the substance of some of his movies, but at least they all belong to HIM and he is owned by NO ONE. I finally agree with Bryan on something, we don't ever need to stop complaining until we realize as a race who the hell we are.

-KH

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

PM responds:

I mentioned to hell with Oscars earlier because I recognize that it is a race based award that obviously had no intention on allowing black actors a fair shot as recipients. A bigger issue is the mentality that many black people take with regard to feeling "validated" by racially prejudiced entities. Any black person that is walking around the United States "satisfied" and still seeking validation outside of self and his own culture, including ancestors, is missing a huge picture.

-PM

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Reader responds to PM:

Sho you right! ;-)

-Nandi

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Reader Response:

I TOTALLY AGREE WITH LARIKUS..... WE ARE NEVER SATISFIED!! THE WOMAN PLAYED A ROLE, SHE DID AN OUTSTANDING JOB, SHE WON AN AWARD... END OF STORY!!1

NO RACE OR CULTURE OWNS THE RIGHT ON MENTAL ISSUES. THIS IS SUCH A NON-TOPIC.

-DM