This past weekend was monumental for black women. The movie For Colored Girls directed by Tyler Perry premiered on Friday, and Sunday night BET aired Black Girls Rock! An awards show honoring key women for their accomplishments and commitment to empowering the black community.
For Colored Girls was produced and directed by Tyler Perry and is adapted from the 1975 Broadway stage play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf, written by the poet Ntozake Shange. Perry’s take on the legendary play left viewers feeling closer to their fellow “colored girls.” While extremely intense, and sometimes very daunting, the 2010 version of the original play touched on modern-day issues pertaining to black women. The award-winning cast portrayed a variety of outlooks on the lives of colored girls. Whether they were ivory hued, golden brown, or ebony colored, every woman in the audience could identify with at least one of the characters. Though Perry changed the original format, he included lines of prose periodically throughout the film that allowed the script to stay close to its original roots. For Colored Girls is a must-see for women of all ages.
The televised premier of Black Girls Rock! carried the momentum of the weekend’s celebratory spirit. The event was filmed last month and was hosted by actress Nia Long, and featured performances from women like Jill Scott, Ledisi, Fantasia, and more. Black Girls Rock! was started by DJ Beverly Bond, and this year marks the first year that the awards show for the organization was televised. The organization Black Girls Rock! provides arts education, public service opportunities, and mentoring to girls ages twelve to seventeen. Bond has figured out a way to inspire young black women and give them positive images of black women who are doing things to ensure the success of our future generation.
The award show honored women of different backgrounds, different hues, and different talents. It resonated with the notion that black women of all different types endure hardships that should unite us instead of dividing us. Beverly Bond has proclaimed that “Instead of being defined, we’re defining ourselves.”
Though the entire event was spectacular from start to finish, the most powerful moment for me would have to be the very last performance that honored the late Nina Simone. Jill Scott, Kelly Price, Ledisi, and Marsha Ambrosius sang their rendition of Simone’s “Four Women.” Attendees of the event stated that the crowd was so moved that they insisted the ladies do an encore. I can imagine there was not a dry eye in the house after hearing the powerful medley. It was undeniably, the best performance I’ve seen all year.