I expect as much from Mr. Perry (a co-producer behind Oprah’s new movie Precious). He after all, make his living by making things harder for black people. But Oprah, a woman who has managed to escape her ethnicity (she is after all, not really a black woman so much as she is a bazillionaire demi-god) has hurt and disappointed me.
By putting her bazillions behind the new movie Precious, she has lowered the bar for how hard Oreos have to work to save face.
Once again, we have a movie highlighting an unnuanced black angst. A hardened and unfortunate kid from the ghetto battles abuse and finds inspiration from a light-skinned, kind-hearted teacher. Ostensibly learning to stand up for herself and find herself beautiful in spite of her poor choices. See also: Finding Forrester, Dangerous Minds, The Gridiron Gang, The Ron Clack Story, O, Hardball, Freedom Writers, Bring it On, Blackboard Jungle, Up the Down Staircase, Pride, Wildcats, Take the Lead and Fighting the Odds: The Marilynn Gambrell Story.
I was already not born in the ghetto. Through no effort at all, I arrived in the world middle class. And if Hollywood continues to allow this singular view of black life into the cinema, my birthright will be the only work I need to maintain my Oreodom.
Part of the fun of a repression-based lifestyle is working toward an impossible goal, insuring that there will always be something to work toward. Please do not tell me I have arrived already. I’m enjoying the journey, and what would I do if I, and the rest of the world, was content with who I am. Please, Oprah, do not take this away from me.
But please do invite me to your Legends Ball. I will risk communing with that many descendants of the enslaved because you get diamonds at the Legends Ball. And what’s more Anglo-tastic than enjoying something created at the chafed hands of the oppressed.