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The Secret Life of Bees Isn’t Sweet To Me

OK I have a question? Am I a bad black woman if I thought that the Secret Life of Bees was another mammy flick about black woman taking care of mentally unstable white children?

Fox Searchlight

Fox Searchlight

I mean why does a movie that features a group of black woman who own their own business, one a cultured musician, who live in the heart of a segregated, Southern succession state – the first succession state – why must such a movie with such rich African-American characters have to focus on a whiny, unsympathetic white girl who killed her mamma, and brings nothing but death, trouble and ruin to this group of women.

And to  end with the black woman saying “It’s alright honey, we’ll still take care of you…” I think that movie was more symbolic than it realized and not in a good way. Jada what were you thinking?

I mean yes I know this was based upon a book written by a white woman and so Dakota Fanning’s character becomes the movie’s focus. But are you going to tell me there are no comparable scripts with black central characters that you could have written about this time period that didn’t play to the mammy stereotypes? That’s it. I must write a screenplay. But I know I’ll have to have more than luck to get it past the Hollywood watch dogs. People like Hollywood uber agent Ari Emmanuel who still believes blacks can’t swim. (Presumably he didn’t mean Olympic Gold-Medal Swimmer Cullen Jones, or me who finished the 2.4 milie Ironman swim and still biked 100 miles after, but whatever…) and others who cling to the murder, mayhem and mammy stereotypes of blacks in their films. And the fact that this was produced by blacks doesn’t make it any better.

A more interesting film would have been about the black women in that house, how they came to be there during the 1960s, how they manged to stay self-reliant, independent and run a business in a time when people say blacks couldn’t. This is the hidden story of blacks during the civil rights movement. The story that has been secretly squashed by the race-baiters and racial econ-warriors who make a living off the subjugation of black folk. Better to have a movie about blacks not succeeding or being oppressed than about their triumph despite the manical machinations of an insiginficant world.

Anyway, the Secret Life of Bees didn’t tell us anything that we haven’t already seen in Hollywood.



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