I may be weird, but anytime I’m feeling low on inspiration and in desperate need of a creative boost I have a line up of movies on YouTube that get me back on track.
These movies are always my go-to, because they so perfectly demonstrate the strength of black women. With fros, protests and black intellect on the rise once again, I can’t help but relish in this new renaissance by comparing it to the past. My hope as I shared in my last post is that we don’t let this moment pass without tangible change.
When I watch these movies I am reminded that everything we need is within us and our daily battles are not in vain. These six films are beautiful displays of black women’s resilience:
Janie Crawford, played by Halle Berry (and yes, she’s painfully beautiful), reveals the secrets of her past to her best friend, Phoebe, who has only seen her as a docile wife to Mayor Starks. Janie’s story is a search for truth and love in a period where social limitations squander women’s freedom.
This biography of Josephine Baker is remarkably played by Lynn Whitfield and follows Baker’s rise to fame in Paris, where she is able to conquer showbiz free of racial prejudice. Born poor in America, Baker is haunted by the brutal racism that reeks havoc in the states and for many years refuses to return. She endures many cruelties in love and life, but never ceases to give herself to what she loves.
Again played by Halle Berry, the biopic of Dorothy Dandridge follows her career from singer in a trio with her sister to her entrance into the movie world. The film depicts the racial and sexual discrimination that Dandridge withstands and takes us down the spiral of mental instability that comes with such abuse.
Tracy, played by Diana Ross, is an aspiring designer living in Chicago battling poverty and racism in a career that has yet to embrace black women. When given the chance of a lifetime, Tracy has to decide between love of a man or love of her passion. She leaves for Rome on a whim and becomes an overnight sensation, but it is not without many challenges.
Tracy Wynn plays Jane Pittman, who was born into slavery, but lives to become an active member of the Civil Rights movement. The film focuses on the intricacies of life as a woman living through two very different generations.
This film is a narrative of Maya Angelou’s coming of age as a black girl in the South who, like many, is displaced from her parents and has to set out navigating life for herself.
While these films may seem sad, they all tell stories of the true violence done to black women in America and the strength pulled from within them to conquer the inhumanity.
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