EVERYBODY vs. EVERYBODY…
(ThyBlackMan.com) Did you see the latest Tyler Perry movie, Why Did I Get Married Too? I just did. Let me tell you about it. Oh, by the way, did you hear about the rift between Spike Lee and Tyler Perry? Spike took Perry to task for his characters, like Medea. And when Perry ended his acceptance speech at the NAACP Image Awards for his film, Precious, he said something like “We won’t have to wait for 40 Acres and a Mule,” the name of Spike Lee’s production company and what the formerly enslaved Africans were promised.
Why has Precious gotten so much publicity and Why Did I Get Married 2 – not 2 but too, but it really was a 2 because the entire cast came back and the story picked up from where it left off – received so little?
Perry has two films out simultaneously. The man owns his own studio. Yes, I know, don’t tell me, it’s distribution not production that’s key in the film industry. However, I don’t think anyone with Perry’s proven track record will ever have a problem getting distributed. Do you?
So what about Spike’s criticism of the cross-dressing Madea and the stereotypical characters he says Tyler Perry employs? But before we get to that, look at the acrimony between these two Black film giants. Why can’t they get together so that we can have a Spike Lee joint produced in Tyler Perry’s Studio?
But it’s not only Spike vs. Perry, recently Al Sharpton and Tavis Smiley had words. Smiley took Sharpton and others to task for giving the president a pass on not pursuing a Black agenda.
Wow, can you believe that? We are in the White House and we have not only the ear but the color of the president. But does it really matter if he will not, or cannot, do anything to help us, as Tavis is saying. But is it wise to demand that a Black president pursue an explicitly Black agenda, as Sharpton contends. Shouldn’t the president set a generic course that will benefit all, and in so doing help us too? An interesting debate, but why turn it into a fight?
And yet another dispute is brewing. It began after an Ivy League professor’s book hit the stands titled “The Black Church Is Dead.” It points to lack of concerted, meaningful action by the Black Church in recent years. Some religious figures slammed the author, labeling him a divisive tool of the white academic establishment. But then again didn’t the white academic establishment produce Barack Obama?
Is all of this back and forth going on because we have, in a sense, “reached the Promised Land,” and Joseph has become the Pharaoh, and we all just don’t know what to do next?
Oh, about Why Did I Get Married Too, it’s a great, great film. See it as soon as you can, hopefully while its still in the theaters. It will make you laugh and it will make you cry. It is a film you will long remember. No lie. Very rarely is a sequel as good as, let alone better than, the original. Well this one is.
The differences, difficulties and arguments between Black men and Black women in the Why Did I Get Married movies mirrors the divisiveness and discord between Black leaders in every realm. Why can’t we just get along? Perry tries to do just that, bring the Black man and the Black woman together helping to restore the Black family. And that is a start. In fact, it is the beginning of everything and everybody.
Written By Arthur Lewin
Arthur Lewin is the author of the books “Africa Is Not A Country: It’s A Continent” and “Read Like Your Life Depends On It“. He is a member of the Black and Hispanic Studies Department at Baruch College of the City University of New York. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org