Monday, February 11, 2013
Assault on Dignified Black Women
Of the new film on Lifetime ‘Betty and Coretta,’ TheRootDC columnist Barbara Reynolds asks the question: Why didn’t Lifetime executives consult with the children of King and Shabazz to ensure the film would be historically accurate, especially since the siblings were part of the drama?
In my view I believe that this is yet another attempt at “Entertainment Racism.” Similar to the Steven Spielberg hacking of the beautifully told Alice Walker story ‘The Color Purple’ or the botched Ntozake Shange rendition of ‘For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf’ by Tyler Perry, Lifetime producers (using the Ruby Dee connection to the powerful Betty Shabazz) bypassed the King/Shabazz siblings in order to popularize these two powerful black women to a female-based ‘youth audience’ disinterested with historical accuracy.
Lifetime is marketing to a ‘Girlfriends’ culture more acclimated to the age-old Cindy Lauper “Girls Just Want to have fun” mantra.” The choice to use Hip-Hop Diva Mary J. Blige as Betty Shabazz was not only egregious, but blasphemous to the legacy of the dignity and honor that the matriarch Shabazz represented.
Today’s female American culture is inundated with Bad Girls Club, Desperate Housewives, The Real Atlanta Housewives, Mob Wives, Military Wives, Basketball Wives, Wife Swap and many other disgruntled wives that many are numb to family values. Along with a core of Neo-Hippie songs that glorify alcoholism, free sex, and abortion American women are fast becoming proponents of a new-Woodstock movement geared towards feeding their appetites to party.
Coretta Scott King and Betty Shabazz are women in a long tradition of dignified black women who found honor in living for their God, husbands, families, and communities; the type of women that helped to produce a First Lady Michelle Obama. Lifetime has just fired their own shot in the assault on Dignified Black Women!