Madea's SCUM Manifesto: For Colored Girls (2010)

Posted by Charles Reece, March 6, 2011 09:26pm | Post a Comment
The conflict, therefore, is not between females and males, but between SCUM -- dominant, secure, self-confident, nasty, violent, selfish, independent, proud, thrill-seeking, free-wheeling, arrogant females, who consider themselves fit to rule the universe, who have free-wheeled to the limits of this `society’ and are ready to wheel on to something far beyond what it has to offer -- and nice, passive, accepting `cultivated’, polite, dignified, subdued, dependent, scared, mindless, insecure, approval-seeking Daddy’s Girls, who can’t cope with the unknown, who want to hang back with the apes, who feel secure only with Big Daddy standing by, with a big strong man to lean on and with a fat, hairy face in the White House, who are too cowardly to face up to the hideous reality of what a man is, what Daddy is, who have cast their lot with the swine, who have adapted themselves to animalism, feel superficially comfortable with it and know no other way of `life’, who have reduced their minds, thoughts and sights to the male level, who, lacking sense, imagination and wit can have value only in a male `society’, who can have a place in the sun, or, rather, in the slime, only as soothers, ego boosters, relaxers and breeders, who are dismissed as inconsequents by other females, who project their deficiencies, their maleness, onto all females and see the female as worm.

-- Valerie Solanas, S.C.U.M. Manifesto

If thine balls offend thee, cut them off. With his adaptation of Ntozake Shange's For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enough, Tyler Perry lets us know that he's a card-carrying, auxiliary member of SCUM. Regardless of Solanas' intent, Perry takes the word as an acronym for cutting up men -- in particular, black men. I'm not sure why Perry is so popular among black women, but his success surely suggests there's a serious disconnect, even animosity, between the distaff and staff halves of the black community. To 1995's Million Man March's suggestion that black men weren't living up to their moral responsibilities, Perry's For Colored Girls answers that women shouldn't expect them to, since morality isn't part of their nature. Masculine representation here is summed up by Judith Levine's list of misandrous stereotypes. With only one exception, men are cheats, rapists, incestuous pedophiles, cowards, wife-beaters, murderers, dimwitted poon-hounds, and/or dominated homosexuals. Solanas portrayed the last type in a relatively positive light ("faggots who, by their shimmering, flaming example, encourage other men to de-man themselves and thereby make themselves relatively inoffensive"), but Perry wouldn't take them off the target list, since trusting a gay man can turn deadly. The narrative conflict is that of the epigraph, women struggling to transcend the monstrous masculine.

Alice (aka White; Whoopie Goldberg) is the most dominated and purest of Daddy's girls. She's devoutly committed to God, the Holy Absent Father, and insists on trying to live by His law. Perpetually seeking absolution from whatever original sins He saddled her with, she lives a life of abstinence and penury, having to beg for change from strangers when her meager stipend runs out. The stipend comes from her dead father who left her elder daughter Tangie (Orange; Thandie Newton) in control of his estate lest the mother give it all to the Christian spin-off cult to which she belongs. But that's only the father's version. Tangie's a "slut" in chauvinist lingo -- using men as barely sentient dildos -- who fell into this life after being raped by her grandfather. What little control was bequeathed her might've been a sign of her grandfather's repentance, but was more likely a way of sticking it to his daughter one last time (Alice was "touched" by the old man, too). But, wait, it gets worse: Tangie is the result of her grandfather pimping her mother out to a white man when she was fifteen to better the chances for a light-skinned grandchild. If there's feminine sin here, it's in assuming the masculine will as her own. The daughter adopts the male gaze, seeing others as objects of either pleasure (the fetishized men) or property (ownership of her mother). The mother plays the proxy for eternal "male" judgment, sternly condemning and casting aside any woman, including her own daughter, for failing to live up to divine law. Their antagonistic relationship is the traumatic stain left by an originary battle of machismo, earthly versus heavenly. 

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Amoeblog Black History Month Series Salutes Leroy Moore & the Krip-Hop Nation, Pt II

Posted by Billyjam, February 28, 2011 11:41pm | Post a Comment
Leroy Moore

This is the second part in the Amoeblog Black History Month salute to the Krip-Hop Nation and its founder, Leroy Moore, who attentively oversees the day to day operations of this umbrella organization for hip-hop artists with disabilities worldwide. As noted in the first Amoeblog installment, this New York born, Berkeley, CA based artist/activist has cerebral palsy, which significantly affects both his speech and his mobility but he nonetheless displays a work ethic that would put most to shame. Simply put, the guy never stops striving in his efforts to push forth the Krip-Hop Nation as well as all the other causes and organizations, including Sins Invalid, that he is constantly involved in. Two weekends ago, for example, he was busy with the a two-part series of literary & performance arts themed Black History Month Krip-Hop Nation events in San Francisco at Modern Times bookstore and at the main San Francisco Public Library which, despite torrential rain hitting the region that week and affecting attendance, still managed to be a successful series with an informative and empowering message for disabled artists of color, and for those who support them.

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T-West's Black History Month Rap Series

Posted by Billyjam, February 24, 2011 08:30pm | Post a Comment

T-West "Black History Month 2011"

For this year's Black History Month (BHM) talented Canadian rapper T-West wraps up his four part series of edutaining Black History Month raps with the above final BHM rap in the well received series. The first three T-West Black History Month raps (2006, 2009, & 2010) focused on praising the accomplishments of various Black figures that not everyone may have been aware of. As he said in introducing last year's BHM rap, the reason T-West writes and records these songs is, "Because I want young people to be excited about Black History Month. It was frustrating when I would be in class and none of my Black peers would be aware of some of the great things that Blacks had contributed to history." For T-West's latest and final Black History Month rap, released two weeks ago, the MC addresses (in the form of a letter been written) the individuals that he saluted in his past BHM raps. All four in the series are here and also on T-West's website.

T-West "Black History Month 2010"

 T-West "Black History Month 2009"

California Fool's Gold -- Exploring Compton, Los Angeles County's Hub City

Posted by Eric Brightwell, February 23, 2011 07:03pm | Post a Comment
***The following blog entry contains strong language and is intended for mature audiences***

This edition of Eric's Blog is all about the CPT.  Where? Compton. That's right. To vote for other Los Angeles County communities to be covered on the blog, vote here. To vote for Orange County communities, vote here. To vote for Los Angeles neighborhoods, vote here.


Compton is an infamous city that is practically synonymous around the world with the South Los Angeles region in which it's located. Due in large part to the mythologizing and glamorization of N.W.A. and their gangsta rap followers, Compton has also become a byword for urban squalor and gang violence even though (not to make anyone feel old) nearly a quarter of a century has passed since the release of "Straight Outta Compton" and the city has, naturally, changed a great deal in that time. Nevertheless, the media continues to exploit the aging and increasingly irrelevant image as if Compton is frozen in time. Recently, a program on The History Channel hilariously claimed that "going to Compton is a death sentence for non-blacks." Not only are most residents of Compton non-black Latinos, there are small but visible groups of Belizeans, Filipinos, Koreans, Samoans and Tongans.

What are the Mardi Gras Indians? (A Quick History)

Posted by Amoebite, February 23, 2011 05:23pm | Post a Comment
Since Mardi Gras is right around the corner, and we are talking about Black History---it seems fitting toMardi Gras Indians talk a little about the Mardi Gras Indian tradition in New Orleans and Louisiana. Still thriving, the Mardi Gras Indians are an important part of the Mardi Gras tradition and are said to have originated from the alliance between runaway slaves and the American Indians who provided a safe haven. It is also said that the African and Indian cultures found a natural affinity for each other as oppressed minorities within the early American settlements. The "Indians" incorporated African and Native American traditions in dress and rituals. Later on when Caribbean influences came to New Orleans, that flavor was also added to the mix.

The tribes of "Black Indians" which grew in Southwest Louisiana were defined by region and neighborhood and they became very territorial. To protect their status as the "reigning" Tribe in the neighborhood very often meant violent showdowns. In the early days of the 20th century, the focus of the "tribes" became less about territory and "turf wars" and became more about status defined by the better and more colorful suits and headdresses, as well as the songs and dances. The "battles" that the various tribes would do in the neighborhooMardi Gras Indiansds were about garnering respect for the amazing costumes and the dancing.

It was an ominous thing to see a group of Indians outside about to do battle with each other, and generally folks ran away. But nowadays, people flock to see the colors and hear the chanting, and to watch the "Big Chiefs" do battle. A Mardi Gras Indian Chief's suit can weigh up to 150 pounds, and he makes his suit each year with the help of his family. The tribe works all year to create a BETTER suit than the year before.

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