Waiting for your Beloved Precious to Exhale because she ran the Green Mile after Eating Chicken at the Monsters Ball

One of THOSE movies just got nominated. You know what I mean when I say those. Movies about blacks that have storylines where most things don't seem to work out. Sadly too many blacks are fooled by this and actually call these hopeless movies "well-written," or "real." The latest of these modern Blaxploitation flicks was just nominated for 5 Oscars.

Back in the early '90's I used to write that the then-motion picture rage of black male-bashing based on novels by black females; "Waiting to Exhale" and the '80's "Color Purple" were the new "Birth of a Nation." The only difference is, "Birth" openly disparages blacks, no surprise once you consider who produced and directed the film; the son of a Confederate Army Colonel, D.W. Griffith. What's going on with "Precious" is worse, it's about an overweight black teenage girl living in Harlem being sexually abused by her biological father and physically, emotionally, and verbally abused by her mother. It's many a white producer's dream, like some of the other titles I point to earlier, it's based on a novel written by a black female that deals up close with black incestuous licentiousness, weakness and buffoonery. I take no issue with the authors, it's their right and priviledge to write what they want. If their work becomes a screenplay I can't hate on them. It's the Hollywood suits who choose the story and they're motive that I question. After all, bookstores have a lot going on with black authors and storytellers nowadays, screenwriters have a whole array of black fiction, non-fiction and a large range of stories to decide on. What's the problem?

The problem is within certain commonalities of the storylines that are chosen and the ethnicity of most of the producers doing the choosing. I can't allude to any concurrent outwardly liberal parts (all-black or mostly-black cast) and covertly racist plots (lots of lazy, vulgar behaviors and sexual deviancy and violence) as safely being of a Jewish nature, but it's clear what we have here is a... Frankenstein. A movie completely backed by money and lies. Packaged loosely as a closet-sex awareness story. The implication; 'we know so much about you blacks, that we even know about your pedophiles and family-sex offenders and we're going to show you're poor little (or big) victims important ways of getting help.'

Run Precious run. Run to the light-skinned blacks and lesbians and take yo' bucket of Soul Bird witchoooguuurl. Rated XXX and XXXL by an all-white jury, based on a novel called "PUSH" when the author Sapphire (Ramona Lofton) should have wrote CRUNCH. Conspicuous is the absence of anyone telling her to go on a diet, to learn to hate the word "buffet" as much as she hates "bitch." This young lady is so big that her stomach pushes her chin up to her nose. Are we to call films with scenes of an obese black teenager stealing a bucket of fried chicken a work of art because of the cinematography? After seeing it once I conclude the only film footage that young sister Sidibe Gabourey needs to make is strictly on the "Insanity" workout DVDs. The Calling her "beautiful" as I see other actors , commentators and entertainers do, is only going to shorten her life. As the saying goes, she only has one problem but it's a big one.

The scenes focussing on the long-range solution to Precious' issues was replaced by the over-exposure of the cause. Are there real-life young black girls like her? Yes of course, just not enough to justify the wave of black father molesters Hollywood is trying to usher in (I'm almost sorry to beak the news. What are the big Frankenwood studios going to do without their big black rapist? Where's my violin set?). Truth be told Precious' actual producers Sarah Siegel-Magness and her husband, Gary Magness, along with Stephen Speilberg, Roman Polansky, Allen Stewart Konigsberg (Woody Allen) would be doing their audience a favor if they made incest films about... well, Polansky and Allen. And if they want their gratuitous black molester, Morgan-Driving Mrs.Granddaughter-Freeman would probably be dumb enough to do it for free if they'd just ask. What am I saying? This type of gross sexual behavior is still primarily a white community issue. According to a 2000 report by the Department of Health and Human Services; Whites are still 1st in Child Abuse by Race at 51%, Blacks 25%, Hispanic 15%, and Native American at 2%. In the immortal words of Dr. McCoy in "Star Trek VI," "Arrest Yourself."

These major studios are quite comfortable with the green light they get from some big-name blacks, to not only turn some novels into scripts, but take broad license. Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry are largely noted for serving up Precious on a plastic fast-food tray. You would think the weight fluctuating Winfrey would just once shoot a movie about the real enemy; The exclusive Chicago dress shops that won't let her in. Why? Because after 25 years and 1 biillion dollars, they still think she's Precious.

Chris Stevenson is a syndicated columnist, his articles also appear on his blog; the Buffalo Bullet, http://thebuffalobullet.com/ Follow him on twitter and facebook.

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Comments 12 comments

pointblank009 profile image

pointblank009 6 years ago from Buffalo Author

JDove, I didn't see the movie? If you believe that then you didn't read my column. You doubt that film makers have the majority culture in mind when they decide to produce "Precious" and the "Color Purple." Why no they just aim these flicks towards blacks and take the loss of revenue. No problem. You're just a little Selective Suzy aren't you? Do you doubt today is Sunday? Do you doubt your preacher wants your money?

I'm not doing Sidibe an injustice "Popeye's" is. Her skin color-as you sneakingly try to imply on my part-is not the issue, she does have a weight problem. It's real JDove, she has cut back on food today just as she would if this were 1970 or 1960. Political correctness has not made obesity weigh less than it did back then when people could be as crass as they wanted to be. You want to do her a favor please don't enable her.


JDove-Miller profile image

JDove-Miller 6 years ago from YOUNGSVILLE

Point Blank, I just read your hub on "Precious" and was a little dismayed that you wrote before viewing. I doubt that anything you wrote changed after you watched it (You did watch it eventually, right?), but... maybe. Though statistics say 25% of child abuse happens in the black community, I'd bet that number is sorely inaccurate. I didn't start hearing about incest and abuse in the black community until I was an adult, but since then I've encountered victims who just didn't tell. "Precious" was not a cinamatic masterpiece, but it was a story that needed to be told so that children who have been inappropriately touched or otherwise molested could see a future beyond their molestation. It was necessary also for adult women to see how to free themselves of the crippling shame that comes with molestation. It was even necessary so that those who do the molesting see the damage they do to human beings who may have been wonderfully loving people had the molestation not occurred. I agree that movies depicting the seedy side of Black life give the majority culture the notion that seediness is all there is to Black culture. But I doubt that film makers have the majority culture in mind when they decide to produce "The Color Purple," "Waiting to Exhale," or "Precious." I think they think we need to see something of ourselves in theaters and on TV that might show us a way to move forward from our pain. Just for the record: I did not enjoy "Precious"; I was sad all through it. But I don't think it was produced for that reason. And to the weight issue of Gabourey Sidibe: You did her a major injustice. That she is comfortable in her own skin (regardless of her size) makes her beautiful.


p90x 6 years ago

Hey, those were some great movies. Gotta love precious!


Coconut1986 6 years ago

Interesting viewpoint Chris. A Woody Allen and Polansky movie so true but where are they?


Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 6 years ago

Great Hub. Helps give me insight. Though I am white I have many black friends. They consistently help me see things from their perspective and I am grateful for that. I really appreciate your point of view on things. Your writing helps me think outside my world. Keep the good articles coming.


no body profile image

no body 6 years ago from Rochester, New York

I haven't read the book myself but my beautiful wife has. She enjoyed it immensely and said some things said in it reminded her of her. She said that young black folks that she knows have attitudes and qualities similar to Precious. I being an observer of black culture through my wife and two children do not see any resemblance to anyone of color that I know or that anyone I know, knows. You are right though, people do assume that this is a "real" story with "real" elements. I thank you for writing this because to the involved person such as I, I don't want to think that this is typical or even slightly common to people important to those I love.


creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 6 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

Thank you for a well written hub, I appreciate your candor, thanks for sharing. creativeone59


jxb7076 profile image

jxb7076 6 years ago from United States of America

pointblank009 - I apreciate your candid comments. I have not seen the film but I will definitely make an effort to view it in the near future. I don't necessarily have a problem with these type movies unless the author/producers (whether black or white) intent is to make such scenarios unique to the black community thereby making it a black problem, exploiting the innocense and creating a smokescreen to divert attention away from the guilty in the name of the almighty dollar. I too, am a product of 70's who's life started out in the south in the mid 50's. You would think that with all the wealth in the black community today we would have the collaborative resources to produce positive movies, enforcing positive outcomes. Unfortunately, reality mimicks television when it should be the other way around. Whatever is viewed on the big screen, becomes our reality.

One would think that we should know better by now.


gkelly2ya profile image

gkelly2ya 6 years ago from New York, New York

I'll keep burning the midnight oil to get my project completed :) The Pursuit of Happyness was an excellent read and a great movie, but Chris Gardner is a real person who I suspect had some say in how he was portrayed in the film. Precious on the other hand did not have an advocate I suppose. I didn't see the film, but the novel like many in that genre is "us" talking about things that we have seen and experienced. Perhaps the author should have refused to have her story produced as a film. Your point is well taken and I will be mindful of these valid points as I proceed.


pointblank009 6 years ago

gkelly2ya You go right ahead & finish that screenplay. I'm sure it will be great, however I think it's more than just the money factor going on. The big studios will be willing to lose money to disparage blacks just like the radio and TV networks are losing money to keep Glenn Beck on the air. Alberta you're right, TPOH was amazing. Films like that are too far and in-between.


Alberta Parish 6 years ago

I like this site. I love the article. The Pursuit of Happyness didn't receive as much praise at the Oscars as Precious did. The Pursuit of Happyness was a far better film.


gkelly2ya profile image

gkelly2ya 6 years ago from New York, New York

Chris, I love it. Well said and thank you. I am presently working on a screenplay which may go nowhere, but I'm writing it anyway. The reality is ....Movies are produced to make money. The revolution will not be televised or projected onto the silver screen.

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