I was just reading PB's critique of Tyler Perry's role in For Colored Girls Who've Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf. PB has a beef, though not quite the standard one. But my question is much simpler. I keep hearing people claim that Perry is desecrating a classic of the genre. But I have to ask a slightly rude question, Is Colored Girls a great play?
I haven't read it in years, but even as a younger person I remember thinking it was somewhat over the top and heavy-handed. Hence when I heard that Perry was involved my thoughts were more along the lines of "Of course" or "Perfect." I could be off on this and I'd like to hear some discussion around this.
I think the "Elvis is hero to most" argument holds some weight--in other words, Shange certainly gave voice to sentiments that weren't really spoken in high places. Colored Girls is certainly the sort of thing you read when you're getting conscious, and it surely is the kind of play that really speaks to young black girls, in an important and significant way. But is it a classic?
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is a national correspondent for The Atlantic
, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of The Beautiful Struggle
, Between the World and Me,
and We Were Eight Years in Power