By Kayla Maroon
Beyoncé’s album, Lemonade, offered a beautiful narrative of the black woman’s plight. At our core, we are women. We love, we seek success, and we hope for happiness. Unfortunately, as a black woman in America, we are constantly up against major clashes. Racism keeps us in a circle of condemnation. We are always fighting for our right to have our own identities. With each feeling of self-assurance, there is someone waiting to criticize our choices and tear down our accomplishments.
Luckily for us, there are films that have been created to chronicle the black woman’s dilemma. These movies have been made to not only to incite a sense of empowerment, but to also show how to overcome the struggles that we deal with on an everyday basis.
Here are the three films we believe every black woman should watch.
What’s Love Got to Do With It (1993)
Tina Turner is one of the greatest entertainers of our time. She’s a talented singer, a beautiful woman, and she can put on a hell of a show. Unfortunately, one of her weaknesses was the hold that Ike Turner had on her, and how often he was able to abuse his power.
What’s Love Got to Do With It depicts not only the battle of both emotional and mental abuse, but the need to overcome it even after the oppressor is gone. You don’t have to be a survivor of abuse to relate to Turner’s experiences. If you have suffered deep wounds stemming from a past relationship, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle life again on after watching this movie.
The Color Purple (1985)
Based on the novel by Alice Walker, this movie explores the social roles that black women play in the family home and in greater American society. Although it is set in the past, its core principles aren’t too different from the expectations of the modern black woman. Not only does it display the multiple hats a woman has to wear to satisfy the patriarchy, it also shows how black women are valued in the family home and in this country as a whole. The main female characters can represent you, your mother, your friends, and any other black woman in your life.
Clash of Assimilation and Black Identity
Imitation of Life (1989)
As black women, we’re always forced to choose whether or not we want to assimilate with society’s standards. From the early days of slavery, self-hate has been pushed upon us. Imitation of Life explores the storyline of two different mothers: Lora, who’s willing to sacrifice her relationship with her daughter in order to obtain fame, and Annie Johnson, a black woman trying to rebuild her relationship with her daughter, Sarah Jane, an extremely light-skinned woman who’s ashamed of her Black identity.
By putting this on the list, we’re not assuming that you’re ashamed of your black identity; however, by growing up in America, you may have had moments of confusion understanding what that identity is supposed to look like.