Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wonder Why Black Women "Settling" Is Often Lauded In The BC? Blame Billy D & Miss Ross

That's right I said it. The "nothing but a black man" mantra was started by no other than Billy D "Colt 45 Williams and diva-extraordinaire Diane Ross- better known as Diana in front of company 'n all.

For those of you older than cable, you know exactly what I'm tombout. I'm referring to the 1975 Black American Classic Mahogany. For those of you not in the know, Mahogany is to black folks as A Star is Born is to white folks. The similarities are uncanny. Kris Kristofferson forsakes his career for the love of Babs while Diana Ross forsakes her career for the love of Sweet Billy D. Ironic ain't it? Of course there are a few distinctions among these two classics. For example, during the first 6 1/2 minutes of the film Diana is chased by a drugged-out sex predator. But I digress.

Instead of writing a double-spaced thesis on a 2 hour film, I've decided to make my 9th grade English teacher proud (shout out to me and Diana's Alma mater) by presenting you with the CliffsNotes version of the movie:

Tracy Chambers played by Diana Ross, dreams of leaving the slums of Chicago as a Fashion Designer. However her boyfriend, Brian Walker, played by Billy D Williams, dreams of making it big right there in the slums by running for Alderman. They quickly fall in love in spite of not sharing an onscreen love scene. Sounds beautiful right? Except that there are several underlying themes that would make Ms Perry throw a mean side-eye. For instance the scene where Tracy bails Brian out of jail by writing a bad check. True, she instigates the fight which landed him there, but why do we not see Brian actually working? We witness Tracy putting up with her racist boss at the high-end department store where she works. We even watch her struggling to spread her creative wings as she attends night school. The only thing we see Brian doing is waving a bullhorn and beaten up white construction workers.

Once Brian finds out just how passionate Tracy truly is, he quickly displays his insecurities. See E
xhibit A. Clearly he thinks that Tracy is getting above her raisin' right at the 6:36 mark. Now-a-days, Brian's bitchazzness certainly qualifies him as a playa-hater (or hater for short). But since it's 1975 his 'tude places him in the running for the Jive Turkey category.

Exhibit A

Next up are the "this is what happens when you get romantically involved with whitey" scenarios. Tracy gets a big boost in her career by noted photographer Sean McEvoy played by Anthony Perkins. Due to his famed reputation and great connections, he's able to fly her to Rome where she's an instant success. Later on Tracy feels obligated to "pay him back". This is around the same time we realize he's impotent. What's even worst, Sean turns out to be a psychotic sociopath and ends up killing himself while trying to kill her. What better way to keep black women from white men than to have Norman Bates play love interest to Ms Ross.

I guess the director didn't think we understood him the first time. So he sends in white man #2 in the form of Count Christian Rosetti, played by Jean Pierre Aumont. Basically Count Rosetti comes in and dusts Tracy off, lifts her up and assists her in furthering her career. Christian obviously has more money than God (he's a count for Christ sakes) and makes no secret how he feels about her. But once again she's not feeling the whiskey-bravo. Looka here, Rosetti is a little long in the tooth but um...I'll smash Count Chocula if the money is right.

Amazingly e
nough, Tracy continues to pine over "Colt 45" which by now has turned quite sickening. The man belittles her career choices and continues to remind Tracy that she's nothing without him. Now keep in mind dude ain't held down a regla 9 to 5 since the opening credits. Furthermore he has failed to suggest forsaking his "profession" let alone moving to a better part of Chicago George & Weezy style. Well I guess I don't have to tell you how it all ends. Tracy gives up fame, fortune and a castle to live in squalor with a self-centered man with no job and a bad fro. Damn who's responsible for this crap?

Oh yeah now I remember...Berry Gordy. That splains it.

I'm Out!


  1. "I'll smash Count Chocula if the money is right."

    ROFLMAO! You are wrong for that! This is a great article and good review. Guess I won't be wasting my Netflix on this.

    For us youngins- check out Berry Gordy's wiki page and scroll down to the personal life tab. Let me know if you get too confused- that alone should tell you everything you need to know.

  2. Great analysis! I remember that movie. You are too funny for this!

  3. That's why I miss shows like Lincoln Heights, The Cosby -which are positive. I hope we get more movie producers that will create better movies.

  4. Zabeth I'm glad to be a part of your Netflix decision making process :-D

    Some historical tidbits:

    Tony Richardson, the original director was fired by the film's producer who was...wait for it...Berry Gordy. Berry Gordy then assumed the director's chair himself. In addition, Gordy and Ross clashed during filming, with Ross leaving the production before shooting was completed, forcing Gordy to use secretary Edna Anderson as a body double for Ross. While a box office success, the film was not well received by the critics: Time magazine's review of the film chastised Gordy for "squandering one of America's most natural resources: Diana Ross" - Wilkipedi

  5. "The man belittles her career choices and continues to remind Tracy that she's nothing without him. Now keep in mind dude ain't held down a regla 9 to 5 since the opening credits."

    Funny! I for one have never seen the movie. I heard about it, but didn't know the details up-till now. I don't know if I want to see it or for just kicks and giggles.

    that's why more opened minded bw need to produce their own films/ actresses (Zoe Salanda) need to be open to different roles instead of playing Madea's cousin, sister, auntie, or mother.

  6. @ Anon-

    I love Lincoln Heights! Charles is lucky I don't live in Lincoln Heights.

    Can't wait for the new season :-D

    Damn I watch too much TV!

  7. In addition to producer, director, and bully, Berry Gordy was Ms. Ross's real-life baby-daddy.

    I prefer to remember her as Billie Holiday and Paulie Cooper ("Out of Darkness" '94), absolutely transcendent movie roles.

  8. Anon @6:40,

    As I said before, I'm all about Free Speech however I do not allow name calling nor do I allow offensive language.

    If you or anybody else can't get your point across without following the rules of this blog, this place is not for you.

    There are no whores or retarded people as readers or posters.

    Just to be clear:

    Mammies- acceptable
    Nigger(s)- unacceptable

    Whores- unacceptable
    Retarded- Used in ANY fashion- unacceptable

    Feel free to re-post however choose your words carefully. If not I will block your IP.

    This is NOT Bossip, Perez Hilton, YBF, Media Takeout, TMZ or any other site which depends on heavy traffic. I blog because I choose to...not to pay my bills.

    That is all! :-D

  9. Oh yeah I forgot,

    Cracka- unacceptable

    LOL thanks Jason

  10. In addition to producer, director, and bully, Berry Gordy was Ms. Ross's real-life baby-daddy.

    I prefer to remember her as Billie Holiday and Paulie Cooper ("Out of Darkness" '94), absolutely transcendent movie roles.

    That's right...nothing but scandal. I remember when Diana officially revealed it to the public many years later as If people didn't already know lol.

    Out of Darkness, oh yeah when she played a crazy lady.

    Diana got skills no doubt!