by Sophia A. Nelson, editor in chief of Political Intersection Blog, Race-Tal k contributor
After seeing the movie with the same title, I will never think of Chante Moore's chart topping 1990's song, "Precious," quite the same, ever again. The movie Precious left me feeling deeply wounded, confused and horrified that there are actually fellow citizens among us who live lives similar to the film, every day of their lives. It was as if someone took a fist and hit me square in the jaw--I have never left a movie feeling quite so stunned.
While we all know that Claireece "Precious" Jones was a "composite character" made up of various young women that the author Sapphire knew, the impact of wrapping it all in to one powerful movie was more than most of us could handle. I attended the movie with my mother (a survivor of childhood abuse) and six other girlfriends whose ages ranged from 23 to 62. All of us wept, gasped, and lamented about how far we as a people have seemingly fallen.
Although, I DO NOT think that this kind of sexual abuse and incest goes on all the time--I do think that people live in the horrific hell of poverty, abuse and anger ALL the time. This movie was meant to shock us into being mortified: this does happen here in America.
This movie was a lot to handle--a lot. The incest scenes which involved her father and sometimes her own mother still has me messed up four days later. I think the point is that too much anger is going on with us as black people, and it shows every day.
I heard someone say "Oprah was incest obsessed". Wow! Oprah & Tyler Perry are to be applauded for their courage in producing this movie--my own mother was the victim of childhood rape by her mother's boyfriend; he also molested her younger brother. Trust me, the scars last forever. It took my mom and her brother 50+ years to speak of what happened to them and when they did, they got clobbered by their so-called family.
I suppose if I were raped as a child, or was the victim of incest by an elder member of my family, I too would be obsessed with making sure no-one else suffered my fate. I am still disturbed by the trend I see with how we as black folks are still living in America 400 years after slavery began--and DON'T fool yourselves folks--there is still a HUGE emotional connection to that history and it affects where we are right now. My hope is that this movie will encourage more women and men to share their stories and work to break the systemic emotional chains that have crippled us as black men and women for generations.
Sophia is editor in chief of Political Intersection Blog and political/social commentary opinion writer who has been published in The Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, The Root.com, Essence.com, Essence Magazine, Legal Times, & The Wall Street Journal. She has been quoted by a variety of media outlets as a political analyst and is a regular guest contributor to XM's POTUS08, Fox News, CNN Morning, CNN International, NPR, WHUR, The Michael Eric Dyson Show, and BET where she dissects and debates the important issues of the day, ranging from the grassroots, to Presidential politics and public policy formation on Capitol Hill. As a former Senate Intern, RNC Intern, State Legislature Aide, Regulatory Counsel to NJ Governor Christie Whitman, Congressional Candidate, & Investigative Counsel to the House Republican Majority Staff/Government Reform Committee in the late 1990s Nelson has had an up close view of the inner workings of the nation's capital and a front row seat to the political battles that make national news. Sophia is a sought after speaker and is considered an "up and coming person to watch" as a featured speaker with Leading Authorities Speaking Bureau and Society of Industry Leaders.