One Last “Sex” Thought

If you’re a “Sex and the City” fan and haven’t seen the movie, I don’t know if I can speak to you. This was the best movie ever. And considering that the season finale for “Lost” was bananas, my summer is off to a perfect start.

I read some blogs about the highly anticipated film, especially those from black critics who were disappointed that Jennifer Hudson didn’t have a bigger part or was cast as the token help, something they believe is beneath the young Oscar winner.

I guess I loved the film and the television series so much because I don’t expect white male and female producers and their team of white writers to write about the black woman’s experience. Apparently throughout the six seasons the show aired on HBO, Michael Patrick King, Darren Star nor Sarah Jessica Parker were interested in exploring the life of a single black woman in New York. Frankly, I’m not interested in their interpretation.

I remember interviewing Marlene Fried, a white professor at Hampshire College, for a newspaper I produce for the non-profit organization SisterSong. SisterSong is a collective of 78 organizations around the country that advocate for reproductive health and sexual rights for women of color. There are six communities serviced: African-American, Native American, Latina, Asian/Pacific Islander, Arab American and white allies.

Marlene told me that after attending “Sisters and Allies Retreats” hosted by the National Black Women’s Health Project during the 80s, she learned how to confront and resolve her guilt as a white woman working with women of color, and how to be instrumental in helping them organize.

One of the things Marlene said that struck me was that in order for white women to be effective in the movement for and by women of color, they must:

• Understand what it means to support someone else’s work
• Be willing to share money and seats at the table
• Do not see yourself as the voice for women of color
• Talk with the organization to clarify your role
• Be really committed to their work

I think this is true for not only white women in the women’s reproductive rights movement headed by women of color, but also television shows greenlit by networks. That’s what made “Living Single” work, as well as “Soul Food” and, of course, “Girlfriends.” They all were headed by black female executive producers and writers. The characters were real and the stories were real. I saw parts of myself in Khadijah James and Maxine Shaw (Attorney at Law!), and I know people like Teri and Bird and Toni Childs. And I thank (producers) Yvette Lee Bowser, Tracy Edmonds, and Mara Brock Akil for bringing us to life and enduring the challenges they faced working in a white male-dominated industry. Ain’t no telling what they had to put up with.

For me, watching “SATC” was about escaping to a fantasy world to see how white women live in fabulous New York City. That’s it. If I go into the whole Blair Underwood sleeping with Miranda thing, or why lil’ Ms. Louis from St. Louis (Hudson) had the stereotypical neck-rolling, finger-snapping attitude, then it would ruin it for me.

When you look beyond the fashion and the elitism (yes, “SATC” fans, you know these women got that complex), there are real themes in this movie we all deal with in our lives. Love. Forgiveness. Being true to ourselves. The pursuit of happiness. That’s where I think differences end and humanity begins.

I’m dreaming one day we all will be able to look at each other and see ourselves in one another’s reflection and honor our uniqueness and life experiences.

Envisioning you with much love, light and fulfillment. See you next week.

Yaminah Ahmad is editor-in-chief of The Atlanta Voice and contributing editor to Collective Voices, a newspaper published by the non-profit, SisterSong: Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective. More information on the group can be found at www.sistersong.net. Ahmad can be reached at missyaminah@gmail.com.

Email This Post Email This Post