Today’s challenge asks us to write about a movie that left a mark on us.
After my parents divorced, my brothers, my mother and I moved to and lived in Dayton, OH for about 5 years. We attended private Catholic school the first couple of years and then public school. We were Dominicans living in a predominantly white neighborhood. My mother is white, has blue eyes and red hair. She fit in perfectly my brothers and I -on the other hand- not so much. She re-married a black man. This ‘race’ thing was not ‘a thing’ to us because Dominicans come in all different shapes, sizes and colors. You know, like people all over the world usually do. Plus we had also been raised to see people, not color, not gender, not religion: Humanity.
But I remember someone stopping my mother in the supermarket one day and asking her if we were her kids and why she had decided to have children of ‘different color’ . I was called a Taco in school -a lot.
One afternoon after school -we thought we were getting ‘a talk’- but my mom asked us to make ourselves comfortable and grab some popcorn. As we giggled and got ready, she proceeded to unwrap a brand new movie and popped it into our VHS.
While I ate and watched, not a pin could be heard, except the two girls on the screen giggling, singing, playing, laughing and running through a field of purple flowers. When the movie ended, wiping tears from my face she looked at us and said, “You are my children and I love you.” We spoke more about racism, our spiritual journeys and about being Dominicans in America and proud! We had just connected to The Color Purple.
Eventually I read the book, taught about it to my high school students in DR and my second date with my husband was going to see The Color Purple on broadway. Two kids, two dogs and a home later…he did good, no?
I swear that movie connects to everything I am passionate about.
“I am an expression of the divine, just like a peach is, just like a fish is. I have a right to be this way…I can’t apologize for that, nor can I change it, nor do I want to… We will never have to be other than who we are in order to be successful…We realize that we are as ourselves unlimited and our experiences valid. It is for the rest of the world to recognize this, if they choose.”
― Alice Walker, The Color Purple