Sunday, 10 April 2011
Tyler Perry's movies are certainly color aroused. He clearly has looked at some Black families, including his own. He clearly believes that Black people's culture or depictions of it are a worthy subject movies. He finds and evokes humor in Black people's foibles and even dysfunctional behaviors. His focus on Black people clearly is aroused by his own skin color and other Black individuals and families. He's color-aroused.
Do thoughts (ideation) about Black people arouse his feelings of sadness, gladness, mirth and anguish, vengeance, fear and rage? I suspect that his films evoke IN HIM all of the above feelings and many more. Obviously, they do. He feels a special pull to do movies about Black people and that pull comes from his beliefs (ideation) and feelings (emotions).
Are his behaviors motivated by his color-aroused thoughts and feelings? Obviously they are. He makes movies about and for Black people because they interest him deeply.
Is Tyler Perry a color-aroused antagonist, targeting both himself and other Black people for unfair criticism and ridicule? I think the answer is "no." Tyler Perry's movies are funny to Black people because he identifies and creates characters who remind us of ourselves, our relatives and friends, in one way or another.
When we see a Tyler Perry movie it's like listening to a masterful preacher who sleighs everyone with his incisive wit at one point or another, and we all walk away determined to do better in the future.
So, Tyler is aroused by skin color-associated ideation and emotions to make films about Blacks. Is there anything wrong with that? I prefer to see a movie about Blacks in key roles, with a Black sensibility.
Where is the anti-Black antagonism in Perry's movies? I can't find it. Most people will agree that Tyler Perry makes us laugh--when he's a woman in his films and when he's a man. He is able to play the role of upper middle class educated man in control of his impulses just as he is capable of playing a late-middle aged Black woman (Madea) so outraged at the abuse of a women that she gets her gun and goes looking for the culprit.
Madea does what all of us would like to do (if it weren't illegal) when a Black woman is beaten and humiliated. She pulls her gun and puts the fight and the strength in others who we too beaten down to stand up for themselves.
The trick to perceiving that Tyler Perry is not an anti-Black antagonist is in the striking themes where arrogant egotism always leads to humiliation, reconciliation and redemption. The Tyler Perry characters with the worst Black male anti-Black-woman antagonists are morality plays made funny, passionate and dramatic, showing us each a part of ourselves that we need to work on and work out before it works on us.
Tyler Perry warns us not to become egotistic, arrogant and abusive, lest we find ourselves humbled in front of those very same people whom we believed we could abuse and humiliate with impunity. Ultimately the theme of Tyler Perry's music is the possibility and necessity for redemption in all of us, which is a lesson which we all need to remember, regardless of our skin color.