My mother went out of town one weekend when I was young, and my cousin came over to watch me until she returned. Maaaan, I swear we watched The Color Purple all damned weekend! I came to know the Shug Avery song God is Gonna Tell You Something by heart. I came to know ‘Mister’ Danny Glover as the first black man to treat other blacks as his property, he put that backhand down like none other! He had Celie brainwashed with those beatings so hard, that she told Harpo to beat Sofia to make her listen. And then I came to see Oprah in her greatest acting role EVER (IMO) as Miss Sofia.
This was before Oprah was the billionaire black queen. This was maybe even before she had her talk show. So this role was my first impression of her, and I must say I was enthralled! As Miss Sofia, I saw Oprah as a hardened, brash, take no ish strong black woman, that wasn’t against laying that hand down to get her point across. I had never seen a black woman such as Sofia in a movie before, and there probably hasn’t been another since. Maaan, she put a fist print on Harpo so hard that he tried to say the mule kicked him! Those hands demanded respect, son!
Then later on I saw the consequences of those mighty hands. Remember when that uppity mayor walked up on Miss Sofia like he was bad, slapping her in front of her children after she flatly turns down Miss Millie’s job offer to be her maid? I always thought Sofia overreacted, but she had her pride. That mayor slapped the mess out of her, just to catch a nice hook from Miss Sofia that laid him on his back! Yeah, she took the butt of the sheriff’s gun to the head, and went to jail, but I always thought that for that brief second when her strong fist cracked that glass jaw, man that must’ve felt good for Miss Sofia!
Where are those types of characters now in movies? Where are the strong, take no ish Miss Sofia types in today’s cinema? Hollywood must think these types of black women only existed in pre-civil rights era America. Well pay attention, Hollywood, because I have one for ya! I have one in particular I’m ready to give the world in the upcoming Faceless Assassins novel series. Not petite, and not a punk, I want to give the world another strong, black, female character that reminds us of the Big Mamas and the Madeas…not afraid to put WHOEVER needed it in their place. Who knows, maybe I’ll inspire Oprah to make a spinoff; Miss Sofia: the Color Black & Blue!