I feel the most heartfelt compassion for actress Oluwaseyi Omooba. Celie, the character she would have played, is based on the life of my grandmother, Rachel, a kind and loving woman brutally abused by my grandfather, and whoever was in reality the father of her children, offspring none of the family ever saw. Thankfully, after these births, and the disappearance of her children, she was barren.
It is safe to say, after a frightful life serving and obeying abusive men, who raped in place of "making love," my grandmother, like Celie, was not attracted to men. She was, in fact, very drawn to my grandfather's lover, a beautiful woman who was kind to her, the only grown person who ever seemed to notice how remarkable and creative she was. In giving Celie the love of this woman, in every way love can be expressed, I was clear in my intention to demonstrate that she too, like all of us, deserved to be seen, appreciated, and deeply loved by someone who saw her as whole and worthy.
Because I believe, and know, that sexual love can be extraordinarily holy, whoever might be engaging in it, I felt I had been able to return a blessing of love to a grandmother who had always offered only blessing and love, when I was a child, to me.
In much of my work I encourage the reader to question everything. I have been urging a questioning and reconsideration of all the so called "holy" books for over forty years. The Bible, like the Koran, like the Talmud, and others that claim to teach the best way for people to live, must be interrogated, questioned, and respectfully deconstructed. Love, however it may be expressed, is to be honored and welcomed into the light of our common survival as a consciously human, race.
For a short introduction of what I teach in this regard, please see an essay: THE ONLY REASON YOU WANT TO GO TO HEAVEN IS YOU'VE BEEN DRIVEN OUT OF YOUR MIND...Off Your Land, and Out of Your Lover's Arms.
Playing the role of "Celie" while not believing in her right to be loved, or to express her love in any way she chooses, would be a betrayal of women's right to be free. As an elder, I urge all of us to think carefully about what I am saying, even as you, Oluwaseyi Omooba, sue the theatre company for voiding your contract. This is just an episode in your life; your life, your work, and your growth, will continue, in the real world. A world we must make safe for women and children, female and male. And the greatest freedom of all is the freedom to be your authentic self.
Post by Phantom of London on Oct 11, 2019 23:10:18 GMT
Those words reminded me of the Colour Purple, which is one of the greatest story told, but didn’t realise it was semi-autobiography.
Didn’t the beginning of the Colour Purple speak of the church and why it’s an institution that I loathe, how the community were controlled and god fearing and yet one of the congregation committed some of the most egregious and perfidious acts a person can commit on another.