BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Sista, you’ve been on my mind…

Posted by joyinhome on August 20, 2009


Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of seeing The Color Purple broadway show, featuring Fantasia Barrino as Celie. I attended the event with four generations of women in my family: my grandmother, my mother, two aunts and my 12 year-old daughter and her cousin who is the same age.

If you know the story of Celie, it is a heartbreaker from the beginning. During her lifetime, she is a victim of incestual rape, domestic violence, verbal abuse and she is estranged from her sister and children. However, she trimuphs.

I may be poor, I may be black and I may be ugly, but I’m here!

Somewhere during the run of this production, Fantasia and Celie became fantasiaascelieone. The parallels of their lives surely helped Fantasia get into character and understand her “motivation.” She made you cry and shout for Celie. Faces were wet – male and female- before the curtain closed. And Celie- she found her piece of happiness and ran with it!

Of course Fantasia’s singing stirred your soul, but her acting was on par with the rest of this broadway-seasoned cast. With that said, I want to highlight some of the other women cast members.

  • Angela Robinson played Shug, a colorful performer with questionable morals -according to the women townfolk (played by Margaret Avery in the film). Her powerful voice and performances made her a worthy co-star. In the film, “Sista” was a song that Shug wrote and performed for Celie at the juke joint. In this show, the original score included “Push Da Button” (pictured at the top), a raucous number that made us smirk and slap our thighs.
  • Felicia Fields as spirited Sofia (played by Oprah Winfrey in the film) whose big personality dominated, as it should have. Her number “Hell No!” was a crowd-pleaser. This strong woman could not be broken even though she was tested to a limit most of us could not have withstood.

As a black woman, I cheered as they overcame so many obstacles, at a time when women and especially Black women were less than nothing. There are themes brought out in this show that are still present in 2009 for all women but heightened for women of color.

I swear, if this show does not receive the acclaim it deserves, I will spit! I had enough when the movie was passed over- I’m sure Speilberg shared my sentiments.


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