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Quotes for
Mama Rose (Character)
from Black Girl (1972)

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Black Girl (1972)
Mama Rose: [Billie Jean is sulking in her bedroom. There is a bump at the door] Open this door, girl!
[Billie Jean opens the door to see Mama Rose carrying groceries across the room to the kitchen]
Mama Rose: Billie Jean, ain't I tell you to keep this door open? Now open that other door!
Billie Jean: [opening Kitchen door to let Mama Rose through to set bags on the counter] Oh Mama, sometimes I be in here undressing and Mr. Herbert just walk in here without even knocking.
Mama Rose: [putting groceries away throughout] You don't be undressing all the time. You keep these doors locked, Billie Jean. And who you think you're talking to? Besides, Mr. Herbert done seen plenty kinds of whatever you trying to hide.
Billie Jean: If Mr. Herbert was married to Ma Dear, that would be different, Mama. But he ain't no kin to nobody in this house.
Mama Rose: Now that ain't none of your business, Billie Jean. As far as you concerned, Mr. Herbert pay half the rent on this house and he's a roomer here.
Billie Jean: If he a roomer, how come he ain't got no room to himself?
Mama Rose: Now that ain't none of your business, Billie Jean, who my mama has in her room. You keep your trap shut about it, or get out and get a place of your own.
Billie Jean: You're mighty funny when Netta's momma went crazy and she ain't have no place to stay, you opened your big heart and welcomed her in this house. How come I got to get out...
Mama Rose: [Facing her] BECAUSE Netta's got sense enough to stay in school and get something in her head instead of her tail.
Billie Jean: [At this, Billie Jean walks back into her room where she sees two kids at the door sticking their tongues at her] You ugly bastards!
[She chases them out and slams the door]
Mama Rose: [Running in the room and grabbing Billie Jean] Girl, do you want me to get a stick and beat all the black off of you? Now you must have forgotten what a good beating feel like. Now you better snap out of whatever it is that's on your mind, you hear me?
[Billie looks away for a second, then Mama Rose drags her to the bed and sits her down]
Mama Rose: Don't you roll your eyes at me. This ain't Dear you playing with, you understand me?
Billie Jean: Yes ma'am Momma, I wasn't rolling my eyes at you.
Mama Rose: And Dear better not come to me no more and tell me you sassed her or Herbert or it's gonna be woe be onto you.
Ruth Ann: [coming in mad] Billie Jean, what did you call my baby?
Billie Jean: He was sticking his tongue out at me.
Ruth Ann: That don't give you no right to call him no bastard! A bastard is a child that ain't got no daddy and my child got a daddy!
[she walks away]
Mama Rose: She's just smelling her piss, that's all. Now you're getting your tail out of here tomorrow and finding yourself a job.
[Rose starts to go back to the kitchen]
Norma: [Standing at the door] She already got a job, Mama.
Mama Rose: Already got one? Where?
Norma: At the Groovy Bar and Grill down on Second and Ward.
Mama Rose: At the Groovy Bar and Grill? Doing what?
Billie Jean: Doing that ballet dancing
Billie Jean: It ain't no ballet dancing.
Norma: P-A-L-L-E-T is pallet, ain't it? Well, B-A-L-L-E-T gots to be ballet.
Billie Jean: It ain't even that kind of dancing.

Mama Rose: Billie Jean, have you started this mess yet?
Billie Jean: I just worked three nights.
Mama Rose: Well, how come I'm just now hearing about it?
Norma: I thought she had done told you about it, Mama. It's a job. I didn't see no reason for her to be hiding no job unless it's something else she doing.
Billie Jean: I was gonna tell you, Mama.
Mama Rose: [almost mocking her] Well, you were gonna tell me?
Billie Jean: After I got my first week's pay and...
Mama Rose: You ain't gonna see no week at that place, Billie Jean! Now you know I don't approve of that... that dancing mess no how! And shaking your tail at the Groovy Grill of all places? Now you know I didn't raise none of y'all like that!
Norma: Ain't no man don't wanna look at no ballet dancing no how. They wanna see some Strip tease, baby.
Billie Jean: Billie Jean, how much is you getting for this mess?
Norma: $3 a night, Ma.
Mama Rose: $3 a night!
[she crosses into the kitchen]
Billie Jean: But I get tips, Mama!
Mama Rose: TIPS? I don't care how many tips you get, Billie Jean! You better dip your ass over there sometime today and get what that man owes you!
[Crossing over to the living room side]
Mama Rose: And I better not ever hear of you going to a place like that again unless you got a husband to take you in one!
[Facing her at the door]
Mama Rose: That truant officer walk in here, you out of school and under 18, he'll take you right on off to reform school and then they'll make me pay a fine!

Mama Rose: [Netta is at the top of the church stairs with a big bouquet of flowers behind her. Rose turns around and sees her and walks towards the stairs to her and gives her a hug] Something told me to look up here.
Netta: You better hurry up and get your mother's day surprise.
[Rose hurries her into the upstairs room]
Netta: A lot of jealous eyes been looking at them.
[She presents her bouquet to Rose]
Mama Rose: OH, look what my sweet daughter went and gave me!
[she smells them]
Mama Rose: You got them laced just right!
[she hugs Netta]
Mama Rose: Thank you, darling! Thank you.
Netta: I thought it would be better if I brought my mother up here.
Mama Rose: That's nice. Tell me, how long have you been in town?
Netta: Oh, I haven't been here too long.
Mama Rose: You mean to tell me that if I have decided not to come to church this morning, I wouldn't even known you was here?
Netta: [to woman passing by leaving the room] Thank you, Sister Jenkins.
[She closes the door]
Netta: Sure. Sure, you would have known. If I hadn't seen you here today, I was going to get your present to you some kind of way.
Mama Rose: But why didn't you call me, Netta?
Netta: I was busy trying to get things together. And I was walking all over town trying to find you some flowers that weren't picked all over.
Mama Rose: I appreciate all the trouble you went through to get them, but you made me think you were gonna stay with me.
Netta: Mama Rosie, you don't understand what I'm trying to do. You've got plenty of people to lean on. My mother only has me. I appreciate everything you've done for me, but I... can't deal with all of this.
Mama Rose: Deal with what? What is it? I understand about your mother! You should have called me!
Netta: Mama Rosie, I am my mother's daughter, not yours! I ran away from my mother years ago because I wasn't strong enough then, but I'm going to her now! It's as simple as that!
Mama Rose: [heartbroken and near tears] Don't you raise your voice with me. Don't you DARE raise your voice with me!
[She leaves the room]

Mu' Dear: Rosie, sure enough Billie Jean is your child but I got the feeling you're wrong.
Mama Rose: You're a lie!
Mu' Dear: You ain't never in your life called me a lie and God's gonna whip you for that when you're laying in your death bed. God is gonna whip you because I am your mother, Rosie. I am your MOTHER!
Mama Rose: Dear, you don't understand what I've been through with these girls!
Mu' Dear: Rosie, you don't know nothing about nobody in this house because you're so busy trying to save strangers! If anyone tries to touch any of them girls off the street, you'd bring down the wrath of God. But with your own children? Your own family?
Mama Rose: Yeah, Mama, what about my own family? What kind of love did you give me to pass on?
Mu' Dear: You're gonna carry that to your grave, ain't you Rosie? You're gonna whip me wuth that until it kills you or me, ain't you?
Mama Rose: Dear, I love all of you. I did what I could for Billie Jean. Now you know I didn't raise her for no dancing and shaking her tail in public.
Mu' Dear: God didn't make you perfect in your judgment either, Rosie. You could be wrong about Billie Jean. God knows I ain't crazy about her wanting to be no dancer either, but that's her life! Now if she don;t make nothing out of it, it would be her nothing!
Mama Rose: Ma Dear, you want us to just stand around and let her ruin her life, huh?
Mu' Dear: She can't do no worse for hers than you did with yours, NONE OF YOU! Now, Rosie, you come to your senses.