For Colored Girls (2010)
Yasmine: A rapist doesn't have to be a stranger to be legitimate. Someone you never saw. A man with obvious problems. But if you been public with him, danced one dance, kissed him goodbye lightly with a closed mouth, pressing charges will be as hard as keeping your legs closed while five fools try and run a train on you. These men friends of ours, who smile nicely, take you out to dinner, then lock the door behind you...
Juanita: Somebody almost walked off with all of my stuff and didn't care enough to send a note home saying "I was late for my solo conversation" or "two sizes too small for my own tacky skirts". What can anybody do with something of no value on an open market? Did you get a dime for my things? Hey, man! Where are you going with all of my stuff? This is a woman's trip and I need my stuff to "Ooh" and "Ah" about. Honest to God, somebody almost ran off with all of my stuff and I didn't bring anything but the kick and sway of it. The perfect ass for my man and none of it is theirs. This is mine, Juanita's own things. That's my name. Now give me my stuff. I see you hiding my laugh and how I sit with my legs open sometimes to give my crotch some sunlight. This is some delicate leg and whimsical kiss. I gotta have to give to my choice. So you can't have me unless I give me away. And I was doing all that till you ran off on a good thing. And who is this you left me with? Some simple bitch with a bad attitude? I want my things. I want my arm with the hot iron scar. I want my leg with the flea bite. Yeah, I want my things. I want my calloused feet and quick language back in my mouth. I want my own things. How I loved them. Somebody almost ran off with all of my stuff and I was standing there looking at myself the whole time. It wasn't a spirit that ran off with my stuff. It was a man whose ego walked 'round like Rodan's shadow. It was a man faster than my innocence. It was a lover I made too much room for. Almost ran off with all my stuff and the one running with it don't know he got it. I'm shouting, "This is mine!" and he don't even know he got it. My stuff is the anonymous ripped-off treasure of the year. Did you know somebody almost got away with me? Me, in a plastic bag under his arm. Me, Juanita Sims. Somebody almost walked off with all my stuff.
Juanita: Ever since I realized, there was someone called a colored girl or an evil woman, a bitch or a nag I been trying not to be that and leave bitterness in somebody else's cup. Come to somebody to love me without deep and nasty smelling scars from lye or being left screaming in a street of lunatics whispering, 'Slut, bitch, bitch. Nigga, get out of here with all of that.' I didn't have any of that for you. I brought you what joy I found. And I found joy. And then there's that woman who hurt you. And who you left three or four times. And then you went back after you put my heart in the bottom of your shoe. You just walked back to where you hurt and I didn't have nothing. So I went to where somebody had something for me, but none of them were you. I got a real dead loving here for you now, 'cause I don't know anymore how to avoid my own face wet with my tears because I had convinced myself that colored girls have no right to sorrow. I lived for you. I know I did it for myself, but I couldn't stand it. I couldn't stand being sorry and colored at the same time. It's so redundant in the modern world.
Frank: I guess this is goodbye.
Juanita: Like you've never seen it before.
Jo: I went to my gynecologist, and before you, every level in my body was fine.
Carl: Baby, are you sick? Talk to me.
Jo: Tell me the truth, Carl. Who have you been sleeping with?
Carl: Jo, I promise you since... Since you and I have been together, I have not slept with another woman, and I promise you that.
Jo: What about a man?
Carl: What the fuck did you just ask me?
Jo: I see the way you look at them when you think I'm not paying attention. I see it. The pool boy in the Hamptons, my driver, the guy the other night at the opera. I see it all, Carl.
Carl: You have no idea how much I hate coming up into this motherfucking house sometimes. Every day, Joanna, if it ain't you telling me what to wear, how to look, calling the shots over my head.
Jo: Are you gay?
Carl: How you gonna ask me a question like that?
Jo: How did you marry a woman, and then turn around and let a man bend you over?
Carl: Ain't nobody bending me over.
Jo: So you doing the bending? Is that what it is?
Carl: I don't wake up holding another man, walking down the street holding some man's hands. That's gay, okay? That ain't me.
Jo: You're saying a lie, Carl. You're saying a lot without saying nothing at all.
Carl: I'm saying that your husband is a man, Jo. I'm a man every day of the week. I'm a man. I'm just a man who enjoys having sex with another man, Jo. No attachments, no fucking... No relationship, just sex, you know? That's what I'm saying, and I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Jo, for my truth.
[opening lines; all in voiceover]
Yasmine: [as she dances] Dark phrases of womanhood, of never having been a girl. Half-note scattered without rhythm.
Juanita: [as she waters her plants] ... without rhythm. No tune distraught. Laughter falling over a black girl's shoulders. It's funny...
Gilda: [as she cleans dust away with her broom] ... funny. It's hysterical. The melodylessness of her dance. Don't tell nobody, don't tell a soul. She's dancing on beer cans and shingles.
Jo: [as she readies herself for bed] She's dancing on beer cans and shingles. This must be the spook house. Another song with no singers, lyrics no voices and uninterrupted solos, unseen performances. Are we ghouls? Children of horror?
Alice: [as she prays in her closet] Children of horror? The joke? Don't tell nobody, don't tell a soul. Are we animals? Have we gone crazy?
Kelly: [as she looks at a pregnancy test] ... gone crazy? I can't hear anything but maddening screams and the soft strains of death. And you promised me. You promised somebody. Anybody. Sing a black girl's song.
Nyla: [as she walks to the stage for her diploma] ... a black girl's song. Bring her out to know herself. To know you, but sing her rhythms caring...
Tangie: [as she reads over unseen documents] ... caring, struggle. Hard times, sing her song of life. She's been dead so long, closed in silence so long.
Crystal: [as she has sex with Beau Willie] ... so long.She doesn't know the sound of her own voice, her infinite beauty. She's half-note scattered without rhythm, no tune. Sing her sighs... Sing the song of her possibilities. Sing a righteous gospel. Let her be born.
Yasmine, Juanita, Gilda, Jo, Alice, Kelly, Nyla, Tangie, Crystal: [simultaneously] Let her be born and handled warmly. And this is for colored girls who have considered suicide but moved to the ends of their own rainbows.
Jo: Save your "sorry." One thing I don't need are anymore apologies. I got sorry greeting me at the front door. You can keep yours. I don't know what to do with them... I can't even... I have to throw some away. I can't even get to the clothes in my closet for all the sorries. I'm not even sorry about you being sorry.
Tangie: Being alive and being a woman is all I got, but being colored is a metaphysical dilemma I haven't conquered yet.
Gilda: Sleeping with all these men, thinking it's just sex. It ain't just sex, honey. It all has a root. And you got to find that root to pluck it. He placed the rose behind your ear, now cry yourself to sleep. I used to be you.
Tangie: You can't love somebody with that much hurt in them. I'm learning that more and more. I don't know what's wrong with me. My dependency on other human beings for love. I survive on intimacy, and tomorrow that's all I've got going. It's all I've got!
Juanita: Frank, open the door! I know you're in there! You got a woman in there? Fine, I am sick of your mess! Without any assistance or guidance from you, I have loved you assiduously for 8 months, 2 weeks, and a day. I been stood up 4 times, left 7 packages on your doorstep, 40 poems, 2 plants, 3 handmade notecards, and I had to leave town to send them. You call at 3 am in the morning on weekdays... charming, charming! But you have been of NO assistance! I want you to know what this has been an experiment... to see how selfish I could be. To see if I could really carry on to snare a possible lover. To see if I was capable of debasing myself for the love of another. To see if I could stand not being wanted when I want to be wanted and I can not, so without any further guidance or assistance from you, I am ending this affair!
Man #2: Wait, wait, wait. Look, I got something to tell you. I only have about $80 on me.
Tangie: What are you talking about?
Man #2: That's all I have. If you want to go to the ATM, we can do that.
Tangie: You think I'm a hooker?
Man #2: Aren't you?
Man #2: I'm sorry. I'm drunk.
Tangie: What is so funny?
Man #2: I guess I'm just old-fashioned. What kind of woman picks a man up in a bar and brings him back to her place if she's not a hooker?
Tangie: One that likes to fuck.
[the man starts laughing again]
Tangie: Don't laugh at me.
Man #2: I'm sorry.
Tangie: Don't laugh at me.
Man #2: This is some sick shit.
Tangie: You men with your double standards. You can do it, but a woman can't. Get out. *Get out*!
Man #2: That's a good idea. You seem to do this too often to be healthy.
Tangie: You think I have some kind of disease?
Man #2: If it ain't in your body, it is definitely in your head.
Tangie: You ain't one to judge me you son of a bitch!
Juanita: Ever since I realized there was someone called a colored girl, or an evil woman, a bitch, or a nag, I've been trying not to be that, and leave bitterness in someone else's cup.
Alice: He only left you that money, so you could control me like he did. He used to put his hands on my dress. Told me I was the only one he needed. Told me I was ugly. And when I was 15, he gave me to a white man. Said he wanted beautiful granddaughters... not like me.
Juanita: Now, how many times have you heard your man say it don't feel the same? My love is too beautiful to have it thrown back on my face.
Yasmine: I like that.
Juanita: Try one.
Juanita: Well, I do it all the time in my class. You just say, "My love is too ____," and you just fill in the blank.
Gilda: My love is too sanctified to have it thrown back on my face.
Kelly: My love is too magic to have it thrown back on my face.
Tangie: My love is too "Saturday Night" to have it thrown back on my face.
Jo: My love is too complicated to have it thrown back on my face.
Yasmine: My love is too music to have it thrown back on my face.
Juanita: Yes, and you remember that when a man tries to walk off with all your stuff!
Juanita: [enters the office] Hi! I'm Juanita Sims, and I'm so glad
[shakes hands with Jo]
Juanita: you took this meeting. Now I'll be quick, because I know you're very busy.
[sits on the chair]
Juanita: I read in your magazine about your upbringing. I just knew that this would be a program that you would respond to. First of all, I'm a nurse, and I have just opened a free health and wellness clinic in a community center in one of the poorest neighborhoods in this city. Oh, forgive me. I'm just a little nervous. As you know...
Jo: Where do I come in?
Juanita: Well... It's a little non-profit, and everything I do I do out of my own pocket and...
Jo: Let me stop you right now. I give to cancer, I give to Africa, I give to education. Those are my charities of choice.
Juanita: Well, those are all very good charities, but there is so much need in our own community.
Jo: 'Our?' We are all afforded the same opportunities in 'our' community. What they do with theirs, it is not my issue. Your answer is no. End of conversation.
Juanita: End of conversation?
Juanita: Crystal, show Miss Simmons out.
[Crystal comes in]
Jo: It's Sims. Miss Juanita Sims.
[leaves Jo's table]
Crystal: [to Juanita] Right this way.
Juanita: [stops and turns back to Jo] No. I've been waiting out there in that damn lobby of yours for over an hour for you. Now, it's cool, you don't want to give any money, I get that. But this attitude, this blatant disrespect for other people's time and feelings, well, honey, that's just ridiculous. Does it take all of this for you to be that? Then, honey, if it does, then you may be paying just a little too much. And I can see myself out of this tacky-ass place. Ain't got no color up in here, all this white. No color up in this place, including you.
[walks out of the office]
Juanita: Tacky-ass heifer. Wait till I tell everybody how tacky you are. I can show my own self out, thank you very much.
[tries to open the door]
Juanita: How do I open this damn door?
Juanita: I got a real dead loving here for you now, because I don't know anymore how to avoid my own face wet with my tears! Because I had convinced myself that colored girls have no right to sorrow!
Frank: I guess this is goodbye.
Juanita: Like you've never seen it before.
Jo: Another song with no singers, lyrics... no voices. Unseen performances...
Gilda: Ordinary, brown-braided woman with big legs and full lips... you become yourself.