Thanksgiving 2017; I am thankful I am not spending money on food because, well, I just found out that I must pay a tax I inherited. Why spend $100.00 or more on groceries when I need to pay a tax. What is the point! Stay home and do one of my pleasures: Watch movies. So this day of thankfulness, I am supporting the work of Spike Lee. I am viewing and responding to the Netflix series of Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It and pondering the number of turkeys killed and eaten.
There is a thankful rambling in my bones.
Yep, I am thankful. I will not be paying to celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas, for that matter. Rambling: How many turkeys were killed today. Is anyone thinking about the deaths, the sharpen knives, axes and other objects used to kill the turkeys? This is a spontaneous kind of day, just rambling. In between thinking about the dead protein waiting to be eaten, I am also thinking about the fake turkey. Like fake news, fake turkey does nothing to sustain life. Why eat fake turkey. Why eat something that is a metaphor for death—really. Ok, so maybe I am thinking too hard about this. Maybe I should leave all of this alone and let death be death and fake death, i.e., turkey ride the wings of dead turkey. Maybe I should just go along to get along. But I can’t; bleeding turkeys are not an example of the beautiful.
She’s Gotta Have It is, though complicated, a symbol of the beautiful: It pulls at my inauthentic self: It says, be real! The series is on and in my face. I want to put my hands up—hide from the Bronx, a churchless wall with stone pews and a myriad of personalities. The themes in this series from friendship to history move like blues sanctioned in the womb of secular spirituality. Waltz with me across a bedroom dance floor.
She’s Gotta Have It is provocative art. It is art’s purpose. To move us out of self-created fake news—be it turkey or political and religious rhetoric—into rooms that demand authenticity. She’s Gotta Have It is a contemporary prayer.
Sometimes prayer is not pretty; yet, its beauty is the burden of grace given freely to the thing in need of prayer. Nola Darling requests this of the viewer. I hear her through the art: (Understand me graciously).
And therein lies the beautiful! This film is representative of some of the personalities that may be sitting in a church pew or at a Thanksgiving dinner table. Spike Lee is very intentional. This series is a critical commentary with an artistic vein served on a platter by an authentic African American woman who lives sweetly in her own skin.
She’s Gotta Have It is a cinematic collage. Nola Darling is the glue holding it together. Does turkey, dead or fake, have a place on this table? View She’s Gotta Have It, and I will let you decide.