The lights in the theater dimmed as the previews ended. Opening credits roll up the screen and the names of award winning actors appear.
Fifteen minutes into the movie, young Celie had given birth to her second child fathered by her own father. She was married to an older man and beaten into submission. While the audience became further engrossed with the tale being told on the scene, an elderly woman jumped up out of her seat cursing.
“I’m not watching this shit! Why would you bring me to this shit? I don’t need to see this….hell I lived this!”
And stormed out.
My grandmother is not 100% Caucasian. Her father was white and her mother was Native American…..Chickasaw tribe to be exact. My grandmother is the oldest of 3 children. Her other siblings had black fathers….that’s why she thinks she’s black. She was raised that way.
The woman who stormed out of the theater was my great grandmother. My aunt decided to treat her to a movie and thought she would enjoy seeing The Color Purple on the big screen. The movie reminded my great grandmother of the troubles she’d suffered in her younger days. I’d heard the story through family rumors while researching our genealogy but my grandmother only told it herself once. We were driving home from visiting the old family cemetery out in the country. We got to a certain stretch of road and this is the story my grandmother told us:
This is the ditch we hid in the night mister was chasing us. He had been beating mama half to death. She was pregnant with twins once. Mister beat em out of her. Their bodies are in the corner of the cemetery back there. I’ll show you sometime. He tried to kill her that night. He really tried. I was only 3. She wrapped me up and grabbed some clothes and when night fell we ran. She couldn’t take sister. Sister was only a baby and mama couldn’t carry both of us. Sister cried but mama grabbed me and we ran. Mister almost caught us too, but we hid in this ditch right here. Mama told me to be quiet. I couldn’t stop crying. But we laid there…..laid there almost all the night. I remember hearing Mister and his mama talking over our heads. She said “Son…..you catch that bitch and her halfbreed ass baby and you kill her dead…you hear me? DEAD Son!” and rode off on her horse.
We laid there til they finally moved on and we took off again. It took us 2 days to make it to Big Mama’s house but we did. The day after we got there Mister pulled up to the house in his buggy….come to take us home. Big Mama grabbed her shotgun by the door and met him outside.
“Mister…..you step one foot out that damn buggy and I’ll kill yo ass. Just turn on round and go on home. Leave my baby be!”
Mister stepped one leg out the buggy to get out and Big Mama shot the ground near his foot.
“Mister I ain’t playing with yo black ass. You get back in that gotdamn buggy and take yo ass home else the next shot will be dead tween yo eyes.” As he turned his buggy around to head home Big Mama hollered, “And tell yo mama I’m looking for her ass too!”
After hearing that story, it’s understandable why my great grandmother wasn’t interested in seeing Celie’s story.
I’m so glad I come from some strong people.
Thanks for visiting Diva (in Demand). My blog escapades have followed me across 4 states, 3 jobs, a business venture, and a new husband. There are no mini divas yet but I have loads of nieces and nephews to slobber and wipe their dirty hands on me. I am an amateur pastry chef, certified cake decorator, and seasoned home cook who knows how to pair French cuiseine with fine wine, collard greens and cornbread. You'll find a little bit of everything around here.....where I take talking to myself to a whole new level.