That last episode of How To Get Away With Murder. Amazing on so many levels. They managed to layer, in one scene, so many complex issues that my mind was almost blown. And to top it off, my girl Cicely Tyson helped to bring it all home.
Rape - There is that issue that so many consider a women's lib issue. No, folks. That is a societal ill. We all know by now, that rape is not about sex; it's about violence and control. In one heated moment, the mother yells, I I told you! Men take things! They've been taking things from women since the beginning of time." A man is a sick individual who has to take from a woman in order to feel powerful, and it is a sick society (nationally and globally) that continues to allow this violence to happen with little to no consequence for the perpetrators.
Incest - Ooooooo, no they didn't. But oh, yes! They did. We will not be taking THIS to the grave! We will talk about IT ... RIGHT... NOW! So, black people, hold on to your slips, your panty hose, your girdles and all those other things you use to "keep it together." We are going to let it all hang out. Incest does happen in black families. Uncle did touch Daughter like that. Daddy did touch Son like that. Sister did touch Cousin like that. Now, whatcha gonna DO about that? Now, in our fictional world of HTGAWM, mother burned uncle alive. There; justice is served. That low down, incestual pervert got what he deserved...but what about the little girl/boy who will struggle to develop into a whole adult? Yes, Take-It-To-Gravers, black people need to talk to therapists, too.
Mother/Daughter Relationships - (*Disclaimer* I'm a daughter. And I have a mother. So understand, I've got my share of issues.) Can we say "misunderstanding"? Maaaan, how old is this story that never gets old? Can we communicate? Why didn't mama say something in allllllll of those years? From the moment Annalise's mother walks in the front door, it's clear that she is NOT shy about using her words. That "VIP" line ... Whaaaaat?! So how is it that this lady could not find her words to assure a girl child?
Naps - I'm sorry kinks. No? How about curly? No? Okay, let's try Type 4A? Ya'll, I'm messing with you. I'm a black woman and I've got nappy hair. Wait... Hold on...bear with me. I understand the historical connotation of the word "nappy". Believe me, as a little girl, I bore the shame of my naps. Wouldn't it have been better if my father was Puerto Rican? Then, I could have that pretty, long, and wavy hair like that girl who sat two seats in front of me. You know, the one whose hair was so pretty all the boys liked to touch it... Anyway, this is the hair I have, and over the years, I've learned to not only accept it for what is, I also LOVE it and all of its kinks. And I've come to feel bad for people who have this marvelously textured hair but still fear/feel that it does measure up to any standard of beauty.
- Enter: Annalise and her mother ...and a large toothed comb (Yep, in this instance, the comb is a character in its own right.).
- Mother sits with daughter seated on floor, between mother's legs.
- Mother begins combing through daughter's thick and nappy/kinky/tightly curled/4A hair.
- Audience hears the snapping of tangles being loosened.
- Audience sees mother pause to release some of the hair from the comb.
- Mother begins to use comb to scratch daughter's scalp...and bonding begins...
- End scene.
Watch the episode preview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UarhW6svZjA
The Huffington Post did a great job of capturing most of the moments I talked about: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/19/how-to-get-away-with-murd_2_n_6720164.html