Hollywood had little or no knowledge of Black men laboring and living in rural Georgia; other than that written by Alice Walker. Not unexpectedly, enlightened and educated Black men who knew anything about the cultural dynamics of the sharecropper and chain gang era men lived and died in.
The problem of course that still lingers is that in all the hundreds of western and southern lifestyle movies produced by Hollywood during most of the 20th century prior to emergence of Dr. Martin Luther King, ... few ever portrayed Black men as being of moral worth in war or peace, good times or bad ones.
Many men born prior to World War II did not buy or read Alice Walker's book; but, very much resented the ideology cast that functionally dishonored 63rd and 64th generation mothers and fathers.
It imagined a rural congregation of believers in communion with Christ, as never the less tolerant of bad attitudes and behavior such as characterized by Danny Glover, beginning in church. The movie portrayed Whoopi Goldberg as a heroine in family generation and sustainment, casting Danny Glover as a despicable fool lusting for Akosua Busia and Margaret Avery.
The damage done by her portrayal of a fictional characterized victim in Alice Walker's imagination can not be underestimated when viewed in the context of draconian laws of the 1980s such as: three strikes and out, life without parole, and other impacts on young Black men. Untold numbers of women appearing in American courts thereafter have used her famed outbursts of pain suffered by godless men in their lives.
As predictable, judges avoid further deliberations and give them what they want. It is an amazing spectacle of pretentious pain; and one result has been that most young Black men of means by choice obviously avoid entanglements or marriage to ghetto "saffires".
Novels and movies matter a lot in American society, and much the world over which means writers have a lot of power in molding attitudes and behaviors toward "the least of us." Indeed, our view as reflected on this site is that too few women then or now imagined slavery or even the Civil War killing fields and after-effects in the same light of men, Black or White. Most women know very little about behavior of young men out of their view, ... including siblings, cousins, husbands and sons but imagine they do even on the killing fields of wars, rumors of wars and after-math of it.
They do see and generally know about such as polygamous behaviors disdained by women like Alice Walker educated and indoctrinated in the values that created it. The effects and results of polygamy are so wide-spread in America that a thousand years from now the DNA sequences will still be easy to detect in various colors and shades with men still procreating the old fashioned way of seducing young women for pay, play and even the love for which they pray.
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