Push, push, push!
OK, so I went to see the movie Precious over the weekend, and yeah, I have the standard complaints about the movie: Why are the heroes light-skinned blacks and all the villains dark? Why did whites have to put up the $12 million to get the movie made? And a few other standard “Black in America” complaints. But the movie is bigger than that.
I walked outta that movie filled with hope and singing the praises of everyone involved with its creation, and my only critique is they should have called the movie Push not Precious.
I almost read my friend and comrade Charlamagne Tha God’s blog first, but I did not want the spoiler, so I read it upon my return. C Tha God made all the points I would have made had I not seen and understood the real message in this movie.
This was not a movie made for us to feel sorry for: poor, black, fat, illiterate, abused, neglected, single mothers or HIV-positive girls. The message of this movie was that the human spirit awakened and encouraged will defy any odds and overcome the most horrific of circumstances. All that is required is that we PUSH ourselves.
Precious was typical in that she had a shit life and a head fulla unrealistic fantasies about escaping her realities. We all have had these misplaced thoughts in some form or another.
She was being raised by her mom, a woman who had become so consumed by her own irrational imaginations that all she did was grow them by staring into an idiot box, feeding false hopes of getting money by hitting the numbers. We all know folks like this to one extreme or the other.
Precious, unlike her mom, had not given up on herself, yet she just needed a PUSH. The first PUSH came with her being pushed outta P.S. to alternative school. Next she was PUSHED by her teacher to learn to read and write every day.
Whenever PUSHED, this beautiful, wonderful child responded by working hard. When PUSHED by her social worker, she told the brutal and hurtful truth. When pushed too far by a sick and degenerate mother, Precious, a mother herself, pushed back, whooped some ass and sought independence.
When given the news she was HIV-positive, she PUSHED past the pain and the first seed of self pity, “Why Me?” and chose to become more for her children than she had been given the opportunity to be.
My friend C tha God said the movie’s ending was sad. I respectfully disagree. The movie ended with HOPE!
A girl whom the village had failed, parents had handicapped, public school had under educated, and people had scorned, scuffed and used … she PUSHED through and CHOSE to better herself in spite of her bleak reality.
Precious set a goal to finish school, go to college, find a living, and become a real mother to Mongo and Abdul. She did not let her past – filled with violence, abuse and neglect – trap her like it did her mother. She escaped the paralyzing effects of incest, abuse and disease from her father. She overcame illiteracy by PUSHING herself to read and write, gradually improving her TAP score and setting her future goals. She PUSHED past her own fears and fantasies and became a real mother.
She walked out of a welfare office decidedly different. She walked out onto the brutal streets of 1987-88 NYC, a woman on her way to completion with two kids in tow and a determination to keep pushing for her sake and theirs. She did it with a beautiful smile, a quite noble smile, determined to push through to a better her! Bravo!
Thanks to everyone involved in the making of this movie. Thanks, Sapphire, for writing this amazing story. I will be buying the book for my daughter and me to read.
I did not cry during the movie, but in all honesty, I am tearing up now because I know this story is possible; it’s real. I worked with a group of kids in the 90s for a short time, and I saw similar stories. Different but similar, and I know this child.
I know her pain, her struggle, and how hard it is to PUSH through. But she did and all the kids I worked with did too. They are all still alive and PUSHING! We all should do the same. –It’s Bigga