The Carmen Jones Effect

This weekend I had the pleasure of watching “Carmen Jones” from beginning to end.  (If you’re not familiar, let me break it down-Army boy has Good Girl as his fiancee and is ready to marry her-he meets Aggressive Woman who makes him forget about Good Girl-Aggressive Woman meets a new man and dumps Army Boy-tragedy ensues-The End.)  My friend AGinDC and I had a blockbuster night, complete with movie, red wine (which I normally don’t like), and pizza.  AG and I were able to point out various things, specifically where we and another one of our friends, whom I will call Lola, fit.  I said that I was in-between Cindy Lou and Carmen.  I was quickly told by AG that I was Cindy Lou, she was in-between, and Lola was Carmen.  I scoffed at her-I was slightly offended-but she broke it down for me.  AG told me that I “embrace my traditionalism and ‘good girl’ persona. You’re also predictable and don’t offer any spontaneity.”  After she said that I couldn’t really argue, except with the predicable part.   But we both whole-heartedly agreed about our friend Lola being Carmen.   Lola is aggressive, assertive, and a free spirit.  If she sees something (or someone) she wants, she goes after it.  And people (both men and women) are drawn to her like moths to a flame. 

The major realization I had after watching this movie was that men will leave the “good girl” to go to the woman who is more assertive.  And the more assertive women don’t back down until they get what they want.   Now, the Joes of the world do try to thwart the advances of the Carmens, but something happens where they forget all about the Cindy Lous and let their hormones take over.  I don’t think I even want to know why.  I’ve come to accept it as fact.  Now, AG and Lola seem to think I should become more like Carmen, but won’t I lose a little bit of the Cindy Lou?  I like being traditional, I like being the good girl, but I can say I want to be a little more un-predictable…I just have to plan what I’m going to do.  (Kidding. :))  But I do know I don’t want to end up alone with Joe sending me back home to my ma, so a plan must be devised. 

What do you guys think?  Do you know men who have left a Cindy Lou to be with a Carmen?  Was he happier with his Carmen or did he wish he had stayed with his Cindy Lou?  Is it our responsibility as women to embrace a little bit of Cindy Lou and Carmen in our personality?  Or is “Carmen Jones” just a movie that has no parellel to real life?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Today’s Black History Month Fact is about Harry Belafonte, one of the stars of “Carmen Jones”.  He passed up the opportunity to star opposite Dorothy Dandridge again in the movie “Porgy and Bess” due to its racial stereotyping. 

Way Back Wednesday-Happy Black Girl Day

Hello, world!  It’s been a long time!  Your fave Southern girl took a much needed break! Now I’m revived, rejuvinated, and ready for anything!  Today is Happy Black Girl Day, so I’m wishing all my girls a safe, happy, blissful day!  This weekend I took a mini-vacation to Philadelphia to hang out with some of my sorority sisters and their friends and family.  On Sunday, we went to a nice brunch place called Relish.   They had a movie playing, which was “Carmen Jones“, starring the gorgeous Dorothy Dandridge and handsome Harry Belafonte.  This movie inspired today’s post.  Today I will highlight some of the most talented Black women in Hollywood.

First, I must start with Dorothy Dandridge.  If you have never seen it, I highly suggest you watch “Carmen Jones”.  It’s a story of love, loss, and betrayal.  They don’t really make movies like that anymore…A little known fact about Ms. Dandridge is that she was the first African American woman nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. 

Next up is one of my favorites Diahann Carroll.  This woman is TIMELESS!  At 75, she looks better than some women half her age.  Her debut was as a supporting character in “Carmen Jones”, and she was the first black woman to win a Tony Award for her performance in “No Strings”.  I loved her in “Dynasty” as Dominique Devereaux and who can forget her as Whitley Gilbert’s mom, Marion, in “A Different World“???

Another timeless woman is Pam Grier, the original Foxy Brown.  Quentin Tarantino has been quoted as saying, “she may have been cinema’s first female action star.”  If you are a fan of blaxploitation films, then you are no stranger to the talent of Ms. Grier.  A fellow Southern girl, her career spans 40 years, and she shows no signs of slowing down.  Making her mark in the movie and television worlds, she has moved to the literary world with her autobiography “Foxy: My Life in Three Acts”.

If you’re in the DMV, you know there is a Happy Black Girl Day Happy Hour! This month, it will be at Lounge of III on 1013 U St. NW.  Who are some of your favorite black actresses, from back in the day to present day?  What do you plan to do to celebrate Hapy Black Girl Day?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!