It was the middle of 2004 and I had just paid 10 bucks to watch Spike Lee’s new joint: She Hate Me. I don’t exactly know why I went to see it. You see, Spike and I have a love/hate relationship. I admire his talent, vision and commitment to telling the stories that folks don’t often want to hear, but sometimes I think he gets a little off track.
Over the years, I’ve enjoyed She Gotta Have It (1986), and Do the Right Thing (1989), but by the time Get on the Bus (1996) came out, I was over Spike. His rigid treatment of black male and female relationships became a little too predictable for me as I slowly embarked on a journey to explore my sexual identity. In retrospect, I bought the movie ticket because I wanted to give Spike another chance. I was hoping that the man who memorialized, “Where are the brothers on the wall?” in Do the Right Thing would not let me down.
What ensued on screen that night is too confusing and disturbing to detail here. Needless to say, I was not impressed with Spike’s treatment of black lesbians and their unbridled desire to get pregnant. The women in his movie would stop at nothing to fertilize their eggs; in fact the lesbian protagonist, Fatima Goodrich (Kerry Washington) launches a baby making business, exploiting the virility of John Henry ‘Jack’ Armstrong (Anthony Mackey), who tries to impregnate black lesbians through sexual intercourse at $10,000 per session. I found the portrayal disappointing, insulting, ludicrous, and just plain ignorant. I left the theater feeling angry, isolated, and bitter. The characters in this film showed no depth. In the spirit of Mookie (Spike Lee) in Do the Right Thing, I wanted to ask, “Where are the sisters on the wall, Spike?” Where are the positive images of the women who support you year, after year, after year?
But sometimes I look at my life now and I wonder: have I turned into a character in a Spike Lee Joint?