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Monday, June 23, 2008
11:26 AM

Do Not Bootleg


A friend bought me The Secret Life of Bees earlier this year. I’m not the biggest fan of fiction, but I really enjoyed this book. It’s extremely well-written and was one of those books that I didn’t want to put down.

I remember bringing it with me to an Obama rally months ago, and an older white woman looked at me and said, “Oh I loved that book. It’s nice to see a man reading it. I’ve only seen women with it.” As she was smiling, I thought, “Did this old bitty just do me?” Turns out, if you look at the back of the book, part of the publisher’s description reads: “This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story that women will share and pass on their daughters for years to come.”

They meant to add “… in addition to men without vagina envy that can appreciate good writing.” Just to be on the safe side, I might pass out copies of The World According To Pretty Toney to random females come December.

My friend bought me the book in anticipation for the upcoming film. The cast includes the likes of Dakota Fanning (aka Jodie Foster the Sequel), Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, and Tristan Wilds from The Wire.

If you’ve never heard of the book, the story goes as follows:

Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted black "stand-in-mother", Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free from jail. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina -- a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Mary.

If you haven’t read the book, I invite you to check it out. Book adaptations can go either way. But, judging from the cast, I’m thinking this movie might turn out pretty well.

Look: Be happy none of these chicks are on a pole, have a problem with their baby's daddy, or plan to hit the stroll to pay back their pawn shop loan.

Another movie I’m looking forward to is Spike Lee’s Miracle at St. Anna.

I always complain about how Black films of substance are so hard to come by, so when there’s a film from a Black director that fills that void, I have to support it. I hope Spike is finally recognized by the Academy for his hard work. And, check out Laz Alonso. Way to go, Bison!

Alright, let me stop pretending to be Siskel.

The Cynical Ones.
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