Filmmaker Stacey Muhammad chronicles the lives of seven African-American men in her Web series “For Colored Boys.”
Inspired by Ntozake Shange’s iconic choreopoem, “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Isn’t Enuf,” Muhammad sought to highlight the challenges of various Black men and boys with the same sensitivity Shange evoked in telling the stories of Black women. Here, Muhammad shares how she managed to get Isaiah Washington, Tim Reid and Marc Lamont Hill on board to provide a space for Black men to get it all out.
What about Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Isn’t Enuf” made you want to create a dramatic web series about Black men?
“For Colored Girls“ is a fearless and passionate sharing of the joys and pains of Black womanhood. In truth it took me years to appreciate this work. I personally needed to give myself permission to acknowledge the similarities between myself and the women in these stories without judgment or shame. Like many Black women, I’d been taught in spiritual spaces, that my voice and experiences didn’t matter much. Rediscovering “For Colored Girls…” gave me the space to scream, cry, laugh, dance, shout, and get it all out. Along that journey I was inspired to, as best as I could, craft stories ‘for colored boys’ which would also fearlessly and passionately provide a space for Black men to get it all out. As an activist, context is key and I’m not interested in ever creating a piece of artistic expression without context.
Read the full interview at Essence.com.