Transforming Truth: Cinematic Adaptations of Black Feminist Literature
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractMy paper begs the questions, "What do we lose in the adaptation of Black Feminist literature to film? And is there anything to gain from said adaptations?" Through close readings of both the texts and films of three stories lauded for their introduction of Black Feminist themes, I analyze the ways in which these adaptations contribute to the tenets of Black Feminism and the ways in which they betray them. The literary texts and subsequent cinematic adaptations I explore are: The Color Purple by Alice Walker; The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor; and for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf (and its adaptation For Colored Girls) by Ntozake Shange. Ultimately, my research finds that these adaptations are unsuccessful in their adherence to Black Feminist themes presented in the original works. From the sacrificing of LGBT content to the reliance on negative stereotypes of African-American women, the film adaptations of these lauded novels may sometimes do more harm than good.
Degree ProgramHonors College