By Lisa Marbly-Warir
Charley from Queen Sugar
First of all I would like to start off with, I absolutely love this show. So what I’m about to talk about isn’t a diss, but an observation I’ve witnessed a few times on TV in regards to well-to-do Black female characters. I’ve even seen it IRL.
Taking the Black woman down a peg or two—that’s how it seemed to me in the My Soul’s High Song 7/5/2017 Queen Sugar episode.
I could see—or at least it was my perception of disapproval on Remy’s face when Charley was looking at that beautiful stately home in gasp—the Landry’s, her competitor and nemesis’ community (I personally wouldn’t want to live down the street from an enemy especially the Landry’s)
However, I understood the message conveyed during that short exchange between Charley and Remy—Remy’s reasoning why Charley acquiring a big fancy house would be deemed audacious to the Black farmers in the area the very people she wants to help. Or was it something deeper, subconsciously? Was it a way to keep a Black person of means, especially a Black woman in her place?
I mean, how dare this successful Black woman buy a big house that she can clearly afford at the risk of offending the people in the area—both Black and White. I can’t think of a successful White female character, or successful White woman in general having to explain why she wants a big beautiful home in the area that she wants. So why is it a problem for Charley? Why does she have to downplay who she is? Was Remy right to question her about her choice?
It’s like we as a race have this idea that if one Black succeeds they should feel guilty about having more than the average or less fortunate Black and if a successful Black person is fortunate they must downplay it—as not to front or stunt on people still trying to get their piece of the American dream.
A few years ago I wrote about a successful Black hair care entrepreneur Jewel—A Chance at Love
who had the same type of scenario Charley had with Remy. Jewel wanted to purchase a home in a gated community. Her own business was in an urban area that she had helped revitalize and she wanted a home to reflect her new status in life. She was instantly met with haters who accused her of forgetting where she came from. So when I saw the same thing happen to Charley it struck a chord with me.
At the end of the Queen Sugar episode I did like the moving into the mill scene with her family rallying around her. Even after all that I just wrote, Charley and Micah living in the mill just made sense but I didn’t like that she had to be questioned about her original choice first.
If you haven't watched this show please check it out.
If it helps it's got some eye candy.