“She’s Gotta Have It”: My Thoughts and Reflections on Black Sexuality in a Eurocentric Paradigm

From the Melanin Man:

Note: This post is not a review of the show entirely, but more of a dialogue on one of the show’s major themes of Black sexuality.

Recently I watched the entire Season 1 of Spike Lee’s modern reboot of She’s Gotta Have It on Netflix. Rarely do I even watch TV let alone binge watch an entire season on anything, yet I was intrigued by Spike Lee’s update of his first-ever feature film, especially since I did watch and enjoyed the original.

For anyone not familiar with the film, the story centers around a beautiful, intelligent young Black Melanin-Dominant woman and budding artist Nola Darling (played by Tracy Camilla Johns in film, DeWanda Wise in the Netflix series) from Brooklyn, NY and the sexual relationships she has with three Black Melanin-Dominant men: the kind-hearted and well-meaning Jamie Overstreet (played by Tommy Redmond Hicks in the film, Lyriq Bent in the Netflix version), the self-absorbed Greer Childs (played by John Canada Terrell in the film, Cleo Anthony in the Netflix version) , and the geeky and callow Mars Blackmon (played by Spike Lee in the film, Anthony Ramos in the Netflix series.) Unlike the film, which came out the same year that I was born in 1986, the Netflix series version expanded upon the world of Nola, all of her quirks and idiosyncrasies, what really makes her tick and tock in her life. Of course, we get to explore more on the backgrounds of her male counterparts as well as her family, friends, and the neighborhood she lives in (Fort Greene, Brooklyn).

As a young man with a gift of the pencil and sketch pad, it was a delightful treat to see Nola’s artistic talents on display, where her art primarily illustrates her perspective on the beauty of Blackness. I admire and respect Black artists (no matter the medium i.e. music, painting, poetry, writing) who are able to freely express themselves without compromising their African-centered perspective. I was glad that Spike Lee (even though he may be an agent) was able to insinuate that in detail in the Netflix series versus the film version. Also, considering that I’m a huge fan of the old-school, I thoroughly enjoyed the soundtrack of timeless R&B melodies that were used in the series.

In regards to the main character Nola Darling, there is very little difference between the film version and Netflix series. Nola was a young and vibrant woman who has no qualms in expressing herself with no holds barred. Whether it’s through her honest transparency with those in her circle, her art, her political and social viewpoints, and especially her sexual exploits, which is the main focus of this post. Nola enjoys the fact that she is able to express herself sexually with multiple men. In the Netflix series, Nola even goes as far as expressing herself sexually with a woman, the understanding and straight-forward Opal Gilstrap (played by Raye Dowell in the film, Ilfenesh Hadera in the Netflix series) whereas in the film she did not even entertain the idea whatsoever.

You can say that in essence Nola fits the definition of a free spirit.

But is she really free?

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Does sexual freedom really signify that an individual is free?

What does sexuality look like for Black people in today’s society?

What does sexuality suppose to look like for the Black community when not subjected to the ideals of the Western European philosophy?

I understand how sex is viewed from the Church’s perspective. Sacred. An embarrassing topic to discuss in public. I also understand how sex is portrayed in the media. A guilty pleasure. Simple recreational fun. The truth is in the middle, I think.

A little personal history:

I honestly never had an interest in casual sex irrespective of the fact that I was raised with a Christian background. To get a little more personal, I never had an interest in masturbation either (knowing what I know now, I’m glad I didn’t.) At the end of the day I could not see myself having sex just for kicks and giggles. Even though the Church (and religion as whole) may be flawed in many, many ways, especially when it comes to the reluctance to discuss and be open-minded regarding sex, I did agree that sex has a sacredness to it that is not fully understood by nor promoted to the masses. I had that cliché, yet noble, idea: waiting for the right one.

There were young women who had eyes for, yet the feeling was not mutual. Nevertheless I stayed steadfast and unmovable to hold out for that right one. And eventually it happened within my mid-20s. And unsurprisingly I married the same woman I first gave myself to, with two daughters in tow.

Life is interesting, ain’t it?

I appreciate and admire that a women, especially a Black woman, such as Nola is able to be open with her sexuality. Trust me, I do not adhere to the tired axiom that a woman who sleeps with multiple men (in Nola’s case, and woman) is “freak” or a “hoe.” Nor do I think men who have multiple partners, WOMEN PARTNERS, are necessarily “players.” The situation is more complex than it seems.

And I’m of the stance that if you lack a knowledge of self and inner love for self, the pursuit of sexual gratification will only lead you even more lost in this civilized wilderness.

In Nola’s case, specifically in the Netflix series, I noticed a insecurity within her spirit that permeated, for instance, through her interactions with her male companions. To protect and keep herself from developing feelings any one of three men, she maintained control by feigning the customary acts of courting and engaging in sex only in her bed. Acts if perpetrated by a man would be frowned upon by the majority of women. Although she show a vulnerability with her female peers, she refuses to do so with the men i.e. her initial refusal to inform them of her sexual assault that occurred in the second episode of the series. Even in the film version, Jamie forcing himself sexually (rape) on Nola was a feeble and ill-advised attempt gain control and submission from Nola that she had been reluctant to relinquish to the men individually.

In my opinion, it illustrates that Nola fears losing her freedom by being in the possession of a man. She mentions her disdain for “being the possession of a man” in both iterations of “She’s Gotta Have It.” Obviously, Nola believes that Black men are of the same ilk as her white males which we know is not the case. Unbeknownst to Nola and those women of her ilk and color who hold that same opinion, Black Melanin-dominant men, in essence, do not have the power to oppress nor possess women of any hue in this society. Black men in this society who attempt to operate in such a manner unknowingly are practicing a doctrine that is against their true nature. Both our men and women are living under a acidic Western, European philosophy that holds ownership and possession sacred, or as its said by the powers-that-be, “possession is nine-tenths of the law.” And whether we realize it or not, that way of thinking affects every facet of our lives: physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It appears that Nola is unaware of this, thus demonstrating a lack of knowledge regarding the real social status of her people.

Nola’s behavior reeks of a typical contemporary feminist. She thinks her sexual freedom is proof of an elusive independence that is not available to the Black female today. A woman who is one with the Creator knows that real freedom is rooted in understanding and living out her true feminine nature, which is EVERYTHING that goes against the feminist agenda.

In short, Nola is NOT free as she THINKS she is.

The portrayal of sex in the series, not unlike many other shows that broadcast in this day and age, is counterproductive and spiritually dangerous. The concept of casual sex is stealthy encouraged, as long as precautions are taken i.e. Nola confides with her therapist that she practices safe sex, as well as the “rules” she sets in place for her male lovers. Although sex is natural to our being, to this day the majority of the masses are still lost on what sex is about.

I have had numerous conversations with friends and loved ones who’ve had their share of casual sex experiences. Regarding the physical aspect of the sex, I’ve heard the good, the bad, and the ugly. When it came to the emotional/ spiritual aspect of all those experiences, I noticed a common thread: there wasn’t any. It was purely physical. That’s what I picked up with Nola in her trysts with her male lovers. I could sense a lack of intimacy, a lack of an authentic emotional/spiritual connection. To be frank, Nola had more of a connection with lesbian lover Opal. Due to Nola’s willingness to be more forthcoming and open with female comrades, it makes sense.

If we are to adhere to the rules of Nature, we should know that coitus (sexual intercourse) cannot exist between two individuals of the same sex, even if the encounter between Nola and Opal seemed genuine and loving. It’s veiled masturbation at its finest. Due to the emotional/spiritual connection Nola lacks with either Jamie, Greer, or Mars, you can classify these relationships with Jamie as such as well. In a nutshell, that is what causal sex is.

From a metaphysical standpoint, sex is not only an physical expression, but also a spiritual act, where the male and feminine principle entities intertwine for an energy exchange. The energy an individual can receive can be positive or negative. None of this information is taken to account when sex is casual.

Sidenote: I highly recommend getting the book The Science of Love by John Baines. Although the book is over twenty years old, it does a great job of explaining this information in detail.

Yet casual sex has been widely accepted as the norm.

When sex is only based on the physical realm, it can be animalistic, impulsive, detached, and self-serving. That is how Nola unintentionally (or intentionally) is depicted, hence the term “She’s Gotta Have It.” Her male partners are not exempt from scrutiny, but since the show is based off the female perspective, the focus is on her.

Blacks have adopted a perverted concept of sexuality from the Western, European doctrine that has aided in the destruction and degradation of our community. We all know the story: the increase of single parent homes, sexual transmitted diseases (STDS), contentious relations between Black men woman in general, etc., etc., etc. And I believe all these calamities have their origin on the spiritual realm. Blacks are by nature spiritual whereas the Western, European idea of sex lacks that element. When Blacks engage in sexual activities minus that spiritual component, we get the previously stated results.

Simple cause and effect, which is a important principle of Nature.

Another Sidenote: Also read The Kybalion. It discusses the seven main principles of Nature, also called the Hermetic Principles, which is what the book The Science of Love is based off of. (FYI, the great heralded philosopher Hermes, which is who the principles are named after, studied in Egypt for many years. So of course this information was first discovered by our fellow Black Melanin-Dominant ancestors.)

By and large, the white, European, Caucasian is an individualist by nature. Blacks operate as a collective by nature, although we are encouraged against that by seen and unseen forces. When Blacks can live in a situation where we can truly walk and operate in our nature, sexuality can be very beneficial and life-giving (not life-taking) for both male and female, especially when spirituality is involved. They will not feel the need to possess one another nor feel threatened whatsoever of the possibility that a mate/lover has a genuine connection with another. All forms of relationships that adheres to principles of nature (i.e. monogamy, polygamy) will be celebrated, respected, and accepted. But this is only possible when Black men and women understand their truth and THE TRUTH, thus loving their culture and ultimately themselves.

Sounds like illusions of grandeur, huh?!

Then you underestimate the power we truly have if and when we decide to get our act together.

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To sum it all up, neither the film or Netflix version of “She’s Gotta Have It” is revolutionary to Blacks (Duh, right?!) Although it may be odd and refreshing to see a Black woman so “open-minded” about her sexuality, it is the same attempt, in 1986 and 2017, for women think that they can what act as a man and even do it better. Feminism has been on the forefront longer that I’ve been on this earth, yet I understand the game that is being played on our women. As a Black man I don’t condone a lifestyle of Western-influenced casual sex, no matter the gender, that is basically fruitless and devastating to the physical and spiritual realms our people. We as a whole do not have a self-identity, so it is useless to portray a reality (on the TE-LIES-VISION for that matter!) that we can’t fully practice in the mindset of Eurocentricism.

So, thank you Spike Lee for continuing the narrative of Black feminism (that’s an oxymoron!), veiled as “Black female empowerment.”

Stay on your Ps and Qs fam. Deception is at a ALL-TIME HIGH!

Peace and Love to my melanated family,

The Melanin Man

One final note: At one time I thought Spike Lee was a revolutionary director. I loved his work because it caused me to think and it appeared unapologetically Black. His work still causes me to think, which is what sparked me to write this LONG ASS POST. But I’ve gotten wiser over the years as well, and my opinions have obviously changed. I still have mad respect for my brother and his accomplishments, but as we know for those of us who are in the spotlight, he and his work have been COMPROMISED!

Such as life, such as life.

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The BLACK MAN-BLACK WOMAN Relationship (Part 2)

 

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From the Melanated Man:

It starts with the courtship.

You’re taking her out to the movies, buying her flowers and candy, spending big money on expensive jewelry, OR…taking her on a nature walk, going to an art museum, chilling at a hookah bar, OR…rocking it at a (enter favorite artist) concert, talking on the phone through the night, or “sitting on the dock of the bay watching the tide roll away…”

Whatever it takes to win that woman’s heart. Everything that makes up the essence of her. OR so it seems…

 

I, and many men who’ve come before me,  have repeated this pattern of behavior for YEARS starting from our PRE-TEENS! We provide the chase, and the women play coy like they’re completely innocent creatures.

That’s the nature of the business.

The problem for most men, BLACK-MELANATED MEN, is that we don’t stop to think about who or what the hell we are chasing.

How ILL-EQUIPPED we are for love and marriage according to WESTERN PHILOSOPHY AND STANDARDS.

How that MENTALITY was not suited for us in the FIRST PLACE.

This extends to the SISTAHS as well, which picks up where I left off from Part 1.

 

As I mentioned before, the CONSCIOUSNESS of BLACK WOMEN has been severely comprised by the Western way for quite some time, which has caused BLACK MEN to unknowingly accept a train of thought destructive to HIS EXISTENCE to keep HIS WOMAN.

The CONSCIOUSNESS of BLACK MEN (his NATURAL position as ORIGINAL MAN!) has been in a comatose, DEAD state for it seems like FOREVER, leaving the BLACK WOMAN unprotected, clinging to the CAUCASIAN, EUROPEAN MAN (his way of life)  for guidance (smh.)

And through the generations since *our fall, this has become FORGOTTEN information. BLACK MEN, especially young BLACK MEN, do not understand this dynamic when we court  (*the IDEA of courting is problematic in itself) and marry OUR WOMEN in this environment.

We don’t understand that *OUR EMOTIONS towards our spouse has minimal importance AT BEST when it comes to a marriage. Emotions change like the wind given the circumstances.It SHOULD NOT affect the fact you and your spouse share the SAME GOALS, which brought the BOTH of you together in the FIRST place. The vision (refer to that example in Part 1) SHOULD NOT change just because your emotions fluctuate from time to time towards your spouse.

We don’t understand that the families of both parties must be in TOTAL agreement before  the marriage union OCCURS!! A harmonic relationship between both families creates a environment that is conducive and productive for child-rearing and child-raising, which passes on a STRONG SEED FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS!!

(Arranged marriages viewed from this perspective doesn’t sound as BARBARIC as WESTERN PHILOSOPHY makes it out to be.)

WE DON’T UNDERSTAND THAT *MONEY (OUR TRUE BALL AND CHAIN) DOES NOT MAKE OR BREAK A MARRIAGE!!!

Money is a concoction created by those in control to KEEP CONTROL of the masses.

And how many times have we heard that without money, you might as well forget the thought of marriage?

The thought of it?

“You need to get you DOLLARS up before you jump that broom, bruh!”

“I’m NOT dating, let alone marrying, no BROKE-ASS man!”

Yeah, I know you heard that before, fellas, in so many words or WORSE.

IF BLACK-MELANATED MEN AND WOMEN ARE THE  ORIGINAL HUE-MANS ON THE PLANET, WHY IN THE HELL DO WE NEED MONEY  TO KEEP PEACE BETWEEN OUR MEN AND WOMEN???

If you don’t know WHERE you come from, who you going to turn to?

We know the answer to that question.

 

BLACK MEN have lost the trust of BLACK WOMEN.

But the BLACK MAN will rise again soon enough.

BLACK WOMEN, you must  break away from your COMPROMISED mindset and begin to support YOUR MEN 100 PERCENT!

We need you in the WORSE WAY!

I know you won’t DARE do this until WE decide to wake up and understand our TRUE SELF, which is NOTHING similar to a CAUCASIAN, EUROPEAN MAN.

You must realize that as BLACK-MELANATED MEN, we are VISIONARIES of the HIGHEST ORDER! We can create a reality where the IDEA OF MONEY no longer exists…

…where OUR MANHOOD and YOUR WOMANHOOD can be expressed appropriately and to its FULL EXTENT…

…where generations upon generations of our people can experience LIFE the way it was meant to be experienced…AGAIN!!!

I know it sounds like a pipe dream, but it’s the TRUTH.

Deep down, WAYYYY deep in your SUBCONSCIOUS MIND, you KNOW IT’S TRUE!

 

 

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“I LOVE YOU, BLACK WOMAN! I HAVE DECIDED TO TAKE MY RIGHTFUL PLACE ON THIS PLANET AND FULFILL THE DESTINY PLACED UPON ME BY THE ALMIGHTY CREATOR! IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO DO THE SAME! COME BACK TO ME AND BE MY WOMAN ONCE MORE!”

 

Peace and Love from to my melanated family,

The Melanated Man

 

*Future post

 

 

 

 

 

The BLACK MAN-BLACK WOMAN Relationship (Part 1)

 

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From the Melanated Man:

Background:

I had this post on the burner for a couple of months now, going back and forth on many different perspectives concerning the BLACK MAN-BLACK WOMAN relationships. My ORIGINAL intentions for this post were to address the situation of how our BLACK WOMEN are caught up with the  traps of Western civilization (or the  MATRIX) and how it makes the lives of  SANE BLACK MEN a living hell just  to keep them pleased and satisfied  within those confines.  And ultimately, BLACK WOMEN had to change their MINDSETS so that BLACK MEN can be the MEN we were DESTINED to be.

In the middle of typing this post, I realized BLACK MEN are the NATURAL LEADERS, so when we CHANGE and stand our ground, BLACK WOMEN will follow suit.  And honestly, my ORIGINAL viewpoint came from bruised emotions from past interactions with women. I try to keep my PERSONAL emotions in check in this blog; my better judgment prevailed (thankfully!) and my viewpoint changed as well. 

And this is the end result:

From my OWN marital experience (and many, many others), I have gained a better understanding of the power dynamics how the man-woman relationship SHOULD operate.

I concluded that from the AFRICAN/BLACK-MELANATED perspective, the ONLY, ORIGINAL perspective that matters…

MEN AND WOMEN ARE BOTH HEADS IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH DIFFERENT BUT EQUALLY IMPORTANT ROLES!

Another example:

Together, a mechanical engineer and industrial designer design blueprints for a new car. The engineer will design that car  so it will fulfill its ORIGINAL purpose of  getting from point A to point B effectively and safely.  The industrial designer will design the car to be user friendly for its passengers, as well as look presentable during travel.

As the engineer, The MAN will make sure that car PROVIDES THE SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM.  As the industrial designer, the WOMAN will concern herself with how it LOOKS AND FUNCTIONS.

Both share a COMMON GOAL for the BENEFIT of BOTH!

 

That’s the basis of the MAN-WOMAN relationship!

 

Unfortunately we live in a patriarch society that glorifies and honors ONLY one type of man…the WHITE MAN!

A deeply INSECURE UNHUMAN CREATURE who has pillaged and decimated many nations of other men, women, children and their land over THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of YEARS.

Unfortunately, just like the followers we are, BLACK MEN have adopted that behavior.

The minds of BLACK WOMEN have been COMPROMISED, due in part to that, as well.

 

Currently, BLACK MEN are at a SEVERELY weakened state.

We are already well-versed with situation concerning our culture being stripped away from us during the Slave Trade and whatnot. Such as gorillas and other animals that are taken out their natural habitat for the BENEFIT and AMUSEMENT of others, our plight  resembles theirs in a tremendous way.

The most UNDERRATED aspect of the BLACK MAN being taken away, or ENSLAVING himself, to another way of life is that in the process lost his manhood. If you have been reading this blog for ANY lengthy amount of time, you should understand that BLACK MEN, BLACK-MELANATED MEN, are different from every other man on the earth.

We can’t be ANY OTHER TYPE OF MAN BUT A BLACK-MELANATED MAN.

We don’t understand melanin.

We don’t understand the metaphysics of nature.

But we don’t understand OURSELVES.

 

As for the BLACK WOMEN, she has been bedazzled and bamboozled by the lifestyle and Western philosophy of the-powers-that-be, or Massa.

In her mind, she believes the  only way to survive is to accept the ways of the Caucasian or European, denouncing herself in the process, because she has no one else to turn to. She has shunned the BLACK MAN for all his shortcomings and failures…

…for refusing to stand up for his family and community in the time of need…

for NOT being the NATURAL visionaries that we are.

And rightfully so. 

Deep down she does not love the BLACK MAN…this version of the BLACK MAN!

How could she truly love and RESPECT a man who only IMITATES another type of man, the WHITE MAN?

To survive HIMSELF? To provide for his FAMILY?

Only to remain in SUBSERVIENT state nevertheless.

WE ARE ONLY IMITATIONS, BLACK MEN!

WE ARE NOT OUR OWN MAN.

 

According to the statistics, BLACK WOMEN are least likely to marry outside of their race than any other group, and are ALSO the least likely to get married AT ALL. Instead of throwing out the tired ole “black women are bitter, mean-spirited *itches” comments, take another look at that situation.

Maybe from a spiritual, metaphysical perspective, on the low, BLACK WOMEN have the backs of BLACK MEN.

Maybe…JUST maybe…she realizes on deeeeper level that one day the STATE of BLACK MEN will naturally rise to the top and take  our rightful place as ORIGINAL MEN OF THIS PLANET.

Overall, BLACK WOMAN as a whole are NOT stupid. In fact…

…they are the SMARTEST, MOST INTELLIGENT BEINGS ON THIS PLANET! (Yeah, I’m kissing their ass, guys!)

Instinctively and intuitively, a smart, CONSCIOUS BLACK WOMAN knows she wants a GOOD, STRONG SEED sewn in her garden, provided by the best possible source: A STRONG BLACK-MELANATED MAN!

She won’t settle for less.

And I have NO problem with that.

But will she follow suit when the BLACK MAN RISES AGAIN?

 

 

(To be continued)

 

 

Peace and Love to my melanated family,

The Melanated Man