Hey Afro Frenzies! I just finished watching “She’s Gotta have It” and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I mean the show is woke as fudge cakes if I do say so myself. I mean they hit it right on the noise on every issue I could think of. The show was not just about Nola Davis’s sexcapades but also about her walk as a women and as a member in society and more importantly her beloved Brooklyn.
I love that they held no punches when discussing gentrification and the relations between the new comers and the people who call Brooklyn home for idk they’re entire lives. The interaction between the neighbor who had just purchased a brownstone next to Nola’s and Papo the mayor of the block as well as Mars(Nola’s lover) really showed a reenactment of whats going on in urban cities around America.
I love that in the scene when the neighbor calls the cops on Papo , because she believes that he defaced her property she is made to go down to the police station as well. You may be thinking well she has to give her statement thats standard, but its was the way it was done.
The neighbor thought that she could call the cops and watch Papo and Nola (who took the blame) being handcuffed and then turn her back and walk away from the mess she caused. She was turning her back on the situation as if it could just be forgotten, or so she thought.
Instead she was forced to come face to face with what she had done. She walked away after not one of her neighbors being handcuffed but two. This scene of only a few minutes also had time to hit on police and the black communities strand relationship in just one quote “its a new day!” nuff said.
And did I mention the sound track to this joint was amazing. When Nola was being booked they played “this woman’s worth” girl I was over it! Let me just say that all this happened in one episode. It was in fact one of my favorite episodes of this series episode 9 named you guessed it Gentrification. But Gentrification was not even close to all of the issues hit on this show.
“She’s Gotta Have it” didn’t wait long to discuss some of our current societal issues. On the premiere of the show Nola has a disturbing encounter that leads her on a journey of self discovery. She is on her way home back from her girlfriends and is yoked up by this burley looking dude who didn’t take kindly to her rejection. She then has to struggle to get out of his grasp and runs home.
Through out the season she deals with the assault and how it has affected her and even gasp wait for it… drum roll please… seeks therapy. The show calls the all to common event what it is traumatic. I don’t think I know a women who hasn’t had aggressive unwanted advances at some point in they’re lives. Some of us don’t even talk about it let alone call it traumatic or believe that we need to do some healing afterwards.
Although I am an unapologetic believer of Christ I love how she seeks to help in a plethora of ways. It almost reminded me of cranes in the sky by Solange when she talks about how she tried to sleep it away and cry it away. Basically trying everything that she can to heal to move on successfully which what we are watching Nola do.
The reason why I respect the show showing her search for recovery is because it showed that she had enough sense to know that it was something that needed to be addressed. It’s so often not addressed. Out of her healing birthed a street art project that Nola came up with that reclaimed women who suffered similar experiences. How great is that! It really reminded me of some of the anti cat calling campaigns that started to pop up under the subway here in Philly (which I fully support).
I must say the lovers Mars, Greer, and Jamie did embody the portrayal of the characters from the original Spike Lee Joint the movie “She’s Gotta Have it!” Well mostly except for Jamie. I can’t lie it threw me. Okay so my college mentor was a huge Spike Lee fan among many other skills but he got me into his movies.
I have watched the movie and in the movie she ends up choosing Jamie. Jamie was the perfect fit for her but that’s not the case in the show. In the movie he was fully invested in Nola and was more or less waiting to get his chance to be her one and only. In the show my man got a whole situation talk about a curve ball. It definitely added layers to his character.
Oh and did I forget to mention that in the series Mars and Jamie are both biracial. Adding in this dynamic allows the show to include Afro Latinas and biracial via black and white to have a voice on the show. Along with Greer crossing over from low-income to an entirely new tax bracket and having to live in two worlds really broadens the view of the black experience in America.
And of course if you watched the movie you know that Ms. Nola Darling is in fact an artist. In the series Nola is also an artist. Although she started a street project on the side. what she was looking to present and sale was another project called “The Black female form.”
In the second episode she discusses how she feels about the black female form. She talks about how she has grown protective of it and wanting to control the black female gaze from gawkers through her art. “Who think the black female form is simply for their consumption, their scrutiny, their enjoyment, their grabbing hands, when all the black female form wants to be is free.”
Through out the show Nola says the word possession a lot. She says it in reference to the men in her life who she refers to as her lovers. “They want to posses me” she says, and I believe it all comes back to this premise of wanting to be free. Feeling that if she is tied down she won’t be free to discover herself or look at herself through her own eyes. Well that’s my take on it.
You don’t have to prescribe to every ideology that Nola has in order to enjoy the show. I believe there is something in the show for everyone to relate to . From politics, race relations, police brutality, gentrification, women rights, gender roles, self acceptance, and growth.
All in all Afro frenzy definitely approves. Spike Lee and his team have done a phenomenal job of bringing Nola Darling and the rest of the characters from “She’s Gotta have it” in to the 21st century. It came off effortless never forced or pushed. “She’s Gotta Have it” is an olde to Brooklyn, the African-American community and women everywhere. If you have not checked it out I recommend that you do. Remember, be happy, be curly, be you, and you will never fail!