Who I Am In Art: Movies, Music & Books

Welcome to another edition of Light Fridays.

Recently a friend asked her friends for their top 15 movies.  Seems simple enough, right?  What we discovered was although the friends had similar interests and personalities, everybody’s list was extremely different and very few movies intersected the lists.  Also, this list began to give a deeper insight to the person’s childhood memories and overall make-up.   So I have decided to expound on that idea today and do my top 5 in no particular order- movies, books, and albums and tell why I love each.
Why I love them
A Chorus Line
Dance, Dance, and More Dance.  The movie follows an audition as some dancers try to follow their dreams but end up finding themselves.  It is an awesome movie…and Broadway play!
The Color Purple
Pretty much a staple on most black women’s list.   But the story is timeless -one of victimization, struggle, identity, and eventually triumph defined on a woman’s own terms.
Finding Nemo
First of all, I love all things Pixar.  Those geniuses over there always get me going to the movies.  But this little fish, Nemo, stole my heart as he deals with loss and physical handicap yet keeps it moving.  Not to mention, it is also a beautiful portrait of a devout father.  And DORY need I say more.  …Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…
Legends of the Fall
I didn’t watch this movie until late in my collegiate tenure and I am glad because I don’t think I would have understood all of the complexities and undertones of this movie at a younger age.  But it is a true and at times tragic love story that had me evaluating if I have ever or will ever love like that.
John Q
This movie of a black family barely making it then faced with a son who becomes ill with insufficient insurance to cover his life or death treatments.  And then you see another devout father willing to sacrifice all to save his son.  Whew, beautiful portrayed story.
Music Albums
Why I love them
Songs in the Key of Life- Stevie Wonder
I mean the title says it all.  It will take you through both the joys and the sorrows.  The music and the lyrics speak to me no matter what type of mood I am.
Off the Wall – Michael Jackson
Nope, not Thriller for me.  This one has my favorite Michael songs that just make you feel good about love and life.
Blueprint 3- Jay Z
I waivered on which Jay-Z album I would choose out of  Reasonable Doubt, the Black Album and this one.  But I choose this one because every single track motivates the hell out of me.  It takes me from thought and ideas to action.
Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2- Jill Scott
Again, this album is timeless.  It speaks openly and honestly about love and heartbreaks and the journey to finding the real meaning of it.
Worldwide Underground- Erykah Badu
I love this album because every track puts me in a great mood.  And again it is honest and brave and exposes the real vulnerabilities of being black and a woman.
Why I love them
So Long a Letter – Mariama B
A very short book about Senegalese women who are brave enough to break tradition in order to do what was right for them.
The Chaneysville Incident- David Bradley
I personally feel every black man should read this. It is lighthearted, yet deep as it follows a man trying to understand his present by reconnecting with his past.
Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World- Mildred Pitts Walter
It is about a son in a house full of women until he visits his grandparents and his grandfather takes the time to teach him what manhood really is.  My childhood favorite!
Othello – William Shakespeare
This is my favorite Shakespeare play because it shows how easily love can distort the truth.  And how without the element of truth from the direct source can be tragic.
What is the What- Dave Eggers
This novel recounts the journey of a Sudanese refugee that is eventually comes to America.  This book will make you value EVERYTHING you have and have taken for granted.
Well there you go my top 5.  What are yours? Art depicts life.  Life inspires Art.

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