In a piece I wrote two years ago for the homie Alyssa at ThinkProgress in which I discuss what I think The Best Man sequel should address, I said that Malcolm Lee should center the film around Nia Long’s character, Jordan Armstrong.
Looks like that is going to happen.
However I also said:
…the [original] film hinges on the fact that a total slut like Lance Sullivan is such a chauvinist that the very idea of his bride having a sexual past sends him into a blind rage and makes him question whether or not she’s worthy of him. It’s a film that continues to suggest that driven career black women are unworthy of love. Career woman Jordan Armstrong (played by Long), is the only woman to end the film alone, even as the stripper with the heart of gold and the emasculating shrew each end up with a man.
So the question this trailer raises for me is whether Jordan’s choice to date a white man is an outgrowth of the fact that in Lee’s mind careerist black women are unworthy of love from black men specifically or something less troublesome. In other words, did she have no other choice but to date a white man or not?
I don’t want Jordan’s choice to be a reaction to black men’s inability to appreciate everything that she represents – an independent, career-obsessed woman. I think that lets black men off the hook for their anti-woman retrogressive beliefs about what a “good black woman” is supposed to be.
As much as I love the original film, I still believe it was a terribly unfair and dangerous subtext to suggest that Jordan couldn’t have a career and love. To suggest in the sequel that the only way she could have both is to date a white man would just continue to reinforce the belief that black men’s sexist assumptions about black women are entrenched and intractable. If the film goes that route it would be incredibly dangerous, irresponsible and unfortunate.
There’s a way to tell this story in a way that doesn’t do this. I just am not sure that Lee will do that.
Posted on May 14th, 2013 - Filed under Film
Tags :: Alyssa Rosenberg, black film, independent film, interracial dating, Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, sexism, Taye Diggs, Terrance Howard, The Best Man, The Best Man 2, The Best Man sequel, ThinkProgress