THE COLOR PURPLE
1985. US. 154 min. Directed by Steven Spielberg. DCP!
In 1985, Steven Spielberg took a risk, following up his string of blockbusters with a serious adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the experiences of African-American women in 1930s Georgia, starring Whoopi Goldberg (in her debut), Oprah Winfrey and Danny Glover. Though the film’s merits were hotly debated by critics and fans of the book, THE COLOR PURPLE earned 11 Oscar nominations and over the years became a queer film classic. Tonight’s guest presenter, singer-songwriter Shea Diamond (who’s releasing her debut LP in 2017) most appreciates the way the film depicts “the struggle of African American women, music and overcoming adversity!”
As always, our screening will be followed by drinks and discussion at Julius Bar (159 West 10th St. at Waverly), the oldest gay bar in New York City!
My name is ShaGasyia “Shea” Diamond. I’m a singer/songwriter born in Little Rock, Arkansas. I was raised in Memphis & moved to Flint, Michigan with my family for a better life. I was born into a gender role that I did not accept & I didn’t feel like myself. I knew at a very young age I loved to sing. My voice was effeminate and I remember feeling afraid to sing in the church choir. The fear of my own voice left me feeling like an outcast.
I began writing “I Am Her” as a statement to a world that said I shouldn’t exist. I wrote it as an anthem for all those that felt shunned for simply being who they were. In 2009, I moved to New York City – a place where I felt I could make my musical dreams come true. It was in NYC where I found a studio to record “I Am Her”. “I Am Her” means that no matter how the world treats me, no matter if I’m rejected, accepted, denied or misunderstood, I will continue to live out my truth as Shea Diamond! It was in losing the world that I found myself & the will to keep living as the woman I am proud to be.