By Guest Blogger Mahoganie
What was it about Nola that captivated an audience during the late 80’s? Was it the fascination that a female could be just as bold as a male and participate in casual sex? Was it the fact that Nola stepped over the taboo line of the time and engaged in an affair with another woman? Perhaps it was because Nola represented a voice among a group of females that somehow miss the mark when it comes to love and are constantly searching for whatever this love thing is.
Spike Lee was on to something when he created this fictional character for the movie “She’s Gotta Have it.” With the birth of Nola, society was now faced with the consequences of the sexual revolution, especially with the issue of AIDS and HIV being pushed to the forefront. While Lee did present the obvious conflict of the storyline, Nola’s promiscuity, he failed to explore deeper into why Nola is the way she is. By the movie’s end, Nola is left wondering and perhaps still in search of love. Even though the lights and cameras have long shut off for her, she still lives. She’s been that one good best friend of yours that you talk to daily. She’s been that sister that stood next to you in church shouting “Hallelujah!” She’s a mother, aunt or cousin. She is you and sadly she could be me.
She is often one of the most misunderstood people in this world. Outsiders only see the obvious as they spot her with Derrick on Monday walking to the mom and pop store, Eric the following week as they seem cozy in the back corner of some comedy club, and by the end of the month she is comfortably seated on the passenger’s side of Tyrone’s silver S-Class. It is these instances that cause the outsiders to snub her and call her a sinner and a whore. Nola is a sinner indeed, but a whore? She is only trying to make up for whatever it is she lacks.
Maybe she lacks affection. Perhaps as a child she wasn’t hugged and told “I love you” enough or at all. Even though she loved her parents, she wasn’t that close to them, especially her mother. Maybe she had some type of love-hate relationship with her mother and they never took the time to sit down and discuss life and love. Perhaps it was just a painful subject to even want to touch. As for her father, he could have been around but never serving as some type of example of what a loving man is to a woman. Then again, it could be that Nola’s first love turned her out and ultimately broke her down to a point where she allowed a treacherous spirit to reign on the inside and suck up the most beautiful part of her like a leech. Perhaps an abusive relationship did the same.
Outsiders may never understand or know the real reason why Nola is the way she is, but those of us that are Nola or have been there, we know. Mainly, it’s a cry for help, but at times it’s just pure satisfaction from a substitution. The dangerous thing about it is that it can easily become an addiction. Searching for love in all the wrong places is just like a junkie seeking a fix. While it may never be verbalized, on the inside there is a loud voice that is hollering, “LOVE ME!!!!” Yet, in the midst of this there are consequences. Feelings get hurt, spirits are brutally bruised, unborn babies pass through like thieves in the night and of course sexually transmitted diseases are all results of this life.
While her outward appearance says “Peachy King,” Nola lives a tough life. As a matter of fact she lives two doors down from Roxanne and all of her red lights. So what can save her? Who can save her? For many church goers, the answer seems perfectly clear. Yet, it’s ultimately Nola’s choice as to which path she wants to take. Then it becomes a question of how serious is Nola about wanting to be saved.
Just like with any habit, it’s hard to stop cold turkey and not suffer a relapse. Old habits do die hard. For Nola, until someone is willing to love her whole and show her that love isn’t about pain, she just may still be wandering and in search of love.
A native of Washington, DC, Mahoganie is a freelance journalist and the author of the forthcoming novel, “Sinful Soliloquies,” which is scheduled for release in late 2006. In conjunction with the novel, she is also pursing a documentary that will focus on the stigma of mental health in the Black community, specifically with Black females. While doesn’t have “professional” site, she does offer you a taste of her writing world through her site on MySpace.com: http://www.myspace.com/mahoganie Email: Mahoganie@gmail.com.