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Young Women React to Portrayal of Race, Skin Color in Precious

YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia, Commentary and Video, Ann Bassette and Erricka X Posted: Dec 05, 2009

Editors Note: YO!'s sat in on a group discussion with girls from Oakland'sMentoring Centeron the newfilmPrecious. The girlsquestioned if the movie would help to break downstereotypesaround race, incest and poverty among African America women or if they merely re-enforcethem. Ann Bassette is a senior producer for YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia.

Precious Wasnt Positive

The movie Precious was crazy. I never thought all that stuff would have happened to Precious. It was all too much; I cant imagine what girls in real life go through. I was crying because what happened to Precious is messed up; No one deserves that kind of treatment. Precious's mom seem like she needed help.

I feel the movie didn't give a positive imagine to big, dark-skinned women because everything that happened to Precious was bad.Yes, some good things did happened, but in the end, I mean if it wasnt one thing that went wrong, it was something else.

Regarding if this movie was realistic, I think there are some people who live lives that are like Precious's life, but movies have a way of putting too much on it[?]. For the most part, when bigger black people view this movie, I think they will feel bad, to a certain extent. They know not every big black person has a bad life.

The problem with this movie is that when people of other races watch this movie, people who dont know what its like to be big and darker-skinned girl, they are going to assume everyone has the same problems that Precious had.

The message of the movie was: no matter what you go through, you can still make it. It's people who care about you, when you think nobody does, that can help you when you least expect it.

- Kelly Bell, 16

Love Conquers All

To me, the movie Precious was a dose of so many realities that I have personally experienced and people who I know experienced. This movie was a harsh reality for some people to see. This was a good way for girls all over the world to be reassured that they are not alone.

I think that this movie was somewhat negative, though, because all the saviors in this movie were light-skinned, which is not always the case in life. I personally think that young women turn to different things to make them feel better while undergoing abuse, but to each is their own. This movie to me made the message clear: love yourself, and love conquers all, no matter what the conditions are.

For me, Precious opened up a lot of conversations, both good and bad, between my mommy and me.But now we have a better understanding about what we can do to change how we feel about male and female relationships.

This movie will make you aware of a lot of stories that are kept quiet within the black communities and urban areas. Its not a pretty movie, but its something that must be brought to light. If you havent seen this movie, please do--not for the sympathy but to be made aware of all the "Precious" girls around the world. The main message that I took away form this movie is: love yourself the way that God, the most high Allah, or whomever, loves you.

Jazmin Watkins, 18

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Precious: The Black Matriarch as Villain

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