To say I am still pondering the myriad levels of Get Out is an understatement, I have probably consumed at least 10 articles and spent too much time dissecting the film's most minute details. My husband and I have knighted Jordan Peele and contemplated and revered the internal and external struggle inherent in creating this type of social art. Genius, we say--pure genius.
Last night, my daughter called me, on her own without prompting or to request money, to discuss the film as she saw I'd checked-in at the theater on Facebook (strategic on my part--folk need to know) the day prior. We talked for almost an hour about the film's hidden details and the brilliance of producing something so racially relevant and charged without totally alienating the majority, and yet intimately speaking to the minority--again I say, pure genius. And then we talked about Georgina, one of the two women of color in the film. The character who crept me out so much that I'd pushed her into the corner and far recesses of my mind until that point.
Unpacking Georgina and I
Why had I chosen to forget her? And upon remembering her, why has she now dominated my thoughts? How is Georgina really a representation of self? (Bear with me, I know I stand to lose my audience here, but hear me out.)
The very reason I pushed Georgina into the background is the very reason she is truly unforgettable: her presence and power evoke fear. Her character represents the house negro of past living among her masters (Is Walter ever in the Armitage home?) as a subservient matriarch (captive and grandmother), yet still somewhat conscious of who she really is (i.e. lone tear). Her character also represents the modern day black woman, similar in the aforementioned constructions, but also as more "woke" than her black male counterparts, less desirable in the eyes of the predominate culture (a black woman always fretting about her appearance) who was NOT vying for her (the black males were the prize bucks), and restless and apologetic (Georgina was always popping up out of nowhere moving fast and apologizing for her actions).
I see myself in Georgina--restlessly working to get it right and feeling the need to apologize for who I am. A recent encounter best illustrates this: I had a meeting where I felt pressed to apologize because I was not myself and I was not as vocal as expected and for something else totally out of my control. I have to run faster, spit farther, jump higher smiling all the while. I feel pressured to rein in my level of consciousness and advocacy based on what I believe is racially unjust as not to offend those who might perceive me as an angry black woman (some of you have thought just that).
I see you, Georgina! Sister, I understand how your power and presence evoked fear. Sister, I got the message that I have to get out of my own head and not be pushed to the background. Sister, I got that my beauty is not determined by outside forces and sources. Sister, I apologize no longer!
Documenting my evolution by filling in space and matter one word at a time.