Since season one, Charley Bordelon has had a lot on her plate. She managed her ex-husband’s career and business dealings for decades. Upon moving to St. Josephine after Ernest’s passing, Charley learned the sugarcane business and revived her family’s sugarcane farmland. Subsequently, she opened Queen Sugar mill and became the first black woman to own a mill in Louisiana. Now Charley is running for city councilwoman of St. Josephine to prevent the building of a highway that could displace black farmers’ land including the Bordelons.
However, can she be in over her head? The protagonist recently learned Nova exposed Charley’s settlement with Davis’s mistress in her critically-acclaimed novel, learned Davis has a 13-year-old daughter, and received multiple death threats against Micah’s life. In addition, the single mother is learning to understand Micah’s new identity as a sociopolitically conscious African American man seeking to uplift his people and find his purpose.
Like many African American women, Charley struggles to balance it all and check in with herself. Though she has a budding romance with Romero, Charley has not processed everything taking place.
I am afraid for her. In the most recent episode By the Spit, an unknown individual threw a brick into Charley’s office. It reminded me of the scene in Remember the Titans when an unknown suspect threw a brick into Coach Boone’s home (played by Denzel Washington) because he was leading the town’s first integrated football team much to pro-segregationists’ dismay.
It also reminded me of watching Barack Obama smile ear-to-ear and wave to his supporters after winning the 2008 presidential election. My 14-year-old self did not understand why I was fearful something terrible would happen. Reflecting back on the historical moment, I was afraid the former president’s security detail would not protect him based on his skin color. I was afraid that as Obama made history becoming the first African American president in the United States, the hope he gave could be taken away from a sudden bullet to his head.
Doubting Queen Sugar will kill off Charley Bordelon, I feared it. African Americans have endured much trauma from the assassinations of civil rights icons like Medgar Evers, and Martin Luther King Jr. They provided hope and were killed by the same oppressive forces trying to keep African Americans down.
[/caption]Charley is leading a political campaign within a segregated town known for racial discrimination and known for using lynchings as fear tactics to prevent African Americans from pursuing advancement opportunities. As Charley campaigns, I hope she hires protection for herself and her family immediately.
How do you check in with yourself when you are overwhelmed?