Why It’s Important for Nova to Crumble

Source: The Oprah Winfrey Network

My initial reaction after the season premiere of Queen Sugar…….to see Nova dragged through the dirty swamp her and Remy kissed at. I wanted to see Chantal, her former lover expose Nova’s hypocrisy on the radio and interview Calvin, Nova’s ex-boyfriend.

During the season trailer, it showed a younger Nova backing away from a man in a field at night. I hope the writers show flashbacks of True Bordelon, Nova and Ralph Angel’s mother. None of the characters mentioned how True died throughout the series. It’s clear True’s death is a sore subject too painful for the family to discuss. However, I think it plays a part in Nova’s unaddressed trauma.

Remember the episode when the siblings argued about Ernest’s will? Nova spazzed out. She verbally attacked Ralph Angel and projected her feelings of being overlooked by Ernest during their childhood onto her brother. Prior to storming out Aunt Vi’s house, Nova retreated to a bedroom, opened a box and retrieved a picture of her adolescent self standing next to True. After a conversation with Aunt Vi, she boards a plane to Atlanta and meets Dr. DuBois. She never dealt with whatever feelings she had.

Over the course of Queen Sugar’s three seasons, all siblings except Nova have had a major transformation. Ralph Angel has become more mentally and emotionally mature. He’s helping parolees, consistently tending to his family’s land, and providing a successful co-parenting environment for Blue. Despite the attacks on his character by Darla’s mother, Ralph Angel handled Blue’s custody battle with Darla and Darlene graciously. Most importantly, he continues to love Blue as his biological son.

Charley has also undergone a major transformation. Initially, she migrated from Los Angeles to St. Josephine to revive her father’s sugar cane business in the wake of Ernest’s untimely death. However, Charley has proven her commitment to the economic empowerment of black farmers and the celebration of local black-owned businesses. Charley has used her sharp business acumen to uplift St. Josephine’s black community. She has built a new life for herself – it’s no longer about money, power and image but change within St. Josephine’s sugar cane business landscape, advocating for the rights of African-Americans and fighting against St. Josephine’s racist law enforcement and economic system controlled by the Landrys and Boudreaus.

Unfortunately, Nova has not changed. Viewers have not seen the protagonist-turned-antagonist fully process being spat in the face. We have seen Nova repeatedly assault Charley and Ralph Angel verbally with little apology and soft, empathetic and compassionate talks from Aunt Vi. Once again, we watched her disrespect Charley by dating Remy. Consequently, she dealt with Charley’s physical and emotional distance from her briefly. Overall, Nova has never truly experienced the consequences of her actions. This season, I predict she will.

Dawn-Lyen Gardner aka Charley Bordelon said during a 2016 SAG-AFTRA conversation, “Her [Charley] life has to crumble to make contact with herself.”

I believe the same for Nova. I believe ostracizing herself from the family unintentionally will force Nova to confront her trauma. I believe this is a good thing. Nova’s passion for change and uplifting her community is evident. It’s one of the reasons viewers love her character. However, I do not think Nova can be the true agent of change she desires until she heals from her trauma.

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Source: The Oprah Winfrey Network

Writers, Please Address Darla is a Sexual Assault Survivor

I understand why some people view Darla as trifling due to her drug addiction, prostitution, child negligence, and hiding her uncertainty regarding Blue’s paternity. But Darla deserves respect. During the episode when her parents visit, she stated, “It just kept happening,” when describing to her mother what happened to her in DC years ago.  I think she was repeatedly raped thus not knowing Blue’s biological father. I believe Darla continued her drug addiction to cope. Darla has been drug-free for over two years, maintains a stable job, present in Blue’s life and successfully co-parenting with Ralph Angel. Therefore, I suggest viewers identify Darla as a survivor and a changed woman.


No Character Better Not Die

good times

I don’t believe the writers will because the series is family-driven and demonstrates the intersection of their individual journeys. Though Aunt Vi has lupus, she’s the anchor. It is unlikely the writers will kill Micah. It would ruin Charley beyond repair and the show would be over. Ralph Angel just got off parole. If Ralph Angel gets involved in illegal activity or an arrest resulting in his death, Queen Sugar’s direction would become adjacent to Good Times. When Thelma’s fiancé Keith was drafted to the NFL, Thelma and the Evans clan were excited to finally get out of the ghetto. As the happy newlyweds walk down the aisle, his ass tumbles thanks to JJ. Consequently, Keith’s NFL career ended before it started. If that wasn’t one of the series’ most depressing episodes, I don’t know what is.

Let me know what you think below.

Queen Sugar Season 4 Episode 1: Pleasure Is Black

End of season 3, Nova Bordelon completed a manuscript called Blessing and Blood. When her longtime friend reads it, she warns Nova it will stir up trouble. The season four premiere fast forwards a few months. Initially, I thought the book would be about the Bordelon family’s journey from slavery to owning sugarcane land. I thought the book would highlight her family’s experience as black sugar cane farmers within segregated St. Josephine stemming back to slavery and how they came to own their land, what it means and the challenges that come with being a black farmer in St. Josephine. I thought the book would discuss the lynchings of Granddaddy Bordelon and other Bordelons. I thought Nova would discuss the aftermath of Ernest, her father’s assault by white men. I thought that would cause trouble because Nova’s siblings were unaware of some  experiences, it would cause Aunt Vi to relive trauma and stir up talk in the town. I thought she would address the racism and elitism within St. Josephine and its effects on the mental and economic well-being of its African-American residents. I was wrong.

Nova’s book is centered on the theme of secrets destroying people and keeping them enslaved. It is her reason for writing the book to free those with secrets. She offers her truth as a sacrifice for freedom. Nova never told her family what the book is about. Though the Bordelons are curious and excited for her, they have no idea the book contains all their family secrets and personal struggles.

Hollywood noticed something was not right about that book. A family friend mentioned the book during Aunt Vi’s pie store opening and Nova’s nervousness gave it away. He pulled Nova aside and said, “If you talkin’ bout at least 25% of the family secrets I know, we need a heads up. We deserve at least that.”

Nova gives Aunt Vi, Charley and Ralph Angel a copy of the manuscript reluctantly. She also has a dream about her childhood, she falls to the ground and sees adult Charley and Ralph Angel standing in front of her. As someone who has had similar dreams like this, especially when I’m avoiding something, it’s her conscience. It’s her guilt and avoidance surfacing into her dreams.

Unfortunately, the contents of the book is revealed during Charley’s acceptance speech after receiving a Women in Business award. A reporter interrupts her speech and addresses Charley about Davis’s rape scandal and paying his recent mistress hush money and whether that’s promoting rape culture.

When Charley gets home, she reads the book, calls Ralph Angel and tells him not to. But by the time Charley’s en route to Ralph Angel’s house, him and Hollywood have read it. She negatively speaks about Blue, Ralph Angel’s son’s birth and conception. She also negatively speaks of Aunt Vi saying she’s not a strong woman.

This is really messed up. Something’s off about Nova. To share her “truth” but practically run out the room sheepishly when leaving the manuscripts does not make sense. When she gave it to Charley, Nova claimed she was nervous about the New York Times book review, how it will be received and if the book will perform well. She was afraid. Terrified. She knew this could hurt her family.

I understand everyone shares their experiences from their point of views. However, Nova did not warn her family sooner nor did she ask to to disclose her relatives’ personal struggles. In addition, the way Nova describes her siblings and aunt is offensive and disrespectful. It sounds like she’s attacking her own family. The people who have always supported her. Aunt Vi who became her surrogate mother after Nova’s mother passed. Ralph Angel who has always been loyal. Charley, oh freakin’ Charley. She has stood by Nova even when she shamed Charley for initially supporting Davis in his rape scandal, paying his mistress hush money, shaming Charley for her wealthy lifestyle and shaming her for doing business with the Landrys. And especially, especially when Nova secretly dated Remi after him and Charley just ended their serious relationship. That’s extremely distasteful.

In interviews, she framed the book as sharing her truth. It’s her family’s truth. Not hers. It’s not how Nova came to be the woman she is today. As a recovering judgmental person, I know I lashed out, confronted friends and family about their truths and came off self-righteous. However, I was terrified to confront my own flaws and incapable of accepting family and friends addressing me about them. When I was addressed my flaws, I lashed out, became extremely defensive and shut down mentally and emotionally. This is Nova.

Historically, since season 1, Nova has always told people about themselves. But when people confronted Nova about her flaws, she lashed out, walked away, stormed off and jumped on a plane to Atlanta without her family knowing. She’s very insecure.

I wonder if she reveals her relationship with Calvin, the fine ass white married cop employed by St. Josephine’s police force. The very force she’s been protesting against. Will Nova admit selling Too Sweet the weed he got arrested for? Will she admit that she was partially responsible for his wrongful imprisonment? Will Nova talk about being spat in the face by one of Calvin’s police friends? Will Nova reveal her secret relationship with Charley’s ex boyfriend? Will she discuss her relationship with DuBois? I doubt it.

What Nova has unearthed is something you can’t come back from. She didn’t consider all the possibilities. This book could tarnish her family members’ reputations, their safety, their businesses and threaten the Bordelon family’s legacy. But when it involves your closest loved ones, it’s only respectful to share with them what you will disclose or ask their permission.

I’m interested to see how everything plays out this season. What do you think? When writing a book, film or series about your family, is it common courtesy to tell your family what you will disclose, ask for permission, or no because it is your perspective?

Comment below. I love conversations about this.