Why I Worry for Charley

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.

Charley Runs for Councilwoman
Photo by Skip Bolen © 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. / Courtesy of OWN.

[/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?

Queen Sugar: Where My Body Stops or Begins


Aunt Vi’s abusive ex-husband, Jimmy Dale played by David Alan Grier returns to St. Josephine after 30 years. Both the sound of Jimmy’s voice and the sight of him makes Violet faint. When she reveals to Hollywood who he is, Hollywood coerces Jimmy out of town. However, Jimmy Dale shows up on Aunt Vi’s doorstep. Violet got a knock on the door, opens the main door, and sees him standing there. He looked like the big bad wolf standing at Aunt Vi’s door. Jimmy asks her to let him in the house. She opens the door frightened and hypnotized simultaneously. “Aunt Vi, no! Why would you let him in?” I yelled.

Knowing his past, I became afraid for Violet. Jimmy had full control. He entered Violet’s home as if he still owned it and as if she was his property. He could have raped and killed Aunt Vi. Jimmy made disrespectful comments about Hollywood, talked about Violet’s house being his, and violated her personal space by touching Violet’s stomach. As a result, Nova and Aunt Vi pushed him out the house. A furious Hollywood gets out his car, sends him to the ground and repeatedly punches Jimmy.

When Jimmy leaves with a bloody face and dirt-covered clothes, it is revealed Nova found him to get his version of his marriage to Aunt Vi for Blessings and Blood. Consequently, Aunt Vi disowns Nova stating, “Don’t leave flowers on my grave.” A tearful Nova walks out of her aunt’s house feeling the gravity of Violet’s statement. Oddly enough, I was pleased. Reality hit Nova like a ton of bricks that damn near knocked the protagonist-turned-antagonist on her ass. Nova realizes the consequences of her actions are irreversible.

Tina Lifford and David Alan Grier did an incredible job embodying a domestic violence survivor and abusive man respectively in this week’s episode. I am accustomed to watching David in comedies like 90s classics In Living Color and Boomerang.

Ralph Angel, Darla and Blue

Ralph Angel reveals to Darla that Nova wrote about Blue and her drug addiction in Blessings and Blood. My hope is Darla does not relapse. She has worked diligently to maintain her sobriety and build a new life for herself. Blessings and Blood threatens Blue’s privacy and safety, Darla’s reputation, and her career. No matter what I hope she does not let old habits overpower the progress she has made. I have grown to love her character for her multiple dimensions, complexities, vulnerability, courage, and subtle strength.


Charley and Micah

Since Micah’s return from Paris and reading Blessings and Blood, they continue to clash. When he receives a death threat, he gives it to Charley. She replies, “I’ll handle it.” Initially, Micah is confused by Charley’s reaction. Then Charley reveals she was mailed several death threats against Micah and sent him to Paris for the summer with security unbeknownst to him. “Let me protect you,” she says.

It was a checkmate move. This is the reason why Charley is my favorite character. She is always several steps ahead, calculated, sharp and precise. Despite Micah’s thoughts regarding how his mother handles certain situations, he knows she will do anything to protect him.


The Landry-Boudreauxs

Learning the Landrys are angry with Charley for stopping a jail from being built in St. Josephine and the warning Jacob Boudreaux gave her, I’m worried. Sam Landry changed the shareholder bylaws allowing relatives to be present at shareholder meetings, essentially, icing Charley out. During season one, we learned the Landrys owned the Bordelons during slavery, the Bordelons became sharecroppers post-slavery, and the Landrys tried to take the farmland by lynching several Bordelon family members including Aunt Vi and Ernest’s father. Whatever they are planning is not good.

Charley has to go into 110% beast mode. When Charley told Ralph Angel she was building the mill with or without him in season one, you saw a hunger in her eyes and a determination to achieve her goal. Knowing she’s wounded from Nova exploiting her life and dealing with Micah’s safety, she can’t do it by herself. I believe this is a war and everyone has to be ready. I think she will need help from Ralph Angel, Aunt Vi, Davis, her Mom and former colleagues in the sports management industry.

Let me know your thoughts below.

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.

darla jpeg
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.