I remember when I discovered that there was a black version of The Wizard of Oz. I was about 14 (yes, I know I was late) and I felt like I had to see it! To top it off my idol Lena Horne was Glinda the Good Witch!!! What?!!! I-was-amazed! I was Glinda the Good Witch for Halloween from 1988-1991, I love her! I’ll put my exclamations a rest after I add that I have always loved the Wizard of Oz, it was one of the first chapter books I remember actually enjoying!
Unfortunately, the cinematography of the original Wiz, the subway scene and the sweat shop was a bit much for me. It hurts me to say that I didn’t really enjoy The Wiz when I finally saw it. The Wiz Live which aired this evening on NBC however was a totally different story. While I could talk about the singing and set design and all that great stuff. I am really just in awe and in deep appreciation of the black female characters. I am so happy that little girls and boys alike got to see black women of different shades exerting their femininity and strength in diverse ways so gorgeously. I can’t remember watching something for youth that was so effortlessly body positive. I don’t think it is an overstatement to say that, The Wiz Live was the best self-esteem builder for young girls produced on TV this year.
I know I felt affirmed. So shout out to the casting directors (Bernard Telsey and Abbie Brady-Dalton) and Shanice Williams, Amber Riley, Uzo Aduba, Queen Latifah and what the hell, Mary J. Blige too for just being your awesome talented selves.