HTP-U (Peace) Beloved
Hope this post brings you much light and encouragement. The other day I had just finished talking to my father about my work and how it related to us culturally. Shortly afterward because my little niece was running around and she loves music, my father decided to put on The Wiz. Great movie, I don’t care what anyone says, the late 70s and early 80s was the BOMB. For those who don’t know the Wiz is the best retelling of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but it is done from an African American cultural perspective.
Anyway, as we sat watching this movie, which by the way my little niece wasn’t even interested and kept playing, we were all singing the songs. A nostalgic moment of course, because it had been a while since I had seen this film and funny how I still remembered some scenes and forgot others. One of my favorite parts of the movie is the when Dorothy (played by Diana Ross) and the Rift Raft (as the Wiz calls them) goes to Emerald City and they are jammin’ out to the different colors. Green is Mean, Red is Dead and Gold is Bold.
As I continued to watch the movie another favorite scene came up, which was when the gang goes to Evillene’s Sweat Shop, the Wicked Witch of the West (played by Mabel King), which was dark red. I didn’t see the connection yet. Until, after Dorothy kill’s Evillene and tries to get back home, where she finds that the Wiz cannot help her.
Now, what’s interesting about this is that in the Wonderful Wizard of Oz 1939 film, the Good Witch of the South was changed to the Good Witch of the North. When the creators of the Wiz retold the story and made it into a film, the changed the character back to the Good Witch of the South, played by the great Lena Horne. Then’s when it hit me…
“Ummm….Does this look familiar?” I heard. Noticed the maa aankh below the red region symbolizes TASETT (the evil, physical, hard labor, desert, impotent, etc.) and black region symbolizes KAMTA (the good, spiritual, easy, prosperous, fertile, night sky, heavens, etc.). I am not sure if the creators of the Wiz were aware of this cultural significance or not. What I do know is that the Wiz makes a lot more sense psychologically than the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. What do you think?
For a complete discourse and in-depth analysis see:
MAA AANKH: Finding God the Afro-American Way, by Honoring the Ancestors and Guardian Spirits.