The 2016 Essence Festival is just taking its final bow on the mystic city of New Orleans, Louisiana. We think of the celebrities, the five-star hotels, the star-packed concerts, and cuisine that comes second to none. In the backdrop far, far, and away from the city lights, down the dusty dirt roads filled with mysterious swamp creatures with a dash of southern-creole traditions are the acres of sugar cane plantations. Why are these sugar plantations important or even worth mentioning in the same graces with Essence’s world renowned music affair? Maybe because in the midst of such rustic rawness you are still in the presence of a queen, even though this queen is surrounded by moths instead of music, hand-picked crawdaddy’s instead of world-class Cajun cuisine, and barefoot farmers instead of red-bottomed celebrities. What queen would this be? Well, that would be the queen of the south known as “Queen Sugar”.
Queen Sugar the groundbreaking novel written by Natalie Baszile has taken the world by storm and brought a little #BlackGirlMagic to the Bayou. The novel based around the mid-life transition of Charlotte “Charley” Bordelon and her teen daughter’s move to the city of Saint Josephine, Louisiana after the inheritance of a huge sugarcane plantation. In what seems like worlds away from her life in Los Angeles, CA, Charley embarks upon making a life for herself and her daughter under immense odds as the only Black female farmer in the land. Of those odds, the balance of keeping her identity while merging her new role as southern farm owner makes her struggles a little more intense:
“Every morning when I wake up and look in the mirror, I see a black face and I love it. Sure, I’ve been to Paris and grew up surfing, and yes, I speak like I’m in a commercial. But I’m just like the women you see walking on the side of the road with their laundry baskets and their Bibles. I’m just like the old men pedaling their rusty bicycles. I’m no different from the men who drive your tractors or the woman who probably raised you. I’m just like them, no better and no worse. I’m black, Remy, which means everything and nothing”
― Natalie Baszile, Queen Sugar
Now the reigning Queen of Media has flocked to the sweet treat known as Queen Sugar which will be developed by the Own Network with Oprah Winfrey as the Executive Producer and Directed by prolific filmmaker Ava DuVernay. So check out the QUEEN, Queen Sugar this is, at a bookstore near you or download to your device. It is guaranteed to quench your sweet tooth!
Queen Sugar, coming to the OWN network in September 2016, check out the trailer:
Written By: Sabreen Shabazz-Straker, Staff Writer, Modern Domestic