Whoopi - Back to Broadway (The 20th Anniversary Show)

It seems corny when I write this – or earlier when I tried to convey it to friends –but in my head it is real and important and this blog is an extension of my brain so here goes.


I caught the last 15 minutes of whoopi goldberg back to broadway 20th anniversary the other night. I thought she might be funny, as she is prone to being, but she was more thoughtful, more insightful than I’d expected.


The piece that got me thinking was about a disabled woman who discovers love. On the surface I suppose someone could bring up the pink and fuzzy notion that the woman learned to love herself. But I don’t think so. I think that that story has been told and retold and she dug a little deeper. The point to me was about not limiting self – your vision of self – hell, your “knowledge” of self.


In her portrayal of this woman she showed self-love. She even showed self-appreciation for all the things about herself that were wonderful. But this man that comes into her life is the catalyst for her to see the self that she hadn’t discovered yet. He helped her to un-box herself – not in an “I’m here to save you way” but in the, “I see this about you” way. Sometimes others see us more clearly than we see ourselves.


I find it odd that this was such a revelation to me. One of my favorite soapboxes is “different kind of black folks”. It is the very notion that white people – and yes, black people – limit black people. People are easy to say, “black people don’t…listen to country, east sushi, go sky diving” you name it (and I’ve probably done it). And in that capacity I rail against everyone – refusing to be limited by someone else’s limited view of the world – my world.


But deep down I wonder if I challenge myself enough. Do I not do open mics anymore because I’m not very good or because I’m scared to see myself in that light? Do I not date more because I don’t get approached or because I’m too scared to be approached?


Those are my limitations to self. Those are my limitations to the linnea inside that, while I love this one, might be that much more interesting – that much more daring – that much more…me…

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