Grandma's hands [one of the best Bill Withers songs ever] are courtesy of www.veer.com
Tyler Perry's work is a platform for opening the conversation. His characters are loved by millions but some prominent black minds feel he's still a minstrel. Both sides of the argument are valid however as with any independent producer/writer/director/actor I am impressed that his stuff got made at all. The fact that he's monumentally successful doing it is a bonus. Although I have no idea why the names Madea [which Tyler made popular] or Big Momma [which Martin Lawrence's made popular] are supposed to be the arcetypes of all older black women as the family matriarchs. I have never ever referred to anyone in my family as Madea or Big Momma.
Madea seems to be a derivative of My Dear.
Big Momma is just ridiculous.
But both characters have been successful movie franchises. This post will not pontificate or postulate as to the reasons. No need.
My grand mothers names are Rose Mae and Willie Lee, it never dawned on me to call them anything accept grandma. Does my family have nicknames? Of course, but no person on either side of my family called my grand mothers Madea or Big Momma; nor would they dare.
Rose or Grammy as I called one grandmother would sweetly correct you, pray with you, give you 12 scriptures and send you on your way if you were to call her either of those names.
Willie Lee or YeYe as I called my other grandmother would set you straight by verbally cutting you to shreds and then sending you on your way if you were to call her Madea or Big Momma. The matriarchs of my family have passed on and I celebrate their lives as beautiful, bright, God fearing, complicated, funny, loving, bold women.
Due to more technical difficulties I couldn't upload photos of my beautiful grand mothers... Darn! Trust me they were special women.