The Color Purple is a canonical film in many African American households. The adaptation of Alice Walker’s novel of the same name is a heart-wrenching tale of black womanhood in the American South at the turn of the century, with a star-studded cast including Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover. Virgin Islands native Desreta Jackson was dazzling as a young Celie, aptly capturing the character’s innocence and naivete in the midst of physical and sexual abuse. But afterwards she seemed to disappear from Hollywood. 30 years later Jackson is back to discuss the film and why she vanished from Hollywood.
“To be very honest with you Chris I had to leave Hollywood because as a young child it didn’t seem to flourish my mind very well. I’ll give you an example coming here from the islands, I didn’t even know that I was dark-skinned, there wasn’t a color issue in my head. I always thought I was beautiful. And it wasn’t moreso until I got in Hollywood that I started understanding that there were dark-skinned blacks and light-skinned blacks and there were roles for this character and roles for that character based on a color. So I left Hollywood and in the process of leaving it, I think it actually changed and developed myself more into a woman. And so now coming back into Hollywood I am a different force.”
You can watch Jackson’s full interview here.
Ladies, what are your thoughts?