The movie Love and Basketball is written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. The movie is set in the 1980’s in a predominantly African American community. Monica and her family move in next to Quincy- a boy the same age that shares a common love of basketball. Quincy’s mother brings over a cake to the new neighbors and makes the comment “the neighborhood was a little more mixed back then…” insinuating the white neighbors had all moved out. Monica is a strong willed eleven year old that knows exactly what she wants in life. She wants to be the first girl in the NBA, and nothing will stand in her way. Monica is in constant conflict with everyone in her life because she acts different. She is constantly being made fun of because “she can’t ball because she is a girl, that she shouldn’t be running around like a boy, and should be wearing dresses.” Monica had no need to fit in and do what is socially acceptable, often causing problems with her homemaker mother. “As women, we have been taught either to ignore our differences, or to view them as causes for separation and suspicion rather than as forces for change. (Lorde 112). Her mother could not accept Monica’s tomboyish ways or understand her differences- which causes huge resentment throughout their relationship and movie. Monica’s gender and sexuality is repetitively brought up during the movie, she is a poster child for Audre Lorde- The Sister Outsider. I truly feel Monica was in touch with her erotic side since 11 years old and would never conform to anyone else’s will. “The erotic is a measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feeling.” She expresses this in her love for basketball and during her relationship with Quincy.
Love & basketball. Dir. Gina Prince-Bythewood. By Gina Prince-Bythewood. Prod. Spike Lee and Sam Kitt. Perf. Sanaa Lathan, Omar Epps, and Alfre Woodard. New Line Cinema, 2000. Videocassette.
Audre Lorde, “The Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power,” “Power”