Love and Basketball


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”



  1. The film “Love and Basketball” is a good example of how Audre Lorde-the sister outsider was pertained. She was not seen as a normal woman. A woman that cleaned and cooked and did other chores women were accustomed to doing. Monica in “Love and Basketball” was labeled as a “tomboy” because all she did was play basketball and did not do any female duties like a housewife. The fact that she did not care what anyone thought of her showed that she was strong willed. Even her mother’s judgement did not phase her. By the way this was a really good film and have watched it many times. You made an excellent choice.


  2. It seems like our movies have similar plots, except yours is about basketball. I enjoy movies about sports, and especially when it brings real world issues to light. This was a great movie to talk about in your post because it truly represents what is expected of women and how deviating from the “normal “ is frowned upon. I think it is great Monica didn’t care about fitting in to her mother’s expectations, but sadly so many people do. What society thinks of you, and even your own family are sometimes more important to the individual than his or her own beliefs. This is difficult because as women we need to learn to not be afraid to deviate from these expectations that are wrongfully place on us.


  3. When I was thinking about what movie to talk about this was also one of the movies that came to my mind. This is a great movie because I think it ties everything we’ve been learning in class all together. It’s a wonderful example of how society has stereotypes and see women as inferior to men in sports. I really admire that although people constantly tell Monica that she should be more feminine and act the way a young lady should act, she follows her dreams instead. I thought it was awesome that you made a connection to Audre Lorde’s work.


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