A Sweet Love Jones

A Sweet Love Jones

​Decades later and "Love Jones" is  still my favorite movie of all time! 

This film, centered in the urban intellectual scene of the late 90s, is a classic for so many reasons. Beyond having two of the most talented African-Americans in Hollywood, a heart-gripping story line and an extremely cool vibe, it pays homage to the Original African deities and culture. And for that, I am so appreciative and grateful!

In one of the opening scenes, Darius performs a poem he entitles "A Blues for Nina," which stirs up the passion of the crowd in the movie and those watching.

He asks Nina, in the poem... "Now, do they call you Daughter to the Spinning Pulsar... or maybe Queen of 10,000 moons? Sister to the Distant yet Rising Star? Is your name Yemaya? Oh, hell no. Its got to be Oshun."

Both Yemaya and Oshun are African deities of the Yoruba culture associated with water, healing, fertility and divine feminine wisdom. He was shouting out Nina's natural beauty, grace, the Goddess he saw inside of her and his desire for her pleasure. In essence, Darius felt a deep spiritual connection to this woman that was not to be taken lightly. Going deeper, we know that Darius wrote this poem prior to meeting Nina at The Sanctuary that evening. His subconscious mind was already aware that Nina was coming into his life and pre-ordained fate put both of them in the same place at the right time. In that moment, after meeting Nina at the bar, was when he realized that she was the one who inspired his poem. That was why he was able to name it "A Blues for Nina" on the spot like that.

Now, after Nina dismisses Darius after the club and at the record store a few days later, he goes on a whim and shows up at her home. While some women (and men) may feel that this is unrealistic, let's please remember that it is just a movie. However, what this bold move by Darius demonstrated was his soul's urge to be with this woman. He was persistent because he knew. And she did too. (That's why she let him inside.) Once Darius and Nina finally link up for their first date, they stop by Darius' friends home. In this scene, Bill Bellamy, the cynic of the crew, begins to talk vividly about his disdain for the notion that God is a woman. Darius disagrees, stating that "God is a Woman," while looking to Nina. And this once again refers to his original reference to the African Goddesses from his poem and its relation to Nina. Isaiah Washington also begins to bang on his drum, claiming that he was getting the "evil spirits" out of Bill Bellamy, who disagreed with this notion. This is very African-centered, in the theory that women are the Godmothers of civilization and that drums and other loud banging removes negative energies from spaces and people.

Nina and Darius make love the first night, which seems almost inevitable. And both of them, while speaking to friends afterwards claim that are "just cool." ​​They both downplay their love affair, but not before Darius says to his buddy, "The Santeria...The Voundon...all of that. She put it on me man. She put it on me," when referring to sex with Nina. Both the Santeria and Voudon are references to one of the oldest religions of African and Caribbean peoples. The powerful practices of this belief system focus heavily on ancestor and nature worship. No matter in what context you have heard about this religion, it is undeniably powerful and that's why Darius compared the sexual potency of him and Nina to it. And again, he is still honoring the Goddess (Yemaya, Oshun) energy that resides within her. Throughout the topsy-turvy nature of the relationship (Nina leaves and comes back, they both date other people; including Bill Bellamy-Darius' friend), their love is still strong. Perhaps the distance between them made their bond grow stronger. Both Nina and Darius are both artists (she, a photographer and he, a writer) and can appreciate the soul stirrings that inspire their passions. When Nina was out taking pictures of lovers kissing in the street, she went home and jumped Darius' bones without much of a word. And finally, after they break up, Nina leaves the area and Darius finishes his book, dedicating it to "the woman who helped me reach my level." We all know he's referring to Nina; his Goddess, his Yemaya, his Oshun-the love of his life.

The film "Love Jones" is a genre of its own. It's a love story; but also a tale of passion, imperfections and the original religion of the Afro-Caribbean diasporas. Nina and Darius find their way back to each other. To quote one of my favorite lines from the movie, "love...passion...it is what it is!" There is no clear way to define something as universal as love, passion and its components. This movie examines the close relationship between Love and the Creator, for God is Love and therefore, will always remain one of the greatest mysteries of mankind. Praises to the talented creators and cast that made this film available for the world to enjoy. Such a sweet, sweet, Love Jones....

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