Video Review: Erykah Badu “Bag Lady”

Against a blue background, Erykah Badu and several young women stand, wearing plain dresses and hats in primary colors. Badu stretches the screen with her hands.

Badu and her friends walk down the street, carrying their handbags. They sit in a classroom. They wave their fans in front of a house and read books on how to get skinny and become an “instant beauty.” They sing in front an apartment building and dance with the fans on the steps. They exit through four doors and are given their handbags back.

At the Soul Food diner, they sip on their drinks. One friend holds a paper bag. They fan themselves inside the building and take the elevator. The lights flash and they look up.

They sit in the chair and introduce themselves.. Baby girls  sit on the floor and crawl to the camera. The bag ladies, according to color are: nickel (yellow), booty (blue), paper (green), light blue (punching bag) and baby bag (red, who is Badu). Inside a building, Badu holds a sign stating “Too Black.” The baby girls play with the handbags.

Against the blue background, two men dance with Badu. Several men stand together. In the neighborhood, people dance and sing along in the street.

Rating: 4/5

Erykah Badu has no time to cry. She has to take care of her children. They need her to be strong and look to her for help. Some men see her children and think she’s trying to find them a new daddy. She assures they have already have a father. However, the men stop calling. She can’t allow herself to dwell on it, though. She can only continue moving forward and hope to find someone who wants a family.

The woman in yellow has battled a drug addiction. She has been sober on and off for several years. She attends meetings and calls her sponsor when she needs. She asks people in her support group how they bring up their addiction to any friends. It’s a part of her. People, though, run from her once they realize she is an addict. She can’t change people’s minds. Some days, though, the support group is the only thing keeping her together.

The woman in light blue turns her head away as she listens to her siblings tell her she doesn’t do anything. She tells them she needs help and they scoff. Her father hits the floor with his cane and calls her ungrateful. Her friends no longer want to hang out with her. They think her schedule is too restrictive. She takes a deep breath after they leave and helps her father walk across the room. She plans a spa day for herself and informs her father he’s going to be staying at an adult day care. He protests in the family room as she schedules the appointment.

Director: N/A Year: 2000

Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit , Greatest City Collective & 45 Magazine and forthcoming in Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kristofia anthology.

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