Back in November 09, I was finally able to see the movie “Precious” (Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire). I had not read the book prior to seeing the film, but friends who had “warned” me about what to expect.

To put things mildly, what I was told really didn’t prepare me for what I saw. I mean I left the theater without being able to close my mouth from shock.

There were several scenes that had me about to break down in major tears but somehow I was able to keep from going there. The emotional/sexual/physical abuse, overt colorism, etc were almost too much. But… the story of a young woman fighting to survive for her sake & the sake of her children helped me make it through the movie. I was hoping that this girl who had everything against her finally won.

Once I got home, I sat down to figure out how I was going to talk about the movie & was stuck. I guess I was stuck because I felt like I was missing something. What did the movie not cover from the book. And I also wanted to know more about Precious’ friends from the “alternative.” So, at this point, I logged onto Amazon & purchased “Push.”

Flash forward>>>>>>>>>>>>

I’ve read the book & it filled in all of the holes that I knew were missing and I was satisfied knowing the complicated back-stories of Precious’ friends.

One thing that stuck with me through the book was this passage from chapter 1:

“I big, I talk, I eats, I cooks, I laugh, watch TV, do what my muver say. But I can see when the picture come back I don’t exist. Don’t nobody want me. Don’t nobody need me. I know who I am. I know who they say I am-vampire sucking the system’s blood. Ugly black grease to be wipe away, punish, kilt, changed, finded a job for.”
~ Precious

Is the book hard to read? Yes! The vernacular is written phonetically & some may struggle with that as I’ve heard.

Is the book graphic? Hell yes! The book makes the movie look like a PG rated after school special.

My favorite laughable take aways from the book not fully played out in the movie? “Cunt Bucket.” & “Hasta la vista, baby.”

“She look at me like I said I wanna suck a dog’s dick or some shit. What’s with this cunt bucket? (That’s what my muver call women she don’t like, cunt buckets. I kinda get it and I kinda don’t get it, but I like the way it sounds so I say it too.)” ~ Precious


“My muver say, “Eighty –six that bitch.” I says into the intercom. “Hasta la vista, baby.” That’s Spanish for good-bye but when niggers say it, it’s like, kiss my ass.” ~ Precious

Without a doubt, “Push” is a MUST read, if you’ve seen or want to see the movie “Precious! The short novel fills in the missing links & believe me there are many. This is surprising because the book is a quick 192 pages compared to the 110 minute movie.

Flash forward one mo’ gin’ (Negro Dialect)>>>>>>>>>>>>

This past Monday I attended a MLK symposium talk sponsored by the University of Michigan titled “Push, Literacy, Women, and African American Literature” given by poet & novelist Sapphire.

Sapphire coming to town was too much like right! While at the talk, I planned on getting my book autographed & asking some of the pressing questions on my mind regarding the movie & book.

After the very exciting session was said & done, I wasn’t able to get my book signed but I did get the chance to ask two of my three questions which are addressed in the audio link here.

I wish I could have asked my 3rd question regarding the content on 111 para 4. I just wanted to be sure that what I read was what I read & not what I was thinking it was.


A few of my Tweets from the Talk:

  • I’m at the Sapphire lecture & the hall is almost at standing room only. Wow!
  • Sapphire is reading from “Push.” I’m loving this!
  • White people are leaving the Sapphire’s talk. I guess they cannot handle her reading from “Push.” Interesting!
  • Standing in line to ask Sapphire a question.
  • I actually talked with Sapphire. Posting audio later. I’m excited!!!!
  • Sapphire just read this woman who tried to read her. Shit!!!
  • Male rape victim now at the mic talking to Sapphire. Wow!
  • The line was way too long to get my book signed by Sapphire but I was able to get a photo. Yes!

Did you see the movie, read the book or both? What are your thoughts?