Episode 11 of Queen Sugar unpacked the idea of gaining understanding, and showcased how communication in a many of situations, can bring us some resolve. From Ralph Angel's experience with Remy in the classroom, to Nova gaining some understanding about herself and her mother through Charlie's mothers. In the Black community, when it comes to family matters, many of us fail to gain understanding of the full picture. Sometimes, those secrets are held back from us, but other times we don't know because we didn't ask.
In an early scene, we saw RA in a class being taught by Remy. As a part of the discussion, Remy asked RA to dig deeper in his explanation, to understand why, in opposed to just knowing the outcome. In an attempt to help RA through his critical thinking skills aloud and in front of the class, which made RA uncomfortable.
After the class, RA approached Remy and noted how he tried to make him look small in front of the class and that he was acting like a know it all. This scene was so important to get to the resolve, but it bothered me.
Many of us live our lives though the lens of our own insecurities, while often transposing those onto others. Meaning that because RA was uncomfortable about his critical thinking skills, (while probably due to the fact that everyone in his life treats him as if he's dumb) he interpreted the encounter as Remy trying to belittle him. When in fact, Remy was trying make him a better thinking and thus a better farmer.
Later on at the diner, Remy hit RA with some beautiful bromance and told him that he could let him guard down around him. And that he could help him get rid of the load that he was carrying or that he would carry it with him. How many Black men can say that they have someone like this in their lives? We should all have friends that we can be our whole selves around, and friends that care enough to make sure we do.
While's Charlie's mother Lorna being in town was souring on the past episode, she brought a part of history and understanding that was necessary to help Nova heal. Her entire life, Nova had this anger built up towards Lorna on account of the narrative she had been told. She was told that, Lorna stole Ernest from her mother Trudy, and that he went away to be with her, leaving both her and her mother.
However, during Nova's surprise run in with Lorna she faced some truths. She found out that Trudy, turned her father away while she was pregnant with Nova, and that her parents were broken up when Lorna and Ernest had gotten together officially. When Nova tried to fact check some of Lorna's remarks by Aunt Vi, Nova was able to find that the source of her anger was more so Aunt Vi, than the situation itself, and with her mother not there, she couldn't get any answers.
Can you imagine carrying around 30 years of unjust anger? Going back to the secrets and lies, I've grown to understand that a lot of what I was told as a child about everything was a lie. As an adult, I've made it a point to seek out those truths, and to gain my own understanding. We should not be inheriting anger and hurt. Also, we may not be looking in the right place for answers, or asking the right questions.
Lastly, and one of my favorite parts of the episode is when Nova found of that the very part of her that she was running from, was the portion of her that is most like her mother. During her conversation with Lorna, Nova found out that her Trudy was a free spirit like herself. Which in turn helped her to unpack her relationship with Robert.
I believe that we sometimes look at our parents as a different category of human. Not giving them the space to be themselves, but also not taking the time to get to know them or understand them on a human level. While Nova didn't have much of an opportunity for that, as her mother passed young. Understanding, and I mean truly understanding our parents can help us to better understand ourselves.
While being in a constant state of evolvement, and self-inventory, I am always curious about I do things the way that I do, on down to way I hold my head to the side while I'm thinking. So, while you're parents are breathing (if they still are), take some time to get to know them if you can, that understanding is invaluable.
If you left this episode with nothing else, think of ways to deepen your understanding, and it may be by facing harsh truths.