Emma Mae


1h 40m 1976

Brief Synopsis

A young black woman turns to crime when she falls in love with a drug dealer.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Crime
Drama
Release Date
1976

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Metrocolor)

Synopsis

When her mother dies, naive Emma Mae moves from the South to Los Angeles to live with relatives in the inner-city. At first she is ridiculed for her country ways, but once accepted she gets involved with a drug dealer and grows up too fast. After enduring many humiliations by her boyfriend he callously breaks off their relationship. When she realizes he was using her, Emma Mae retaliates with her fists.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
Crime
Drama
Release Date
1976

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 40m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Metrocolor)

Articles

The Gist (Emma Mae) - THE GIST


While writer-director Jamaa Fanaka intentionally frustrates any association with Blaxploitation, he courts the forms of that money-grubbing action subgenre for the purposes of his 1976 film Emma Mae, if only to subvert them. As such, the film occupies a lonely middle ground between such well-remembered grindhouse titles as Black Mama, White Mama (1972) and The Mack (1973) and the scattering of Black family dramas to which the big studios condescended in the early to mid-70s, such as Oscar Williams' Five on the Black Hand Side (1973) and Michael Schultz's Cooley High (1975). The latter was a direct influence on Fanaka while he was a student at UCLA's film program and Emma Mae, his second feature, reflects a similar interest in depicting the texture of African-American community and family life in all its contrasting and contradictory patterns. Overseas, Emma Mae was given the crass alternative title Black Sister's Revenge but the 1976 production bears only a superficial resemblance to such distaff vengeance films as Coffy (1973) and Foxy Brown (1974), in which Pam Grier's angry women of color strike back at the powers that be evil.

In telling the tale of a Black girl from rural Mississippi transplanted by a well-meaning aunt to the vibrant but violent South Central LA community of Compton, Emma Mae seems informed by Ossie Davis' seminal (but sadly obscure) Black Girl (1972), in which the presence of a foster child disrupts the harmony of a middle class Black family. Happily, Fanaka dispenses early on with the country mouse clichés, revealing the eponymous Emma Mae (Jerri Hayes) to be, despite her "bad" hair and lack of urban sophistication, a feisty and resourceful heroine. As in Welcome Home Brother Charles (1975), Fanaka addresses the specter of Afro-American machismo but rejects the earlier film's fantastic flourishes to ground this drama in a street-level realism he particularizes with relaxed pacing and tastes of local color.

The film's opening titles play out over scenes of families, friends and lovers luxuriating on verdant park grounds; it's a poignant portrait of Compton life between the madness of the Watts riots a decade earlier and the gang violence that proliferated in the 1980s with the emergence of crack. Emma Mae depicts Compton as a well-tended middle class community threatened from without by baseless White paranoia and from within by a purposelessness engendered by Welfare and a fear of true commitment masking itself as Black male prerogative.

More technically assured than Welcome Home Brother Charles, Emma Mae remains a bit too ambitious and rambling for its own good. Still, its sins are easy to forgive given Fanaka's overall generosity and seeming lack of ego. He gives his actors (many of whom never made another film) a lot of leeway and is rewarded with spirited, lifelike performances all around. As unlikely a leading lady as is Jerri Hayes (who seems to lose weight through the film), she reveals herself to be an affecting actress, unafraid to marry righteous indignation (as Emma lashes out at a faithless lover) with an emotional fragility miles ahead of the B-movie bravado of Pam Grier. Standouts among the large cast of supporting players (culled from the ranks of the Paul Robeson Players) are Ernest Williams II (as the laconic rogue who ignites Emma Mae's passions only to break her heart), Charles D. Brooks III (as a local fool granted a climactic moment of silent grace) and Black Belt Jones's (1974) Malik Carter, as the community's mumbling elder statesman, a crazy old man who delivers an incisive speech late in the film, upbraiding the younger men for their foolhardy and harmful bluster and for ignoring and even denigrating the Black women who prove themselves again and again to be the race's greatest asset in the fight for freedom and respect.

Producer: Jamaa Fanaka
Director: Jamaa Fanaka
Screenplay: Jamaa Fanaka
Cinematography: Stephen L. Posey
Film Editing: Robert Fitzgerald
Music: H. B. Barnum
Cast: Jerri Hayes (Emma Mae), Ernest Williams II (Jesse Amos), Charles D. Brooks III (Ezekiel "Zeke" Johnson), Eddie Allen (James), Robert Slaughter (Devo), Malik Carter ("Big Daddy" Johnson), Teri Taylor (Dara Stansell), Leopoldo Mandeville (Chay), Al Cowart (Jerimi), Synthia James (Ulika Stansell), Gammy Burdett (Daisy Stansell), Laetitia Burdett (Melik Stansell), Eddy C. Dyer (Huari Stansell), Jewell Williams (Maddie), Cynthia Williams (Sarah, aka "Slick"), Hank Smith (Mr. Davies).
C-100m.

by Richard Harland Smith
The Gist (Emma Mae) - The Gist

The Gist (Emma Mae) - THE GIST

While writer-director Jamaa Fanaka intentionally frustrates any association with Blaxploitation, he courts the forms of that money-grubbing action subgenre for the purposes of his 1976 film Emma Mae, if only to subvert them. As such, the film occupies a lonely middle ground between such well-remembered grindhouse titles as Black Mama, White Mama (1972) and The Mack (1973) and the scattering of Black family dramas to which the big studios condescended in the early to mid-70s, such as Oscar Williams' Five on the Black Hand Side (1973) and Michael Schultz's Cooley High (1975). The latter was a direct influence on Fanaka while he was a student at UCLA's film program and Emma Mae, his second feature, reflects a similar interest in depicting the texture of African-American community and family life in all its contrasting and contradictory patterns. Overseas, Emma Mae was given the crass alternative title Black Sister's Revenge but the 1976 production bears only a superficial resemblance to such distaff vengeance films as Coffy (1973) and Foxy Brown (1974), in which Pam Grier's angry women of color strike back at the powers that be evil. In telling the tale of a Black girl from rural Mississippi transplanted by a well-meaning aunt to the vibrant but violent South Central LA community of Compton, Emma Mae seems informed by Ossie Davis' seminal (but sadly obscure) Black Girl (1972), in which the presence of a foster child disrupts the harmony of a middle class Black family. Happily, Fanaka dispenses early on with the country mouse clichés, revealing the eponymous Emma Mae (Jerri Hayes) to be, despite her "bad" hair and lack of urban sophistication, a feisty and resourceful heroine. As in Welcome Home Brother Charles (1975), Fanaka addresses the specter of Afro-American machismo but rejects the earlier film's fantastic flourishes to ground this drama in a street-level realism he particularizes with relaxed pacing and tastes of local color. The film's opening titles play out over scenes of families, friends and lovers luxuriating on verdant park grounds; it's a poignant portrait of Compton life between the madness of the Watts riots a decade earlier and the gang violence that proliferated in the 1980s with the emergence of crack. Emma Mae depicts Compton as a well-tended middle class community threatened from without by baseless White paranoia and from within by a purposelessness engendered by Welfare and a fear of true commitment masking itself as Black male prerogative. More technically assured than Welcome Home Brother Charles, Emma Mae remains a bit too ambitious and rambling for its own good. Still, its sins are easy to forgive given Fanaka's overall generosity and seeming lack of ego. He gives his actors (many of whom never made another film) a lot of leeway and is rewarded with spirited, lifelike performances all around. As unlikely a leading lady as is Jerri Hayes (who seems to lose weight through the film), she reveals herself to be an affecting actress, unafraid to marry righteous indignation (as Emma lashes out at a faithless lover) with an emotional fragility miles ahead of the B-movie bravado of Pam Grier. Standouts among the large cast of supporting players (culled from the ranks of the Paul Robeson Players) are Ernest Williams II (as the laconic rogue who ignites Emma Mae's passions only to break her heart), Charles D. Brooks III (as a local fool granted a climactic moment of silent grace) and Black Belt Jones's (1974) Malik Carter, as the community's mumbling elder statesman, a crazy old man who delivers an incisive speech late in the film, upbraiding the younger men for their foolhardy and harmful bluster and for ignoring and even denigrating the Black women who prove themselves again and again to be the race's greatest asset in the fight for freedom and respect. Producer: Jamaa Fanaka Director: Jamaa Fanaka Screenplay: Jamaa Fanaka Cinematography: Stephen L. Posey Film Editing: Robert Fitzgerald Music: H. B. Barnum Cast: Jerri Hayes (Emma Mae), Ernest Williams II (Jesse Amos), Charles D. Brooks III (Ezekiel "Zeke" Johnson), Eddie Allen (James), Robert Slaughter (Devo), Malik Carter ("Big Daddy" Johnson), Teri Taylor (Dara Stansell), Leopoldo Mandeville (Chay), Al Cowart (Jerimi), Synthia James (Ulika Stansell), Gammy Burdett (Daisy Stansell), Laetitia Burdett (Melik Stansell), Eddy C. Dyer (Huari Stansell), Jewell Williams (Maddie), Cynthia Williams (Sarah, aka "Slick"), Hank Smith (Mr. Davies). C-100m. by Richard Harland Smith

Insider Info (Emma Mae) - BEHIND THE SCENES


Emma Mae was the second of three films Jamaa Fanaka made while a student at UCLA and was his masters thesis.

The production was financed in part by the American Film Institute.

Emma Mae was shot entirely in Compton, California, where Fanaka's family relocated when he was 11.

The character of Emma Mae was based on Jamaa Fanaka's cousin, Daisy Lee, who was sent to Compton from Crystal Springs, Missouri, every year for summer vacations.

Jerri Hayes was a Theatre student at UCLA when she was cast as Emma Mae.

The park seen in the film's opening title sequence was Compton's West Park.

The conga player seen in the opening frames is jazz percussionist Doug Sides.

The jailhouse sequence was shot at the long-closed Lincoln Heights Jail.

Emma Mae cinematographer Stephen Posey was later a second unit director on the cult film classics The Howling (1981) and Repo Man (1984). He also shot Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) and is now a busy television director.

The film's composer, Hidle Brown ("H. B.") Barnum, had a Top 40 hit with "Lost Love" in 1960, but is best known as an arranger for such artists as Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Etta James, Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight and the Pips.

by Richard Harland Smith

Sources:
Jamaa Fanaka interview by Michael Guillen, The Evening Class
Jamaa Fanaka interview by Suzanne Donahue, AssociatedContent.com
Jamaa Fanaka interview by Millie De Chirico
www.hbbarnum.com
Internet Movie Database

Insider Info (Emma Mae) - BEHIND THE SCENES

Emma Mae was the second of three films Jamaa Fanaka made while a student at UCLA and was his masters thesis. The production was financed in part by the American Film Institute. Emma Mae was shot entirely in Compton, California, where Fanaka's family relocated when he was 11. The character of Emma Mae was based on Jamaa Fanaka's cousin, Daisy Lee, who was sent to Compton from Crystal Springs, Missouri, every year for summer vacations. Jerri Hayes was a Theatre student at UCLA when she was cast as Emma Mae. The park seen in the film's opening title sequence was Compton's West Park. The conga player seen in the opening frames is jazz percussionist Doug Sides. The jailhouse sequence was shot at the long-closed Lincoln Heights Jail. Emma Mae cinematographer Stephen Posey was later a second unit director on the cult film classics The Howling (1981) and Repo Man (1984). He also shot Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985) and is now a busy television director. The film's composer, Hidle Brown ("H. B.") Barnum, had a Top 40 hit with "Lost Love" in 1960, but is best known as an arranger for such artists as Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Etta James, Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight and the Pips. by Richard Harland Smith Sources: Jamaa Fanaka interview by Michael Guillen, The Evening Class Jamaa Fanaka interview by Suzanne Donahue, AssociatedContent.com Jamaa Fanaka interview by Millie De Chirico www.hbbarnum.com Internet Movie Database

In the Know (Emma Mae) - TRIVIA


Jamaa Fanaka was born Walter Gordon on September 6, 1942, delivered by midwife in the bedroom of his parents' Prosperity Street home in Jackson, Mississippi.

Fanaka's father was a TV repairman for the Graybar Electric Company and his family one of the first in the area to own a television set.

A turning point in Fanaka's life was the gift of a Super8 film camera when he was 11 years old.

Too poor to afford film, Fanaka developed his cinema aesthetic by looking through the empty camera's viewfinder.

As a child, William Wyler's Ben-Hur (1959) was Fanaka's favorite film and Wyler remains his favorite director.

After serving four years in the United States Air Force, Fanaka returned to his adopted hometown of Compton, California, where he discovered a boyhood friend had become a successful pimp.

While contemplating a cash-raising armed robbery, the Compton High grad stumbled into a UCLA outreach center and wound up with a scholarship.

Fanaka studied film at UCLA. After a revelatory screening of Michael Schultz's Cooley High (1975), the fledgling filmmaker changed his name to Jamaa Fanaka so that audiences would know he was Black.

In Swahili, "jamaa" means togetherness and "fanaka" means progress.

For his second project at UCLA, Fanaka opted to make a feature film, which became the notorious Welcome Home Brother Charles (1975).

One of Fanaka's UCLA Film School classmates was Charles Burnett, who served as Fanaka's cameraman on the shoot of Welcome Home Brother Charles.

Jamaa Fanaka has been called "the most famous unknown director in America."

Compiled by Richard Harland Smith

Sources:
Jamaa Fanaka interview by Michael Guillen, The Evening Class
Jamaa Fanaka interview by Suzanne Donahue, AssociatedContent.com
Jamaa Fanaka interview by Millie De Chirico
Internet Movie Database

In the Know (Emma Mae) - TRIVIA

Jamaa Fanaka was born Walter Gordon on September 6, 1942, delivered by midwife in the bedroom of his parents' Prosperity Street home in Jackson, Mississippi. Fanaka's father was a TV repairman for the Graybar Electric Company and his family one of the first in the area to own a television set. A turning point in Fanaka's life was the gift of a Super8 film camera when he was 11 years old. Too poor to afford film, Fanaka developed his cinema aesthetic by looking through the empty camera's viewfinder. As a child, William Wyler's Ben-Hur (1959) was Fanaka's favorite film and Wyler remains his favorite director. After serving four years in the United States Air Force, Fanaka returned to his adopted hometown of Compton, California, where he discovered a boyhood friend had become a successful pimp. While contemplating a cash-raising armed robbery, the Compton High grad stumbled into a UCLA outreach center and wound up with a scholarship. Fanaka studied film at UCLA. After a revelatory screening of Michael Schultz's Cooley High (1975), the fledgling filmmaker changed his name to Jamaa Fanaka so that audiences would know he was Black. In Swahili, "jamaa" means togetherness and "fanaka" means progress. For his second project at UCLA, Fanaka opted to make a feature film, which became the notorious Welcome Home Brother Charles (1975). One of Fanaka's UCLA Film School classmates was Charles Burnett, who served as Fanaka's cameraman on the shoot of Welcome Home Brother Charles. Jamaa Fanaka has been called "the most famous unknown director in America." Compiled by Richard Harland Smith Sources: Jamaa Fanaka interview by Michael Guillen, The Evening Class Jamaa Fanaka interview by Suzanne Donahue, AssociatedContent.com Jamaa Fanaka interview by Millie De Chirico Internet Movie Database

Yea or Nay (Emma Mae) - CRITIC REVIEWS OF "EMMA MAE"


"Three cheers for director Jamaa Fanaka!"
Steve Puchalski, Slimetime

"This entertaining piece of the 70s is loaded with afros, bell bottoms, good funky music, corrupt cops, a cat fight, lots of swearing, and a character named Big Daddy with a rifle and a turban who gives a speech about the evil white man."
Michael J. Weldon, The Psychotronic Video Guide

"OK, so this ain't Coffy [1973]. This black sister's revenge is nowhere near as cool as Pam Grier kicking major ass and blowing away bastards with a shotgun, but the film is really more of an in-depth look at living in the slums of L.A. in the 70s. At this, Fanaka succeeds, with some superb color on-location photography shot on the streets of Watts and amateurish, but believable actors who seem as if they were cast from the local street corner. Don't get me wrong, this is no lost classic, the script is thrown out the window a few too many times, but it does make a good attempt to be more than your standard exploitation film."
Casey Scott, DVD Drive-In

"Fanaka's films are so brilliant in their absurdity and desire to entertain, it's scary."
Eric M. Harvey, "Hear Ye, Hear Ye! It's Jamaa Fanaka Summer 2007," www.AmericanVulture.com

"(T)he heart and soul of EMMA MAE is Jerri Hayes... What's refreshing about the character is that Fanaka doesn't etch her as a complete naif; yes, Emma Mae is a stranger in a strange land and she is to a certain degree naive but she brings to this new life mad skills and a fierce determination. A UCLA drama student at the time of filming, Hayes (who never appeared in another film) gives a disarmingly nuanced and charismatic performance given the broadness of her playing in the early scenes, in which we see Emma Mae as others do...a cornpone heifer with "bad" hair and a suitcase held together with rope. To his credit, Fanaka never tries to turn Hayes into another Pam Grier; when Emma Mae kicks ass at the end of the film, the blows seem to hit her as hard as her target."
Arbogast on Film

compiled by Richard Harland Smith

Yea or Nay (Emma Mae) - CRITIC REVIEWS OF "EMMA MAE"

"Three cheers for director Jamaa Fanaka!" Steve Puchalski, Slimetime "This entertaining piece of the 70s is loaded with afros, bell bottoms, good funky music, corrupt cops, a cat fight, lots of swearing, and a character named Big Daddy with a rifle and a turban who gives a speech about the evil white man." Michael J. Weldon, The Psychotronic Video Guide "OK, so this ain't Coffy [1973]. This black sister's revenge is nowhere near as cool as Pam Grier kicking major ass and blowing away bastards with a shotgun, but the film is really more of an in-depth look at living in the slums of L.A. in the 70s. At this, Fanaka succeeds, with some superb color on-location photography shot on the streets of Watts and amateurish, but believable actors who seem as if they were cast from the local street corner. Don't get me wrong, this is no lost classic, the script is thrown out the window a few too many times, but it does make a good attempt to be more than your standard exploitation film." Casey Scott, DVD Drive-In "Fanaka's films are so brilliant in their absurdity and desire to entertain, it's scary." Eric M. Harvey, "Hear Ye, Hear Ye! It's Jamaa Fanaka Summer 2007," www.AmericanVulture.com "(T)he heart and soul of EMMA MAE is Jerri Hayes... What's refreshing about the character is that Fanaka doesn't etch her as a complete naif; yes, Emma Mae is a stranger in a strange land and she is to a certain degree naive but she brings to this new life mad skills and a fierce determination. A UCLA drama student at the time of filming, Hayes (who never appeared in another film) gives a disarmingly nuanced and charismatic performance given the broadness of her playing in the early scenes, in which we see Emma Mae as others do...a cornpone heifer with "bad" hair and a suitcase held together with rope. To his credit, Fanaka never tries to turn Hayes into another Pam Grier; when Emma Mae kicks ass at the end of the film, the blows seem to hit her as hard as her target." Arbogast on Film compiled by Richard Harland Smith

Quote It! (Emma Mae) - QUOTES FROM "EMMA MAE"


EMMA MAE (Jerri Hayes): "Los Angeles ain't the only place with fools. You have to learn how to fight down south, too."

CHAY (Leopoldo Mandeville): "That's what you got to do sometimes with a crazy nigga, you know? You got to go crazy your goddamned self."

CHAY: "You know, this calls for a celebration. Jacques-in-the-Box, here we come."
JERIMI (Al Cowart): "Hey, hey, hold on now. I mean nobody, nobody celebrates at Jack in the Box. Even little Jack tries to get his ass out every chance he get and they puts him right back in."

JERIMI: "Come on with the food with them mean yellow shoes!"

EMMA MAE: "Even in the country we know that odd numbers make for dull parties."
JERIMI: "Out here, odd numbers makes for good fights."

HUARI (Eddy C. Dyer): "That fatass Cannon, he sure can move!"

JERIMI: "Nigga, you look like an armadillo in the face."

MADDIE (Jewell Williams): "Daisy, I heard you got your niece out here with you now. Child, with three teenage girls, I know you got your hands full."
DAISY (Gammy Burdette): "Well, it's not really no more than before. Actually, Emma Mae's more help than trouble."
MADDIE: "Well, yeah, country girls most of the time are when they first hit the city. But before long, the bright lights been and gone to their heads and they get just as nutty, wild and crazy as the rest of these city slickers, I know what I'm talkin' about, hon."
DAISY: "I don't think so in Emma Mae's case."
MADDIE: "That goes for Emma Mae, Lucy Mae, Susie Mae, I don't give a Mae - you mark my word, Daisy. Before long, that gal's gonna drop her Mae and go her way, I know what I'm talkin' about."

ZEKE (Charles D. Brooks III): "Now I see why those pigs stopped us... so they could feel the almighty rod!"

BIG DADDY (Malik Carter): "Hey, what's the matter with you young'uns nowadays? We got to be able to blow some heads off. And we got to be ready."
ZEKE: "We ready. We ready, Big Daddy."
BIG DADDY: "Ready my black ass. You sittin' there with a can of beer in one hand, and your other partner upstairs with a piece of ass in the other, and you got the nerve to tell me that you're ready?" ZEKE: "Now look, Big Daddy, be cool. Now look... they don't even know we're in here."
BIG DADDY: "Hey. We are in here. They're out there. We don't know what they know... and don't know."

BIG DADDY: "Pigs! Swarms of 'em!"

EMMA MAE: "Zoning my butt!"

EMMA MAE: "They always talkin' about how we young people never try to do nuthin' but use dope and kill each other up in the street. Then when we try to do something the way they say it supposed be done they mess with us and try to shut us down. Mr. Davies, what is it all about?"
MR. DAVIES (Hank Smith): "I'm going to tell you something, Emma. I respect you. And believe me, I feel sorry for you. You see, those people up there look down here and they see one little black country girl organizing a bunch of kids that society, with all their money and their brains, said there was no saving. You scare them. You scare them because you embarrass them."

BIG DADDY: "Y'all listen to this little lady... and get your hearts together. Talk about takin' chances... what do you think you're doing every time you pick up a gun and get to so-called gang war, with your own people over turf – something don't none of you own... 'cuz the white man owns it. That's right. The white man owns every nook and every cranny, every alley and every freeway, every city and every goddamn swamp – the white man owns it. Why? 'Cuz he got up off his ass and took it. Now, you all want a piece of it? Well, the only way you're gonna get it is to get up offa your asses and take it back. And y'all got the nerve to be talkin' about worrying about facing time. Facing time? Nigga, you face time every day you live and breathe. Why, you're doin' time right now and don't even know it. Y'all always jivin' with me about my mumblin'. See, what you don't know is I mumble to forget. That's right. When I mumble, I forget that I'm ashamed to be as old as I am and still walkin' around. Why, if I was anybody at all, I'd be dead. I ain't shit and I know it. But y'all listen to me and listen to that little lady over there. Because what she's tryin' to tell you, you at least stand a chance to get somethin' out of it. Yeah... that is besides laughin' and braggin' over how many brothers you done shot and killed in some fool gang war. Now sit your fucking asses down and listen to a real woman for a change."

EMMA MAE: "Well, it's about that time."

JESSE (Ernest Williams II): "You got a face only a mother could love and she died so she wouldn't have to look at it no more."

EMMA MAE: "I'm gonna... kick... your... ass."

Compiled by Richard Harland Smith

Quote It! (Emma Mae) - QUOTES FROM "EMMA MAE"

EMMA MAE (Jerri Hayes): "Los Angeles ain't the only place with fools. You have to learn how to fight down south, too." CHAY (Leopoldo Mandeville): "That's what you got to do sometimes with a crazy nigga, you know? You got to go crazy your goddamned self." CHAY: "You know, this calls for a celebration. Jacques-in-the-Box, here we come." JERIMI (Al Cowart): "Hey, hey, hold on now. I mean nobody, nobody celebrates at Jack in the Box. Even little Jack tries to get his ass out every chance he get and they puts him right back in." JERIMI: "Come on with the food with them mean yellow shoes!" EMMA MAE: "Even in the country we know that odd numbers make for dull parties." JERIMI: "Out here, odd numbers makes for good fights." HUARI (Eddy C. Dyer): "That fatass Cannon, he sure can move!" JERIMI: "Nigga, you look like an armadillo in the face." MADDIE (Jewell Williams): "Daisy, I heard you got your niece out here with you now. Child, with three teenage girls, I know you got your hands full." DAISY (Gammy Burdette): "Well, it's not really no more than before. Actually, Emma Mae's more help than trouble." MADDIE: "Well, yeah, country girls most of the time are when they first hit the city. But before long, the bright lights been and gone to their heads and they get just as nutty, wild and crazy as the rest of these city slickers, I know what I'm talkin' about, hon." DAISY: "I don't think so in Emma Mae's case." MADDIE: "That goes for Emma Mae, Lucy Mae, Susie Mae, I don't give a Mae - you mark my word, Daisy. Before long, that gal's gonna drop her Mae and go her way, I know what I'm talkin' about." ZEKE (Charles D. Brooks III): "Now I see why those pigs stopped us... so they could feel the almighty rod!" BIG DADDY (Malik Carter): "Hey, what's the matter with you young'uns nowadays? We got to be able to blow some heads off. And we got to be ready." ZEKE: "We ready. We ready, Big Daddy." BIG DADDY: "Ready my black ass. You sittin' there with a can of beer in one hand, and your other partner upstairs with a piece of ass in the other, and you got the nerve to tell me that you're ready?" ZEKE: "Now look, Big Daddy, be cool. Now look... they don't even know we're in here." BIG DADDY: "Hey. We are in here. They're out there. We don't know what they know... and don't know." BIG DADDY: "Pigs! Swarms of 'em!" EMMA MAE: "Zoning my butt!" EMMA MAE: "They always talkin' about how we young people never try to do nuthin' but use dope and kill each other up in the street. Then when we try to do something the way they say it supposed be done they mess with us and try to shut us down. Mr. Davies, what is it all about?" MR. DAVIES (Hank Smith): "I'm going to tell you something, Emma. I respect you. And believe me, I feel sorry for you. You see, those people up there look down here and they see one little black country girl organizing a bunch of kids that society, with all their money and their brains, said there was no saving. You scare them. You scare them because you embarrass them." BIG DADDY: "Y'all listen to this little lady... and get your hearts together. Talk about takin' chances... what do you think you're doing every time you pick up a gun and get to so-called gang war, with your own people over turf – something don't none of you own... 'cuz the white man owns it. That's right. The white man owns every nook and every cranny, every alley and every freeway, every city and every goddamn swamp – the white man owns it. Why? 'Cuz he got up off his ass and took it. Now, you all want a piece of it? Well, the only way you're gonna get it is to get up offa your asses and take it back. And y'all got the nerve to be talkin' about worrying about facing time. Facing time? Nigga, you face time every day you live and breathe. Why, you're doin' time right now and don't even know it. Y'all always jivin' with me about my mumblin'. See, what you don't know is I mumble to forget. That's right. When I mumble, I forget that I'm ashamed to be as old as I am and still walkin' around. Why, if I was anybody at all, I'd be dead. I ain't shit and I know it. But y'all listen to me and listen to that little lady over there. Because what she's tryin' to tell you, you at least stand a chance to get somethin' out of it. Yeah... that is besides laughin' and braggin' over how many brothers you done shot and killed in some fool gang war. Now sit your fucking asses down and listen to a real woman for a change." EMMA MAE: "Well, it's about that time." JESSE (Ernest Williams II): "You got a face only a mother could love and she died so she wouldn't have to look at it no more." EMMA MAE: "I'm gonna... kick... your... ass." Compiled by Richard Harland Smith

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1976

Released in United States April 1991

Released in United States 1976

Released in United States April 1991 (Shown at AFI/Los Angeles International Film Festival (U.S.A. Independent Black Cinema-Jamaa Fanaka Tribute) April 11-25, 1991.)