Day: March 6, 2021

How the Non-Monogamous Black Woman at the Center of ‘Ma Belle, My Beauty’ Empowered Me

Photo credit: Courtesy

Photo credit: Courtesy


At 33, it feels like I’ve known non-monogamy was right for me forever. But as someone who grew up surrounded by monogamy—in my family, in my friendships, in my culture, in my media consumption—I know that, at some point, I must have learned this about myself. But I can’t remember my younger self even considering entering more than one long-term, intimate relationship at the same time.

While watching director-writer Marion Hill’s feature film Ma Belle, My Beauty at this year’s virtual Sundance Film Festival, I felt seen in my desire for a different type of intimate partnered love. Protagonist Bertie (played by Idella Johnson) is a talented Black singer in her late 20s or early 30s living in France but originally from New Orleans. The story follows Bertie as she navigates the remnants of her past polyamorous relationship with her white French now-husband Fred (played

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