“Made up of women from both sides of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the troupe offers healing and reconciliation.”
At first I was hesitant to see the film, as I thought it was going to be one of those white savior type of films (the directors are white). But the film manages to keep the women’s voices front and center. However, I did feel like something was missing. I’m not sure what. Their stories of war and healing are touching, though. I definitely recommend folks check it out…
Yesterday, grown black women were giddy/practically crying over the official trailer for the new movie “Annie.” It stars Quvenzhané Wallis the cute little girl from “Wild Southern Beast” and the youngest Oscar nominee in history! Her co-star is the multi-talented (and likable) Jamie Foxx:
Hey, I ain’t shamed I was one of them It looks like a fun film. Why are they teasing us, though. The film won’t be released until December I can’t wait!!
Congratulations to Lupita Nyong’o for winning the Oscar last night for Best Supporting Actress! She looked wonderful and her beautiful spirit continues to shine through. What I love about Lupita is that she gracious about her time in the spotlight. I’m sure she knows deep down that it’s not going to last. The media is very fickle. However, she understands the significance of her presence to little black girls around the world. She embraces it and that’s why I have so much respect for her.
Rock on Lupita
A friend on Facebook pointed out while it was nice that Ms. Lupita won, we should never forget the continued racist practices/history of the Oscars. I agree. It was a bit disturbing to learn that yesterday marked the 75th anniversary of Hattie McDaniel’s Oscar win. It was disturbing because McDaniel won for the role of a slave. All these years later, a black actress wins for a role of a slave. Meh. This is not to say folks are ashamed that these women are playing slaves (or at least I’m not), but rather there hasn’t been any diversity in what black women/folks win for:
Double Meh. I understand the Oscars likes when folks play out of character/villains even. Denzel Washington has played some wonderful characters over his 20 year career (including Malcolm X), and yet he won an Oscar for the role of a corrupt cop.
I don’t begrudge these folks wins. As actresses/actors, I’m sure it’s an honor to win an Oscar, no matter what. It represents the highest level of achievement in their field. I just hope the future will bring diverse wins for black folks. 75 years from now, I don’t want a little black girl being happy that a black woman won for portraying a slave. But I ain’t holding my breath.
A lot of anti-black racism/blackness is steeped in anti-black womanhood. Recently, singer/producer Pharrell Williams annoyed black women/folks with this album cover for his new song:
In the article “Hip Hop’s White Girl Habit” (the link has mysteriously disappeared) the author calls out the marginalizing of black women in music/hip hop
“By no means am I saying that objectifying women sits better with me when it’s Black women as opposed to others. The problem I have is with the perception that white women are an accessory that’s synonymous with luxury and success; that there’s a golden stair lined with pretty women that symbolizes a man’s climb toward the Promised Land where Black women are relegated to the bottom step. Our young people are being told that “just Black” isn’t enough and that idea being associated with hip-hop is bothersome, to say the least.”
Williams has tried to defend himself in the most ridiculous way, but his response is not surprising. The majority of black celebs/rappers today are obsessed with white acceptance. They could give a f*ck about the impact of their actions on black women/the community.
But it goes deeper than just album covers…
A few months ago, a friend gave me a TV. The TV is old as hell, and after just a few days of watching it, only one channel worked :/ I am forced to watch new Jerry Springer type talk shows. It has reminded me why I avoided TV for the past year.
It’s the same old same on these shows, but what has grown worse is the representations of black women. If black women aren’t cussing each other out, they are physically fighting. If they aren’t in a healthy relationship, they are sleeping with friend’s man. The “baby mama” episodes are endless, as well as paternity tests.
It doesn’t matter if it’s her own family members, in relationships with black men or non black men, or even same-sex relationships, black women are portrayed as bothersome folks to deal with.
These images are being put out there to justify the real life oppression of black women.
“According to Collins, stereotypes can serve at least two functions. (A) They can serve to hide or to normalize oppression by making it seem something that the oppressed person wants to do or something that comes from the oppressed person’s nature. (B) They can serve to coerce people into acting in certain ways.” http://web.calstatela.edu/faculty/tbettch/collins.htm
It’s a strange time for black women. On the one hand, folks like Kerry Washington (Scandal), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), are being celebrated. But on other, the majority of black women are being erased, white washed, or horribly stereotyped.
There isn’t even a safe space in the black community/media for the majority of black women. Folks like Tyler Perry, Black Entertainment Television (BET), etc. contribute to anti-black womanhood. It’s a way to keep the black community black male identified/ uphold black male privilege, despite black women being the key/heart of our community.
This anti-black woman hostility is probably why I tend to get piss poor treatment by black folks/non-black folks alike. The majority of folks have nil respect for black women. Sadly, I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
I hope you have enjoyed my different topics in celebration of Black History Month. Have a good weekend!
When I heard that Spike Lee was planing to do a sequel to “School Daze,” I cringed. I hate when directors essentially remake classic films. Leave it be! However, after hearing his reasons why he wanted to update the film, it might not be such a bad idea. Obviously, our culture has changed so much since the original film came out in the late 80′s. Not to mention the many changes at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Anti-blackness has grown worse since that time, even at HBCUs. Lee touched on this issue in the first film. It will be interesting to see how he handles the subject matter/expand on it. There are so many places to go with it now…
A couple of weeks ago, Aura Bogado a Colorlines’ news editor and reporter, hosted the live chat “What’s Next For White Privilege?” The panel featured some prominent activists and educators including: Mia McKenzie (writer/founder of Black Girl Dangerous), Terry Keleher (Race Forward Thought Leader and Project Specialist), and Kenzo Shibata (Chicago-based educator, writer, and activist).
It’s a great discussion. They cover anti-black racism/anti-blackness at the 29:01 mark.
Check it out:
Wow, I can’t believe this month is almost over. The new year is going by fast! Soon it will be summer. Yesss! I hate the cold Since this is the last week of Black History Month, I want to discuss anti-black racism/anti-blackness. Ironically, there have been several anti-black incidents that have happened this month. One of the more offensive ones was rapper Nicki Minaj degrading the image of Malcolm X to promote a new song:
Of course, an insincere apology was later issued by Minaj and the cover art removed. But Black folks should never forget. The usage of X’s image with the word “Nigga” next to his face, is the continuation of anti-blackness that has been running rampant in the music industry. Besides Black women celebrities being pressured to bleach their skin, wear blonde weaves, straighten their noses, etc., black celebrities are being rewarded if they degraded/insult the black community or our icons.
There has been some rumblings that Minaj is being unfairly picked on because she is a woman. Maybe. I do think that black women are more harshly criticized when they do something wrong. However, rapper Lil Wayne was clowned (and rightfully so) when he also insulted another beloved son in the black community, Emmett Till. I think a lot of the outrage is because many black folks are simply fed up with the disrespect and offensive behavior of many black celebrities today.
Also, it’s shameful when you think about the tragedies that have befallen the X family. The shocking death of Mrs. Betty Shabazz. The grandson, Malcolm Shabazz (named after his grandfather), who later went on to repent for the accidental fire that contributed to the death of his grandmother, was trying to get his life together. Last year, he was found dead in Mexico under suspicious circumstances.
While there are a few black celebrities I enjoy, I am always waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop. The majority of black celebrities today are so obsessed with fame/money and white acceptance (because to them that means they have arrived) they will do anything to keep it. Even if it means throwing other black folks under the bus. Minaj isn’t the first black celebrity to degrade a black image, and won’t be the last.
Engaging in anti-blackness seems to be the way many black celebrities will keep themselves afloat these days. It’s important we don’t support these actions by not buying their products/resisting their agenda.
I guess when you are young, you don’t think much about it. But I wonder how these folks are going to feel when they are in their 50′s/60′s and reflect back on their lives. I’d imagine it’s not going to be a restful sleep for many of them.
Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21, 1965…