Sunday, June 29, 2014

Thank You, Kola Boof!

Thank you, Kola Boof!

I've always been a firm believer in giving credit where it's due. I was greatly relieved to see the news story "Zendaya ‘no longer involved’ in Lifetime network's Aaliyah biopic."

Ms. Boof's online petition against this blatant miscasting regarding Aaliyah raised awareness about the ongoing whitewashing of BW, and surely played a major part in this outcome. As Ms. Boof has said, it's not about this teenage actress. This girl's management put her in a bad position. Furthermore, since she's as much White as she is Black, her management can send her to audition to portray Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, or other historical White women in upcoming biopics. Let's see if Hollywood allows this actress or the rest of the biracial actresses (like Paula Patton, etc.) to portray historical White women.

It's not about this actress, it's ALL about the systematic whitewashing, replacement and erasure of Black women in the entertainment industry. As I discussed HERE, things have escalated to the point that roles portraying African-American Black women are increasingly reserved for women who are not African-American Black women.

Furthermore, it’s obvious that if Angela Bassett, Diahann Carrol and Vanessa Bell Calloway were starting their acting careers now, they would never get hired. As many of the comments I've read in the online discussions inspired by Ms. Boof's petition have noted, the same whitewashing is entrenched in today's music industry. If Ella Fitzgerald, Gladys Knight, Dinah Washington, Dionne Warwick and Donna Summer were starting their careers now, they'd never get any recording deals.

Hopefully, this marks the beginning of the end of the whitewashing and erasure of African-American Black women.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

If Angela Bassett, Diahann Carroll & Vanessa Bell Calloway Were Starting Their Acting Careers Now, They’d Never Get Hired—And Many Of You Are Okay With That Result

I would strongly urge everyone to read the latest excellent post over at Not Your Girl Friday. Because she describes the “perpetually surprised” mindset that far too many African-American Black women* (AABW) embrace:
  There are a number of black women online, and I am POSITIVE it transfers to real life, that simply believe ANYTHING.  This is not meant as an insult, but for many black women whether this happens from a lifetime of being gas-lighted or simply refusing to listen to reasonable people assert reasonable things. These black women absolutely refuse to access the system upgrade required to practice discernment.

 These black women, yes I’m probably speaking to you, have the mind-boggling problem of  simply ACCEPTING ANYTHING AT FACE VALUE  without ever doing what is called “fact checking” first.

 This lot, because of their denial of the necessity of fact checking, their absolute refusal  to check the fruit of the vine BEFORE they irresponsibly jump in head long; and their outright dismissal of anyone who has gone before them and knows with certainty the ending results, consequently, leaves many of these women * perpetually surprised*  as many BWE writers have described.

 . . . These women, only after they have been perpetually surprised over and over again (be honest its happened to YOU), then bemoan the fact that their lots have been cast and they are stuck perpetually at the bottom of “whatever” totem pole they have found themselves.

[*By AABW, I’m referring to modern-day BW who have 2 Black parents and who are descendants of the Africans who were held in slavery in the U.S. Since a lot of y’all choose to play “confused” about who’s a member of the AA tribe.]
But here’s another feature of  The Girl Who Believes Anything (TGWBA) mindset that’s even crazier than what One Less Soldier described in her post: A lot of y’all who are TGWBA can’t even see things that are obvious AT FACE VALUE!

You can’t see that AABW are being replaced in the American entertainment industry. You can’t see that AABW can’t get hired to portray other real-life AABW. The roles portraying AABW are increasingly being reserved for women who don’t have 2 Black parents; and for those women who are not descendants of the Africans who were held in slavery in the U.S. In other words, roles portraying AABW are increasingly reserved for women who are not AABW. This casting pattern is obvious AT FACE VALUE:
Good God, they won't even let a BW play a BW cartoon character:
Instead of seeing the erasure, whitewashing, and replacement of AABW that’s been going on AT FACE VALUE, a lot of y’all have been making various convoluted excuses for why you’re okay with AABW being replaced by non-AA women and non-Black women.
There's nothing random or benign about this pattern. We've had several decades of an all-out assault on AABW's image. This was accomplished through the anti-BW denigration promoted by hip-hop and c/rap; the accompanying worship of the lighter, whiter-looking, half-other and "Cablanasian" women. All at the expense of BW who have 2 Black parents and who look like they have 2 Black parents.

So, to add it up:
  • 50+ years of the Harry Belafontes, Sidney Poitiers, OJs, Wesley Snipes, Arsenios, Yung Bergs, Neyos, etc.;
  • a little over 30 years of hip-hop, c/rap and the virulent denigration of BW that is part of that mess;
  • a little over 30 years of masses of AAs openly worshipping the half-others and "Cablanasians" in our midst at the expense of AABW who look like they have 2 Black parents.
Instead of seeing the whitewashing that's been going on for decades, a lot of y'all don't seem to notice the entrenched pattern that's been in place. You somehow don't notice that, in particular, the bulk of the entertainers who've been occupying "Black" roles and "slots" in the American entertainment industry are White women's children. Here's a partial list:

Halle Berry
Lisa Bonet
Shemar Moore
Persia White
Rashida Jones
Jennifer Beals
Jasmine Guy
Victoria Rowell
Boris Kodjoe
Lonette McKee
Sidney Tamiia Poitier
Clark Johnson
Mario Van Peebles
Most recently, yet another WW's child has been chosen to portray Aaliyah. But a lot of you can't and won't see the pattern here. Even after decades of this. Even as this pattern escalates.

This pattern and the destructive fallout associated with it mostly started with negro male celebrities and their insistence on having only lighter, whiter, White and other nonblack women cast in their music videos and other projects. But the majority of AABW aid, abet and perpetuate this pattern by supporting these negro male entertainers. And by supporting entertainment products that erase, displace, and replace AABW.
AABW do have a choice. We can make the conscious, deliberate choice to only support the entertainment products that lift us up.
When you look at the pattern of what’s going on, it’s obvious that if Angela Bassett, Diahann Carrol and Vanessa Bell Calloway were starting their acting careers now, they would never get hired. Even though she’s dark-skinned, a young Cicely Tyson might be able to slip into today’s industry if she emphasized the fact that she’s of foreign Black (West Indian) heritage. You may be *perpetually surprised* to hear the end result described in this manner; but this is what the casting choices YOU support with your money add up to.

I accuse you of being okay with that end result because: You financially support the casting decisions that EXCLUDE today’s AABW actress equivalents of Angela Bassett, Diahann Carrol and Vanessa Bell Calloway from ever being cast to play AABW.
We’ll probably never know who all of this generation’s Angela Bassett, etc. are because today’s Angela Bassett and others can’t get work. They can't get work and they won’t "do for self" to create their own productions.

I’m sure you’ll be *perpetually surprised* when things get to the point that the only roles in which White Hollywood and negro male directors and producers are willing to cast AABW are either in porn or “reality TV.”

THIS is where all of this is headed.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

African-American Women: Here's Some Of The Fruit That You've Earned With Your Knee-Jerk, Rabid Support of “12 Years a Slave,” Part 4

I'll keep this relatively short because the point is [should be] self-evident. {smile}

A lot of y'all got mad when I originally questioned your knee-jerk, rabid, UN-reciprocated crusades in support of 12 Years a Slave.

I've been keeping track of the many bitter fruits y'all are going to reap as a result of this entrenched knee-jerk behavior pattern of constantly throwing on your Superwoman cape in support of any and all random Black-skinned faces. All without ever asking the simple questions of:

(1) What's in it for me and African-American women like me to support this?

(2) Who benefits from this [movie, TV show, record deal, etc.]?

(3) Who benefits the most from this [movie, TV show, record deal, etc.]?
Well, let's see . . .

So far, there's the Vanity Fair magazine cover I discussed HERE. There's the growing bad feeling some of y'all are belatedly experiencing that I discussed HERE. There's the casting of two foreign Black performers as Dr. King and Coretta Scott King in an upcoming biopic about Dr. King that I discussed HERE.

And now there's this: Lupita Nyong'o joins 'Star Wars' cast. Your unsolicited caping in support of 12 Years a Slave has worked out VERY well for the foreign Blacks who are reaping the lion's share of the material and career benefits from that movie. Meanwhile, you and AA actresses are still empty-handed.

Thirty-four (34) years ago, the first negro male actor was cast in the Star Wars franchise (Billy Dee Williams). The second negro male actor was cast in the Star Wars franchise in 2005 (Samuel Jackson).

And now that the first BW will appear in the American Star Wars movie franchise, your unsolicited caping for 12 Years a Slave has helped a foreign BW become that first (and most likely last) BW cast to appear in Star Wars.

Nyong'o's casting is also the first time a black woman will appear in a Star Wars movie. The first time in franchise history, spanning six movies. That's something worth celebrating. But it also makes you wonder what's been going on at one of the most lucrative franchises in movie history for the last 30 or so years. When Nyong'o and co-star John Boyega make their debuts, they will be the third and fourth black characters — Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) and Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) were the only two black characters before this upcoming movie — in Star Wars history to have speaking roles. 
Full article HERE. I agree with this observation by a commenter named Karen over at Not Your Girl Friday about this:

“Caping” has worked out well for Lupita, if reports are correct she will be in the latest Star Wars. Apparently, there were no AA BW actresses to be found and given that in all of the Star Wars movies to my knowledge no AA BW actress was ever given a visible role, it does not bode well for AA BW actresses when they are not even be selected in home grown American movies. Other “tribes”/countries will not go out of their way to cast an AA BW in their movies because they maintain their boundaries and ethnic pride for their own which is normal.
It again shows what happens when AA BW blindly “cape” for others that never asked for their support and therefore will show no reciprocity in return –> namely, AABW receive nothing in return and the reward/benefits go to “others” while we continue to be marginalized and erased. Unless we begin voting with our wallets and send a clear message, this trend will continue and accelerate.
Yep, that sums it up.