Sunday, January 26, 2014

Make It Work

Being that several of the people nominated for Oscars this year are blacks acting in black oriented films. It's to be expected that people would want to know how those who have benefited from roles and films like this in the past feel about this years nominations. Djimon Hounsou was offended when asked how he felt. He didn't like the fact that blacks were being singled out on the list. I say "get over yourself.". He should know from personal experience. It's not like chocolate and vanilla. This is just the flavor of the month.  Let's keep it real. This doesn't happen every year.There hasn't been a year like this since "Roots."

Cicely Tyson was the first dark skinned woman I ever saw on the big screen. She was the first of her kind. Before her we only saw black women like Dorothy Dandridge and Lena Horne. But she will always be the mother  from "Sounder" or " Miss Jane Pittman " to the younger set. But just last year she still played a maid role in "The Help." She isn't sitting around wating for another "Women of Brewster's Place."  She stays with the original game plan  Now there's Alfre Woodard and Kimberly Elise. That's two people in almost forty years. As much as blacks talk about slavery and it's effects. Lupita should have a full dance card.       

Dark skinned men weren't in demand either until Sidney Potier went to dinner. Harry Belafonte had the look the studios were after back in those days. Unless your aim was to make the audience laugh. It didn't matter whether they looked like Ethel Waters or Mantan Moreland. Lincoln Perry and Hattie McDaniel were working and making big money. But their genre was comedy not drama. Much like the majority of most black thespians today.  The most popular black actor/actress is Tyler Perry in his role as Madea.  He makes the most money. His "Madea's Christmas" blew "Black Nativity" away at the box office with it's star studded cast. The people would rather see a man in a dress.

New players Barkhad Abdi and Lupita Nyong'o have both landed once in a lifetime roles. We might never see them again, but then we might.  Some images are etched in our memories. LeVar Burton will always be Kunta Kinte and Gabourey Sidibe will be remembered as Precious.  Whoppi Goldberg's biggest role to date is still Celie. But all these people are household names to this day . The women seem to handle typecasting better than men. Instead of complaining about thee business and turning down jobs  . They make it work.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seriously, has Lupita Nyong’o made a single bad wardrobe choice this awards season? Because it seems like every time she steps on the red carpet she lands a spot on the best-dressed list, and this week was no exception. The 12 Years a Slave actress came out on top in our Most Loved Looks competition, earning an 88% approval rating for her ensemble at the Producers Guild of America Awards in Beverly Hills.

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