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Are Biracial Women Erasing Black Women On Screen?

 
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CherryBlossom View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jun 24 2014 at 2:48am

http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2014/06/biracial-women-erasing-black-women-hollywood/

Are Biracial Women Erasing Black Women On Screen?

by Clutch — Jun 23, 2014

When it was announced that Disney Channel star Zendaya Coleman would take on the role of Aaliyah in an upcoming Lifetime biopic the reaction was mixed. Some praised the choice given Coleman’s ability to sing, dance, and act, while others thought casting a racially ambiguous-looking biracial woman to play a Black woman crossed the line.

Recently Zendayaweighed in on the controversy, telling a reporter that being biracial meant that “half black was just enough” to assume the role of the beloved R&B star. Though Zendaya’s comments did nothing sway those who felt her choice was a slap in the face to African American women, others felt the Disney star should be given a break considering she and Aaliyah have light skin.

Recently the culture blog Muslim Bushido took things a step further when it argued that many prominent brown-skinned Black American actresses wouldn’t be able to get roles if they began their careers today because Black women’s roles are being outsourced to biracial women.

Muslim Bushido writes:

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:

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.

…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.

The writer blames the exaltation of biracial women largely on Black men who, through marriages and/or rap music, have “glorifed” lighter hued women “for decades,” and s/he goes on to conclude brown-skinned Black women like Angela Bassett would never be able to achieve the same level of success if they began their careers today.

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.

… 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.

While I understand the writer’s concerns for Black women actors, it’s not particularly fair to assign blame to just Black men without discussing how White supremacy and racism by those in power in Hollywood (and beyond) have perpetuated discrimination of Black actors and actresses. Lamp<-- this is really important imo...s/he just went straight to blaming black men without understanding how the powers that be in hollywood operate

But what do you think? If Angela Bassett or Cicely Tyson began their careers today would they still be successful or would they be marginalized in favor of biracial women?

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newdiva1 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote newdiva1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 24 2014 at 3:04am
Diahann Carol would get a job tho.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote newdiva1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 24 2014 at 3:08am
as far as the rest of it...the times now remind me of when Lena Horne was in the game.  The actresses back then had to be light and/or mixed.    Same thing is going on now.  However now along with the haole power structure situation we got that whole rap denigration etc on top of it.


IMO.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (9) Thanks(9)   Quote Alias_Avi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 24 2014 at 3:14am
Biracial women are not erasing Black women from something we've never really been in


They don't have the power to do that. White people, however, have always preferred mixed looking Black women whether they were biracial or not. Most of them in early Hollywood were of two Black parents but look like they could be of one












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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (9) Thanks(9)   Quote Midna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 24 2014 at 4:18am
YES.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Blac1Chyna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 24 2014 at 5:18am
well for the longest black ppl ate up the "fact"that halle berrys mixed self was the most beautiful black woman in hollywood...

we could make our own forms of media...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (7) Thanks(7)   Quote Sang Froid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 24 2014 at 5:22am
Josephine Baker was childish for them eyebrows. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (12) Thanks(12)   Quote ppp38 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 24 2014 at 6:17am
Kerry Washington is probably the most popular black woman on television right now and was  the only black woman who was the lead of her own show for years.  Because Scandal has been so successful now, Viola Davis is getting her own TV show. Lupita nyong'o just one an Oscar, was named the most beautiful woman,is landing Vogue covers and was just cast in Star Wars. Neither of these women are biracial or light skin. 

Who cares about some biracial girl playing Aaliyah in a tv movie that most people will not watch. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote juicifruit89 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 24 2014 at 7:20am
Originally posted by ppp38 ppp38 wrote:

Kerry Washington is probably the most popular black woman on television right now and was  the only black woman who was the lead of her own show for years.  Because Scandal has been so successful now, Viola Davis is getting her own TV show. Lupita nyong'o just one an Oscar, was named the most beautiful woman,is landing Vogue covers and was just cast in Star Wars. Neither of these women are biracial or light skin. 

Who cares about some biracial girl playing Aaliyah in a tv movie that most people will not watch. 

Plus the #1 movie in this week's box office features at least 4-5 identifiable black women,  and the newest Black cast member on SNL is a darker toned black woman. We need to continue gaining non - stereotypical roles for Black women in Hollywood, but we've achieved a lot on the representation front in a relatively short amount of time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bribby Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 24 2014 at 7:39am
Seems like it... I just know there are know true brown/ dark girls. They may start off dark but eventually all black people look the same skin tone on TV which is so weird to me.
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