A Simple Take on a Complex Topic

A friend asked for my take on the Academy Awards.  Upon providing said opinion, he said that it should be a blog post, so:

I will first TOTALLY ignore the elephant in the room that is “Precious,” and say that James Cameron proved that a heterosexual white male can effectively make the “Oh No This Heffa Didn’t” face on national television.  The school word for this face is “incredulous.”  I don’t know the politics behind this.  I don’t know if while they were married, Bigelow worked the stroll.  I do know that watching your ex-wife clean your clock, when folks acted as though your movie cured cancer is pretty hilarious.

Now, I didn’t hear Mo’Nique’s acceptance speech, but she looked like she was reading from the sick and shut in list.  Giving Honor to God and asking that we pray for Sister But-Er-Um.  That being said, I (surprisingly?) have no opinion about her winning an Oscar.  Lots of Oscar winners have tragic stories (This is touched on at Cliff’s Crib).  We love a great tragedy.  I have mixed feelings about holding African Americans to a standard we don’t hold Caucasians to.  I also have mixed feelings about ALL of our stories being tragic.  And can we talk about how the Caucasian mama Oscar winner (Bullock) was the paragon of what motherhood should be, and Mo’Nique, the African American mother was the pariah?  This troubles me in a way I’m not sure how to fix.

It also annoyed me that on the news, when they did show a sound byte of Mo’Nique thanking the academy for looking at her performance, and not the politics behind it, the two African Americans on Fox 5 acted like they didn’t know what she was talking about.  Tony Perkins, you’re tight with Donnie Simpson.  Allison Seymour, your husband is Mark Clark. You know GOOD AND WELL what she was talking about.

There is so much more than can be said about this, but lets talk about how shocking it is that in the year 2010, blacks and women are still experiencing “firsts.”  Let’s talk about how we, as African American women must STILL combat these negative images that are all too prevalent in the media.  Let’s talk about how, in 2010, in a recent Vanity Fair article showcasing up and coming actresses to watch, NOT ONE was a woman of color, and it was done without them batting an eyelash.  This needs to be brought to the mat as often as possible until there is some form of balance achieved.

Which is why your girl is returning to school and majoring in journalism.  It is for us to redefine success, and hold ourselves, not as “exceptions,” to black womanhood.  It is for us to show that we are the rule.

Sorry that I’ve missed out on you guys for the last few days.  I came down with a jacked up cold that slowed me down last week, and kept me incapacitated for the entire weekend; until around 6:30 Sunday night, just in time to get ready to go back to work.  Boo.

This week has been somewhat eventful (already), so I plan on having some juicy topics this week.  Feel free, also, to drop suggestion topics in the comments box, or email them to wrecklessendangerment@gmail.com.  Of course, being a woman on the go, it’s sometimes hard to be as faithful to my blog as I would like, so if you want 140 characters of instant gratification, follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/afrodyte.

Love you.


3 responses to “A Simple Take on a Complex Topic

  1. YAY at you going back to school in journalism! You don’t know how happy this makes ya boy! And yeah…I peeped James Cameron’s chagrin to getting mollywopped by his ex. That dude had to be thinking, “I spent $500 million making that muhfuggin movie, and they give the award to THAT bish? GTFOH!”! LOL!

  2. Is is just me or is anyone noticing that we are winning awards for “coonery.” With all of the beautiful work Denzel has done, he won for Training Day…a hood cop….the thuggish black man.
    Halle Berry won for getting busy with Billy Bob…the over-sexed black woman.
    And now Monique has won for being an abusive mother…the black woman with the horrible, dysfunctional attitude who hates her own child.

    I am so glad you are going back to school for journalism. We need some great black journalists out here!

    • I’m SO mixed on this. There are people with stories like these. I don’t feel that those stories should be ignored. I don’t feel these stories should be portrayed with any less verve. I don’t believe that these stories should not be acknowledged by the Academy. Ingrained media stereotypes exist everywhere, and when we combat them, we are portrayed as trouble makers, extremists, wack-jobs. It’s frustrating.

      It starts with US telling better stories. We have to take it upon ourselves to control how we present ourselves, until there is balance. Or, we control what stories we pay to see. We didn’t get here overnight, so we won’t get “there” overnight, but we have to start somewhere.

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