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|Posted on Monday, April 28, 2003 - 11:23 am: |
**I've been so sad every since you wrote that you're not going to try to write the novel you've been working on all your life. I wish you could elaborate on that. Maybe you should let me look at it.
Also...Regarding Bayou's great topic and how that resonates even in AA works--I was so sad when Godfrey Cambridge wrote about the racism that Cicely Tyson and other darker YOUNG actresses encountered with BLACK filmmakers. He said that White filmmakers were the ones who thought Cicely was "beautiful" and began pushing her into the limelight--they cast her "The V.I.P.'s", "Sounder", "Miss Jane Pittman", "A Woman Called Moses"....she got to be attractive (of childbearing age) with a love interest in those roles. IT WAS..as he said...revolutionary.
Actress Angela Bassett expressed similar complaints fighting for leading lady roles with "AA directors" on The Charlie Rose SHow. But our community has such a "Shame" and "Embarrassment", more often "DENIAL" regarding this issue...that nobody dare speak of it or bring up the fact that it's still going on. Both Spike Lee and John Singleton have publicly admitted that when casting the attractive, female lead--they almost always expect her to be "lightskinned" and pay far less attention to the darker girls auditioning (no matter how beautiful they are)--I thought they were quite brave to admitt that--and both try to consciously include the "Africoid".
For those of us who are darker women, we experience EXACTLY what BAYOU LIGHTS was speaking of. We sit in the theature (or read the book) waiting for someone who looks like us to be included--very often, the book or film come to an end and we leave INVISIBLE. "Lightskinned black MEN" have also told me about going through this when viewing AA art. They are often ommitted from black life--but not as frequently. And making it more shocking is the statistical fact that the darkskinned females are the largest part of the black population--outnumbering everybody. But mysteriously ommitted in films, music videos etc.--except, as Godfrey Cambridge said, "To play the grandmother..the evil witch or prostitute...or the little girl role."
In other words, they are not PROMOTED to the general population as being VIABLE....during "childbearing age". Do you see what I'm getting at? Like Bayou's first post--this is yet another way to someday make ALL OF US invisible. Josephine Baker's children have written a book where-in they said she left America specifically because the Black man casting a broadway play felt she was "too dark" for the leading lady role. She was too slim and sexy to play the Mammy parts. She left for Paris righ after being told she was too dark--and for many years, she wouldn't even date a black man. This is not the story that WE African Americans have traditionally told about Baker's departure.
This is not natural for black people to think this way...if it were natural, then the continent of Africa would be a great deal "lighter/brighter" than it is. BAYOU touched on a larger subject...that this comes from being exposed for hundred of years to the type of books and images BAYOU LIGHTS was talking about. It passes into us ourselves after so long.
In fact, these images are now pervading Africa itself.
So this was a very important topic BAYOU raised regarding the arts and how they dictate who is included...and who is "disenfranchised".
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