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Sylvia Jones
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Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 08:32 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi, yall, I'm Sylvia. I new here. I just what to know what y'all think about this artical I got from the "Chicago Defender" a black newspaper.

Are you black women tired of no black love on the screen. Let's discuss!

SHELETTA SMITH: Hollywood ignoring Black-on-Black love
by Sheletta Smith
March 10, 2006

After cheering Jamie Foxx on to victory last year, it pained me to skip the Oscar festivities Sunday night. As a person of color, I wanted to see whether or not Crash would take home the trophy for best movie. I said a prayer for Terrance Howard who was nominated for his outstanding portrayal of a pimp in Hustle and Flow. And I grew up on Hip Hop Music, so I was rootiní for Three 6 Mafia to win for best original score.
But, I couldn't in good conscious watch this year's Academy Awards ceremony. I decided instead ot paint my toe nails and curl up with a good book.
Wanna know why? Hollywood didn't bother to write black women into any of their scripts for 2005. Think about all the movies nominated this last year Ė not one had a woman of African descent in the starring or co-starring role.
When was the last time you saw Angela Basset on the big screen? Hattie McDaniels and Dorothy Dandridge must be rolling over in their graves.

Black women aren't even being given the role of maids or nannies anymore. In Maid in Manhattan, the hotel housekeeper is being portrayed by Jennifer Lopez.

Can't depend on love stories either. The love interests of our Black actors are being handed over to beautiful, brown-skinned Latina women like Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayak.

When Hitch came out starring Will Smith, his leading lady was the very talented Eva Mendez, who is of Hispanic descent. Was Vivica Fox too busy to put a call in? How about Nia Long?
What happened to the Black love stories of the past? Dianna Ross and Billy Dee Williams, Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Bellafonte, Irene Cara and Phillip Michael Thomas all showed us portraits of Black beauty we could see nowhere else except on the big screen. These roles validated black women, gave us a sense of pride, and made us believe we were wonderfully and beautifully made. Now these images are gone, erased and replaced by the motion picture industry.

Last year was the year of the disappearing act for Black women in Hollywood. They put all our beautiful Black actresses in a box like David Blaine and made them vanish. We have been strategically erased on the big screen.
I refuse to pay money to see a movie unless a sister is either in a starring or co-starring role. If the movie producers, writers and directors don't value me enough as a Black woman to show me positive images of myself, then I can't validate them with my dollars.
Must we wait for the next Tyler Perry flick before we can see ourselves on the big screen again? Is Queen Latifah going to have to produce all her own movies in order to get starring roles? Will Angela Bassett have to travel the country doing stage plays to get work? Or will Hollywood see the beauty talent and intelligence in these women and begin including us in their films again?

Hollywood is erasing Black women, and we have been excluded from their party! We can sing at the Grammy's, we can dance in the videos and sell all the books we want, just don't show us in prominent positions of power on the big screen. That would give us too much self esteem and let the world know that we have a place in it.

Black women have wonderful stories to tell and experiences to share that are unique to us, stories of triumph over tragedy like The Color Purple and What's Love Got to Do With It. I don't want to see any more of those When Harry Met Sally movies Ė it's time to see what happens when Antoine meets Shamika.
Believe it or not, Vivica Fox, Angela Bassett and Vanessa Bell Calloway are at home rolling nickels right now trying to get their laundry done. Either that, or they can take their dirty clothes over Jada Pinkett Smith's house! 'Cause when Hollywood writes the Rosa Parks autobiography, I'm sure Jennifer Lopez or perhaps even Reese Witherspoon will do a fantastic job portraying the late civil rights leader.

Sheletta Smith, nicknamed the ďFunniest Woman in the Twin Cities,Ē is based in St. Paul, Minn.

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Gomer
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Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 08:44 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Very poorly written article.

Rosa Parks was already filmed with Angela Bassett a few years ago.


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Mzuri
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Post Number: 236
Registered: 01-2006

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Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 09:08 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think our lives revolve around TV and movies much too much. We shouldn't look for images of ourselves on film in order to be validated. We must validate ourselves - everyday - with positive affirmations, Bible verses or whatever it takes. And if we really want more movies featuring us, then we must empower ourselves. We must begin writing, producing, financing, directing and distributing our own films. And stop waiting on white ppl.
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Sylvia
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Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 09:29 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"We must begin writing, producing, financing, directing and distributing our own films. And stop waiting on white ppl."

That's what I'm talking about,Mzuri, you took the words right out of my mind and mouth! I have been saying that for the longest.
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sylvia
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Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 09:31 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just post this artical just to get an ideal what other are thinking.
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Nubian
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Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 - 10:21 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mziri says:

I think our lives revolve around TV and movies much too much. We shouldn't look for images of ourselves on film in order to be validated. We must validate ourselves




You can say this to adults, but children are like clay puddy.

They look to their atmosphere to inform them what to believe. It doesn't matter what the parents say if the peers and society are sending a different message. African American children watch more t.v. than any other children. They grow up on BET and have the lowest self-image of all American children. Most black parents don't even know what self-image means. If they do, theyre ashamed to be black as well.




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Anunaki3600
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Username: Anunaki3600

Post Number: 149
Registered: 04-2005

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Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 03:19 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thank you Mzuri (sana). The attitude of "bring for me", "give me", "help me", "make for me" etc will take us no where in this world. Why should other grouping of people make movies to validate your sorry A$$??? wake up, stop spending too much time painting you toe nails and make your own movies instead of worshiping at the alter of Holywood.
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Sylvia
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Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 10:29 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I totally agree with you all that is why I sit here in my lonely basemen writing screenplay positive imagine and love stories for African American. Because we act like we donít even have a self-esteem not alone a low one. In the next poet I am going to give yíall a synopsis of one of my screenplay.
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Yvettep
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Post Number: 964
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Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 10:45 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for posting this, Sylvia! Hey, I've listened to this Sheletta Smith here on the radio!

I, too, am all for Black people making our own way in the production of popular images--especially images intended for children.

Sylvia, I think you will find this a good forum to showcase your work. However--and please know I intend no disrespect--as a writer posting in a forum of other writers and lovers of books you should make sure that when you do post your work, it is free of typos, spelling errors, etc.
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Jackie
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Username: Jackie

Post Number: 139
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Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 10:58 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sylvia, I would advise against posting your synopsis.
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Yvettep
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Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 11:00 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jackie, are you saying this because of copyright protection issues? If so, you're right--I hadn't thought of that. I guess most people who post works in progress here are pretty far along in their writing so maybe this is not as much of an issue.
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Sylvia
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Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 11:21 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thank ,Yvette, for the advice

I get that a lot about my typo especially my grammar. I know grammar is quintessential to writing. But Iím not very good with my English. I really do try very hard but Iím just weak in that area. Iím very creative when it come to story. This is the reason I need to have a script consultant or someone who is very strong in English. I know the typo is no excuse but that just from typing fast and not reading over what you have written.

I am going to poet my synopsis to one of my script. But Please do not be hard on me. Help me! I am a loner not by choice but by circumstance. I mean Iím really a loner. I live like a hermit and Iím about to go crazy!!! I donít have anyone to talk to. I have a boyfriend but he doesnít talk. He stay on the road (truck driver). So I spend my time day-in and day-out writing stories. Hoping and praying to God!!! That one of those old day I get my break!!

But for now we are going to have fun. I tired of drowning in my misery. I have a lots of stories to tell you guys.

The sad thing about being a writer is it can really be very, very, very, lonely. The worst thing for a screenwriter is not seeing your work on the silver screen.


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Jackie
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Username: Jackie

Post Number: 140
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Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 11:21 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yvettep, yes for the most part, but it's also a opportune way to steal an idea. You'll never know who's reading these threads. Posting a scene and posting the synopsis are quite different.
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Sylvia
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Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 12:22 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Okay, Jackie, now youíre scaring me. I am a bit desperate for someone to critique my work but Iím not that desperate if it going to be too risky. I am aware that Hollywood and people can be notorious for stealing ideas.

Iíve talk with a receptionist at Columbia College in Chicago once. Colombia College is one of the best college for art and entertainment. But, anyway, she subjected that I put my script on the internet. In my mind I was like "are you crazy". Then I talk to one of the teacher who is a director at the college he told me that posting my script on the internet is definitely not a good idea you run the risk in getting your story stolen. Which I already knew.

So, are you saying for me not to post not even a synopsis to my script?
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Mzuri
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Username: Mzuri

Post Number: 240
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Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 01:19 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, Ms. Hermit. Hopefully you get out of your lonely basement to go shopping every once in a while. LOL!

As far as posting your story lines - This is a public forum. Maybe you should consider finding a forum that's a little more isolated. Perhaps somewhere over at IMDB which requires a paid membership. Or find someone knowledgeable to critique your work. Or wait until you have your works officially copyrighted.

Anyway, I too am an aspiring screenwriter. I have several original film ideas, but I'm still at the spiral notebook stage. I'm contemplating which screenwriting software program to buy and researching how to submit the screenplays and to whom. So any guidance would be appreciated. I prefer to deal with Blacks only. Maybe I'm limiting myself but that's the way I feel about it.

As far as typos, I think most of us overlook those. There's a major difference between an intelligent person's minor mistake and a post which contains spelling errors, bad grammar, typos and nonsense!
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Sylvia
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Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 04:40 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mzuri, my work is copyrighted.

Here is a good book to teach you how to format your script: ďScreenwriter's Bible" By David Trottier. I have the 3rd edition and just recently purchase the 4th edition. This book is the bomb! It is five books in one:

Book I: How to Write A screenplay
Book II : 7 Steps to a Stunning Script
Book III: Correct Format For Screenplays & TV Script
Book IV: Writing you Breakthrough Spec Script
Book V: How to Sell your Script
And a book VI: Resource and index

This book is well worth your money. Trust me I advise you strongly to get it!

Jackie, I already poet a little bit of my story but I donít think it enough for some one to steal the idea and then again maybe it is. But Iím going to take your advise.

ďI prefer to deal with Blacks only. Maybe I'm limiting myself but that's the way I feel about it.Ē

Mzuri, I feel you. Although some people might think our feeling is wrong but thatís because they donít understand.

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Mzuri
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Post Number: 253
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Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 04:48 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cool Sylvia. I'll get it from Amazon next time I order books - which is typically about once a month. Maybe now I can get busy and stop procrastinating about working on my screenplays. Thank You!!! :-)
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Tonya
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Username: Tonya

Post Number: 2105
Registered: 07-2005

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Posted on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 11:05 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You all made some really good points about this article.

Sylvia, thanks for the article, it's wonderful.

I'm praying right along with you for your big break--lord knows we are due for a movie about colorism so I support your efforts--stay strong--and do make yourself comfortable. Your presence here is completely welcomed--and, believe me, you'll have someone to talk to on this forum 24 hours a day, lol. :-)

As for the article, though I don't consider myself "a woman of color," I completely agree with Sheletta's position:

I refuse to pay money to see a movie unless a sister is either in a starring or co-starring role. If the movie producers, writers and directors don't value me enough as a Black woman to show me positive images of myself, then I can't validate them with my dollars.

I'VE SAID THIS MYSELF ON THIS BOARD NOT LONG AGO. I ALSO DIDN'T WATCH THE OSCARS (NOR DID I SEE THE MOVIES "CRASH," Hustle and Flow, OR HEARD THE POPULAR SONG Three 6 Mafia) FOR SAID REASONS. GLAD TO KNOW SOMEONE SHARES MY VIEW AND PRACTICES MY ROUTINE TO THE LETTER. UNTIL WE ESTABLISH THE MEANS TO MAKE OUR OWN MOVIES, I THINK BLACK WOMEN EVERYWHERE SHOULD SUPPORT THIS POSITION.


We have been strategically erased on the big screen. . . Hollywood is erasing Black women, and we have been excluded from their party!

NOT ONLY THAT, WE'RE BEING ERASED IN REAL LIFE, WITHIN OUR OWN CULTURE, AS WELL. IS IT LIFE IMMITATING ART OR VICE VERSA? ..A QUESTION I OFTEN PONDER.

...when Hollywood writes the Rosa Parks autobiography, I'm sure Jennifer Lopez or perhaps even Reese Witherspoon will do a fantastic job portraying the late civil rights leader.

LOL, IRONIC AND EERILY TRUE.




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