There are times when it seems no matter how far we have come, it is never far enough. Exactly what are the parameters for achieving an Academy Award nomination?
Since I have asked myself this question for decades, and come up lacking a coherent answer, I stopped watching the Oscars at least 20 years ago.
Here is why I am not upset about no blacks being nominated. The first reason is who the fuck are the people who choose the nominees? It is obvious from the overly boring list of whiteness that has been forced down our throats year after year after year that these members feel that culture can only be defined as they choose to define it.
Meaning, bland, boring and white toast perfection. Are you surprised that there have been no black nominated for the past two years? You should be more surprised that any blacks have ever been nominated.
For the world in which Hollywood movies are made do not acknowledge the rich culture, lives of meaning of being black in America and around the world. How could they when they ignore talent from the likes of Fruitvale Station to Selma. From Belle to The Butler.
Sure, they throw out tokens now and then. But who cares? Tokens are just to appease the masses. As a voracious reader and sometime writer, I demand more. I want movies that entertain, enlighten, inspire and educate me. I want to be seen in a world that even today, begrudgingly acknowledges my presence, as if I am some leper to be kept by the side of the road. I want movies that show my life, as it often is, funny, heartbreaking and real. If Hollywood feels that is too much for white folks to deal with in America so be it. We have ways to acknowledge our own.
We can start by supporting worthy (and unworthy) movies, featuring black actors, but more importantly directed and produced by black people. Why? Because in a movie, the actor is the vehicle, but the director and the producer offer the vision. The VISION of being black in America must change in order for white folk to understand the complexities and realities of our world. Belle was one of the movies I received a last minute email about a screening that was in Bmore, but not publicized in any way. When I say last minute, I mean that day.
Of course, I was unable to attend. However, I loved the movie Belle the historical significance cannot be overstated. While this was being Black in England (and in full disclosure, my mom is English), it offers historical references that many people are unaware of. Fruitvale Station was a heartbreaking look at how often our young, black men are treated as throwaways. More of the cop killing unarmed black men has come to light only because of technology but how many more have to die? Likewise, black on black crime, which is not tackled as often offers a way to see past the bull and allow that we are all human. Some of us just have been a bit luckier than others.
Be aware, that President Obama has set us back in ways we have yet to discover. I apologize if this sounds ridiculous, but think about the rampant hatred that has been directed at him. Then see that being played out in cities and towns across America. I call it the Blacklash. It is permanent, deadly and now it seems to have extended all the way to the make believe world of Hollywood.
Forget the damn Oscars. Since when does make believe matter? I love my movies, but I choose what movies are important to ME. I will not be dictated to by a bunch of folks who dont know their ass from a hole in the ground. Year after year, they prove their taste is white bread bland, and just as appealing. I have other things to do. I am sure you do as well.
Michelle D. Smith
Michelle D. Smith is a visionary and spiritual warrior seeking to share awareness with many. She uses words as her sword and the love and grace of God as her shield. She has a spiritual blog in which to enlighten and uplift. She is a soon to be published author and a monthly relationship column on Black Refer.com. The different niches for each allow her to reach a variety of people to amuse, entertain and inspire.
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