Sunday, February 12, 2012

"The mind-set you have is destroying black artists."

Viola Davis has spoken.

...and I'm sure she's not done. I look forward to what she may say should she accept an Academy Award this year. Especially after the endless criticism from the black community regarding her choice to take on the role as Aibileen in what I thought was a wonderful novel-turned-movie, The Help.

Tavis Smiley recently interviewed her and Octavia Spencer, starting a debate about their choice to play domestics in the American South of the 1960s. Honestly, I'm sick of the debate. She says plainly, "The mind-set you have is destroying black artists." I couldn't agree more. These actresses - craftswomen - artists took on the role of multi-dimensional, honorable characters, but were immediately held in contempt in the court of many Black Americans because those characters were maids. They saw an image of a domestic, and without taking the time to investigate what the story was about just turned off. Last time I checked, wasn't prejudice against people about making snap judgements without taking the time to understand them?

I'm not going to continue on my soap box because I'm always considering the ramifications of my identity within the context of my craft. I just hope the critics of black artists will start to give us a little more credit and understand that we are more than likely extremely conscientious of what we choose to make, ultimately making the best choices for ourselves individually.

Here's what Viola Davis has to say:


And here's what I've been thinking about in my own life-long artistic journey as a black woman:

2 comments:

skinsoffa said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gary said...

I had no idea the black community was making those comments about the actresses in "The Help", but it doesn't surprise me. MLK is probably turning over in his grave from these negative comments made by people before they even gave these actresses a chance! "The Help" was such a GREAT movie!

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