Hollywood has a long history of shaping the culture. From its early days, they have painted a picture of everyday life in America, as well as a futuristic view of society. People look upon the Silver screen to get their worldview of how things really are in the world. The problem with Hollywood isn’t so much their taking poetic license with reality. The issue is that people actually begin to believe the stuff coming out of Hollywood as FACT.
In this article we’ll briefly discuss how the folks in Hollywood can help to shape the view of black people in the culture. The platform of television and film is powerful. It can be used to buildup or teardown or confirm in the minds of the viewer their preconceived notions of people all around them.
Our friends in Hollywood have spent generations painting a picture of the “Typical” black person as generally be relegated to the following positions:
- Divorced Moms
- Violent Domineering Dad’s
Don’t forget Pimps, Drug dealers, prostitutes and money grubbing pastors. Of course in all groups and classes of people you will find these people. Hollywood, unfortunately spends an inordinate amount of time painting blacks, and especially dark colored blacks as evil or the villains. Light-skinned blacks by and large are given better parts or are not cast at all because they don’t fit into the “Typical” black part.
Let’s Change the Narrative
In 2018, actors now have a chance in flipping the script. Like brotha Sydney Pointier said. “I refuse to play a part that demeans or portrays blacks in a negative light”. This should be the mantra that today’s black actors should stand their ground on.
No more should black actors stand for being type-cast in “Black exploitation” roles. No more should we be pimps, prostitutes and comedians. We are more than that. No more should we stand for being the maid. We should be the doctors, lawyers and Silicon Valley tech guru. Our children need to see portrayals of black Americans as inspirational and aspirational.
So this is my challenge to all of those actors, writers, producers and directors out there contemplating the characters in their next movie. If you want to help the next generation of black people, cast us in roles that are positive and negative.