sleeveless ~

<em>Lucy</em>: Why I'm Tired of Seeing White People on the Big Screen →

scandal-whipped:

mintysmiscellany:

seveneaglestar:

I’m tired of seeing white people on the silver screen.

First, let me note that I am white. I am a white woman who goes to the theater to see probably a dozen films (if not more) in a given year, a white woman who readily consumes TV shows and series and often blogs/tweets about them. I love film. I love what Hollywood could be, but I must say that I don’t love what it is, and that is a machine generating story after story in which the audience is asked to root for a white (usually male) hero over and over and over (and over) again. I’m tired. I’m tired of directors pretending that white actors are the default and that people of color are a distraction when it comes to filmmaking. I’m tired of black women in Hollywood being relegated to roles of slaves and “the help” over and over again. I’m tired of films convincing themselves that they are taking on something fresh and new, the likes of which the world has never seen, but in actuality adhering to tired tropes and stereotypes.

One example that comes to mind is Avatar, a “groundbreaking” film about aliens and humanity, which, underneath it all, is the same old White Savior story. But more recently is Lucy, the film starring Scarlett Johansson in which a woman named Lucy evolves and is able to use 100 percent of her brain’s capacity after she unwittingly ingests a massive amount of drugs.

Lucy is about what humankind could be — it’s about possibilities. As Lucy’s brainpower grows stronger and the volume of knowledge she is able to access increases, she delivers monologues about how little humans understand about death, existence, and the universe, mediating on time and history. The film likes to think of itself as reimagining everything that we think we know about humanity, and presents to us their vision of what the most evolved woman on earth looks like:

A blonde white woman.

See, I just can’t get right with that.

You see, I was an anthropology major in high school and by the time I was 16 I’d learned all about Lucy (Australopithecus), the collection of bones found in Hadar and thought to have lived 3.2 million years ago, one of the oldest hominids we know of. Lucy the film doesn’t try to hide how cute they thought they were being by naming the supreme evolved being in their film “Lucy” — they show an ape-like creature crouched by a stream to illustrate just how far human beings have come, and say as much in the opening lines, depicting vast cities built up to show our progress. The original Lucy was not really an ape, though. She had small skull capacity like apes, but her skeleton shows she was bipedal and walked upright like humans. Hadar, by the way, is in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia.

So I guess what’s sticking in my craw is the assertion that while human life originated in Africa — a detail the film neatly skims over, placing the ape-like Lucy that Johansson sees in North America — somehow the way we imagine the most evolved human being is blonde and white. Even more, when Lucy gets surges of knowledge in the film, her eyes flash brightly blue. Because blue eyes, we all know, are the universal symbol of superiority, right?

How is it that in a film whose premise rests on the idea of reimagining the past, present and future, we still end up with a blonde white woman with flashing blue eyes as the stand-in for what personifies evolution and supremely fulfilled human potential? At one point the Ape-like Lucy and Evolved Lucy meet face-to-face as Evolved Lucy does a bit of time-traveling. Their fingers touch, and we see them deliberately posed to mimic the famous Creation of Adam painting, and in that moment I saw what I suppose we were supposed to see: humanity at its beginning, and then humanity at its end, at its most perfect. Blonde, white and blue-eyed.

I can’t accept that. I can’t accept that there was only one black woman in the entire film, who delivered one line and who we never saw again. I can’t accept that the bad guys were Asian and that although in China, Lucy’s roommate says, “I mean, who speaks Chinese? I don’t speak Chinese!” I can’t accept that in Hercules, which I also saw this weekend, there were no people of color except for Dwayne Johnson himself and his mixed-race wife, whose skin was almost alabaster. I can’t accept that she got maybe two lines and was then murdered. I can’t accept that the “primitive tribe” in Hercules consisted of dark-haired men painted heavily, blackish green, to give their skin (head-to-toe) a darker appearance, so the audience could easily differentiate between good and bad guys by the white vs. dark skin. I can’t accept that during the previews, Exodus: Gods and Kings, a story about Moses leading the Israelite slaves out of Egypt, where not a single person of color is represented, casts Sigourney Weaver and Joel Edgerton to play Egyptians. I can’t accept that in the preview for Kingsman: The Secret Service, which takes place in London, features a cast of white boys and not a single person of Indian descent, which make up the largest non-white ethnic group in London. I can’t accept that in stories about the end of the world and the apocalypse, that somehow only white people survive. I can’t accept that while my daily life is filled with black and brown women, they are completely absent, erased, when I look at a TV or movie screen.

I can’t accept that. And I can’t accept that when we think about the potential of humankind and what our brains are capable of doing and thinking and feeling, that people of color would be absent from that imagining. I can’t accept that. And I won’t. I’m tired of seeing people that look like me crowding screens both big and small: I am not what the world looks like. Hollywood, stop whitewashing characters. Give us more films like this year’s Annie. I’m no Lucy — like everyone else I’m only using a tiny amount of my brain’s capacity. But you don’t need to be a superhuman logic-machine to see that Hollywood has a major problem with depicting people of color, and it’s time to actually reimagine what the world can and should be

Gaawwwd some of the comments left under this article are depressing as fuck. BTW, the author of this article also wrote this kickass novel with a black female protagonist whose complexities are fully fleshed out and developed. She also has a love interest, but also, also, also, the three most prominent relationships in Tasha’s (our protag) story are with women of colour. Besides that, it’s just a brilliant post-apocalyptic zombie novel, the characters are truly complex, the plot is both intriguing and well-paced, and there is this one scene that is both hilariously hijinksy and thrilling…like it’d be a genius sequence to watch play out on film. If you have a Kindle, it’s only $3.06 on Amazon right now http://www.amazon.com/Panther-Hive-Olivia-Cole-ebook/dp/B00JHRYTJ0/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

I see no lies in her statement but you know the racists are probably foaming at the mouth.  Some of white America only likes diversity in food and not people.


postllimit:

why iphones gotta take two million years to turn back on after they die like you plug em in and you’re all ready to start texting again but they’re like “nope. i gotta take some time for myself. figure out who i am. you hurt me too much the last time. let me think.”

(Source: postllimit)


The 7 Layers of Division in Black America →

themillionlivesofgilgameshofuruk:

borednschooled:

There’s a great wish in the African American community for a wonderful utopia known as UNITY. The word brings about images of 70′s era movies where everyone picks their blow-out Afros, slaps high-fives and echoes “Right on!” in unison.

This reality was lived out by our parents but now the word has become pure fantasy. A fellow AA writer and myself discussed this unity thing and came up with 7 layers of division that keeps black unity a myth. This list may not be exclusive to blacks but it plagues us and keeps us separated in a major way.

The 7 Layers of Division in Black America:

Layer 1 – Bourgie vs. Ghetto
Middle/upper class vs. lower class for those confused by the derogatory terms. These two classes of people don’t necessarily hate one another but cannot coexist due to different outlooks and prejudice towards one another. So how would you go about unifying them?

Layer 2 – American vs. Immigrant
African Americans’ “us versus them” mentality, the effort to stay “the most screwed over minority” and the immigrants who segregate themselves so as not to be confused with native-born blacks is an old and hard issue that will not go away easily.

Layer 3 – Church vs. Cynics
Many of us grew up in the black church only to leave and become cynical. I won’t get into the reasoning for this (there’s a full article on it for those who need clarification). The cynics will never agree with those who quote scripture because they do not respect their stance on anything.

Layer 4 – Racially Scarred vs. Racially Ambiguous
When you grew up being called a nigger and being denied based on your color it is a different world than growing up where everyone is cordial and the “n-word” is something you hear about versus actually hearing it. One says “Don’t trust them” and the other says “Get over it!” Each thinks the other is hopeless.

Layer 5 – Light vs. Dark
Every culture of color has had this issue it seems. The light is right attitude of our ancestors has left a nasty and bitter taste in some of our mouths but sadly many black people still follow it.

Layer 6 – Huey vs. Uncle Ruckus
Uncle Ruckus hates his blackness and hates everything to do with it. Huey loves the skin he’s in and cannot fathom how a black man could hate himself. Like their namesakes from Aaron McGruder’s “Boondocks” there are many who cannot see eye to eye when it comes to blackness.

Layer 7 – Men vs. Women
Many of us are in great relationships with black men/women but sadly enough, we don’t talk about that them as much as we talk about the jerks (guilty) from our past. Men are stereotyped as uneducated jailbirds and women as bitchy co-eds, the Cosby dynamic being laughably inaccurate.

So will black people ever “unify” and appear as together as our fellow minorities? I don’t think so and after seeing the 7 layers that we would have to overcome, you can understand why.

So accurate


Black people police themselves so much in public

telvi1:

rococobutter:

And they don’t even think about it. Don’t talk too loud, don’t make too many requests, don’t complain too forcefully about shitty service, put up with weird ass slightly racial compliments. And sometimes we joke about it like “lol! Better not do (normal human thing) cuz then people might think we’re uncivilized niggers” but it’s a painful constricting way to live. And not a type of way of living that non-Black people will understand

Truth