Caution, Brief rant by an angry black man.

Not to knock Octavia Spencer for her efforts and all. I know being a black actor in Hollywood is like being Black in any other industry in America, you take the jobs you can get. But for real? According to the Academy of Arts and Sciences, the best supporting actress of all the films that were released in 2011 is a sassy black maid. Again?

Hattie McDaniel did that 72 years ago  in her role as Mammy in Gone With The Wind.

I thought we were passed that as a people. On one hand I want to complain, on the other the Academy Awards has been at least recognizing that black actors are delivering outstanding performances. In the last ten years I think a black woman won the best actress  in a supporting role three times. Hell, one even won the best actress. But look at the roles they played.

Best Actress 2001: Halle Berry for her role as Leticia Musgrove in the film Monster’s Ball, where she plays a negligent mother and wife of a convict. She’s also naked getting the Sh!t F**ked out of her by Billy Bob Thornton,the corrections officer that executed her convicted husband.

Best Supporting Actress 2006: Jennifer Hudson for her role as Effi White in the film Dreamgirls, where she plays a sassy back up singer who was dumped for the fairer skinned lead singer played by Beyonce. She damn near hits rock bottom and is struggling to survive although she was the superior talent in the singing group. Just constantly shat upon in the film.

Best Supporting Actress 2010: Mo’Nique  for her role as Mary Lee Johnston, in the film Precious, where she plays a negligent mother that allows her husband to rape her underage daughter, multiple times and grows jealous of that relationship to the point the she throws a TV down the stairs at her pregnant daughter who is HIV positive.

And this years “honor” goes to Octavia Spencer for her role as Minnie Jackson in the film The Help, where she plays  a sassy black maid that takes a dump in her bosses bathroom and gets fired for doing so.

I don’t know if Hollywood and the powers that be are trying to send a message, that dark skinned black women have to be overweight and miserable in order to be recognized. That black women have to be either demonized or over sexualized to be recognized, or in the case of Halle in Monster’s Ball, both. I just don’t know if I’m over thinking this or if most people are just under thinking it. I do know it disturbs me. It disturbs me that Angela Bassett was only ever nominated for being an abused woman  as Tina Turner in the film What’s Love Got To Do With It? in 1993. I mean it was a great role and performance, but we always seem to have to go through hell to be seen as worthy. I guess what I’m really saying is…

We’re Still Maids in America, oh, sweet Baby Jesus…ooh, ooh,ooh, hoooo, Oh, sweet Baby Jesus.We’re Still Slaves in America.

  1. sirdiggy says:

    Why would you consider yourself crazy for making a rather lucid and pertinent point? Sure, Blacks have come a long way in the variety of roles we play on the big screen, but your point is still legit: why is it the Academy only recognizes us for a “great performance” when we’re playing characters whom are downtrodden, low-class, disadvantaged, unempowered and/or nuts-in-a-vice. Like Jadakiss said in “Why” back in 2004:
    “Why Halle have to let a white man pop her to get an Oscar?
    Why Denzel have to be crooked before he took it…”

    P.S: That graphic is SPOT ON… to the point Octavia actually looks like Hattie did.

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