It's A Black Thing, Oh No Wait, It's a White Thing!
First there was Bo Derek rocking cornrows in "10" and suddenly braids were the ish and everyone just had to cop that style. Never mind that Cicely Tyson, Patrice Rushen, Peaches (of Peaches & Herb), and scores of other Black women from New York City to Nigeria rocked this style long before Bo ever got Dudley Moore open. Then there was Carrie Bradshaw and her ghetto gold. This chick, and the series that made hers a household name, Sex & The City, actually gets credit for name chains and their ensuing popularity! Do you know how absolutely ill this ignorance makes me? Every time I wear my name chain and some spritely young girl says, "ooh I love your chain-- so SJP," I really feel like karate kicking her right smack dab in the back of her True Religions, but usually I'll just share how my daddy got it for me on my 16th birthday from Corners on White Plains Road in the BX in the 80's when SJP was still a square peg. Salt-N-Pepa, MC Lyte, Roxanne Shante, Tammi Billinghurst, Lisa Parran-- we all had name plates back in the day. And some, like my sister, even had name earrings and rings. Whut!!?
But life sometimes bees like that, especially in Hollywood where White folks are repositioning much of urban culture for their own big box office payouts. And it's not just our hairstyles and jewelry, they are reappropriating entire cultural idioms as in "Baby Mama" and "Knocked Up" into feel good success stories. In fact, as of late, Hollywood is just giving Black actresses the finger by casting white girls in the lead of Black biopics. They did it with Angelina Jolie when she played Mariane in "A Mighty Heart" and we kinda let it slide because, well, it was Angie.
But now, and this is a real kicker (no doubt right back in our bootylicious booties), they have cast Mena Suvari in the true life story based on African-American Chante Mallard and get this, she's even wearing cornrows for the part. And this, my friends, is why talented Black actresses can't get a decent movie role unless it's a Tyler Perry flick and why Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg is hosting The View. When it only requires one to be cornrowed, ebonicfied and blinged-out then any blond, brunette, doed eyed chick can be Black and therefore employed. Jeesh, am I the only one getting nauseous?