Urban haps of a grrrl on a mission to be a better writer, a new music master-blaster and a wonderfully brilliant razor-packing, MAC LipGlass wearing feminista...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

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?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

But should we be surprised? From a fake memoir that uses other people's real-life stories in the 'hood along with a good amount of class and racial stereotypes to ensure publication; to wailing like an old soul singer, selling millions of records, and then being taped singing a song filled with racial slurs; to throwing pimps and 'ho's parties on white-majority campuses; to "bringing back breakdancing"; to the now infamous fist pound. It happens every day in every medium in every realm of life and has been happening since well before Elvis starting co-opting our stuff. Just take a breath, relax, and realize that nobody rocks it like we do.

6/12/2008 5:21 PM

Blogger Hot Grrrl said...

True. Well said.

6/12/2008 10:41 PM

Blogger sharon said...

That is very well put, but damn, let us rock it like only we can in roles that are supposed to be us.

6/13/2008 11:16 AM

Blogger Bronze Trinity said...

I agree with that post. I got a gold chain with my name from my Uncle before Sex and the City even started and sure enough, a White girl says its cool and that woman on the show has one. I do feel mildly irritated when I see White people in braids and locs. I just wonder what are they trying to proove?

6/13/2008 4:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only should we not be surprised, we should stop getting angry and get even by taking ownership of ourselves and our images,music, and everything else. We need to stop this ongoing slave trend of white is right...this ideaology that when they start doing something then and only then is it mainstream or accepted. That is even the case with supporting Obama, when he won Iowa (mostly white demographics), then and only then did many, not all but many blacks said hey let me take another look at this guy. If we started it let's finish it for real. Let's make our own hollywood, if India can so can we!!!

6/14/2008 8:46 AM

Blogger Hot Grrrl said...

Anon: Yes in India they have Bollywood and maybe if we as African-Americans had our own country, owned our own theaters, our own distribution companies, our own television networks then we could make our own Hollywood. I think Nigeria with all of their wonderful actors and slowly booming indie movie biz will be on the verge of creating this, but for now the closest we have to a Bollywood is Tyler Perry and that is not saying too much. The power & politics here in the US are such that I'm not sure if this is even possible.

6/16/2008 5:40 PM

Blogger Bronze Trinity said...

Well lets hope Nigeria can do it. My mother said that African movies are being sold a lot in Toronto and they are quite good. As long as the people are Black and the story is good I think I will like it. Hopefully the films will be better than some of the American stuff like Who's Your Caddy. Hey, maybe Oprah can invest in Nigerian film production, I think she makes good African American films.

6/17/2008 4:17 PM

Blogger Kitty Hawk in 'Extra Swank' said...

Well, what's so wrong with tyler perry? I mean he is a fairly young, otherwise intelligent black man dressing up as an old, obnoxious black woman.seems pretty harmless to me.

6/25/2008 10:48 AM

Anonymous hazel said...

haha this is sooo not new. Ppl (if you will) always do that sort of thing. Annoyingg! I mean the brainwashing goes on the longer we allow white people shape our beauty standards or movie viewing choices.

4/08/2009 12:22 AM

Blogger Digital Prof said...

Beautifully and succinctly written.

6/14/2015 12:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait, isn't creating your own Hollywood appropriation? White people created the art-form know as cinema and whites invented Hollywood. Your appropriation needs to be stopped. Whites invented computers, blogs, the internet, computers, calculus, cinema, tv, phones, trains, planes, discovered electricity. What have black women invented? Why are you using these not black creations?

If an alien civilization were discovered on another world and had been in existence for 50,000 years, as soon as the first black woman stepped foot on the new world and gave birth, she'd tell the kid: We done builted all dis and dese here aliens stoled it all! Then she'd she gaze around herself at all the aliens had accomplished and feel overwhelmed with resentment and hostility at the "injustice what done be done to black folks!"Far fetched? Hardly. African immigrants in Sweden are already screaming they were responsible for Sweden's existence and culture and they "done builted dis!"

Everywhere blacks go, they claim all the credit for what exists even though they had nothing to do with it and were never present in the location until modern times.
These delusional beliefs are the result of coming from a race that has never accomplished anything. In order to protect their own self image and sense of worth, they have to steal the credit for what others have done. These delusional beliefs and mythologies could well be termed "negrophrenia" and are part and parcel of the pathology of the negro mind.

6/19/2015 1:39 AM


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