African-American Actresses Speak Out On the Lack of Good Roles

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Comedian/actress Kim Wayans is all smiles as she basks in the glow of her first dramatic role in the new film Pariah but she still has to pause and ponder when asked what role in film she wished she’d had the chance to portray in the past few years.  After a few minutes of thought, she shakes her head and asks, “What have we had?’’

Wayans’s not-so-shocking response is a fitting comment on the dearth of opportunities offered African-American actresses in film, television, and the media generally. In a year that has seen black women highlighted and showcased as the “help’’  or as disgruntled ex-wives ready to fistfight the next woman in a heartbeat, many in film and television continue to pose the question: will more selective, diverse, and fully developed roles ever be a reality for women of color?

“I didn’t think we’d still be having this same conversation so many years later,’’ says Wayans, who gained fame with her brothers on the comedy variety show In Living Color. “The 90s were so bright and promising for people of color in Hollywood, and I for one thought it would only get better with the chance for me and other black actresses to portray any number of characters and in all types of stories.’’

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9 Comment

  1. I read this post on another black forum and posted a comment so i’ll post the same comment here ,this argument is old ,because we already know that theres hardly any roles for black women in hollywood other than the stereo typed BS .My question is why are black actors forever going to white hollywood to find acting roles? Should,nt there have been a black film industry already established in america where black movie makers and writers can portray black folks as they see fit and not by some white washed stereo typed perception of us as a people.Its not as if black entertainers don,t have the means to do this now ,lets have our own financed movie industry independant of hollywood then black actors won,t be begging white directors to give them roles to act in.

  2. Marcus,

    I do agree with you. I have to piggy back on your statements. People of African descent from generation to generation have been told we cannot accomplish anything without the help of whites because they are everywhere, and own everything. People of african descent in segragation days had their own, stores, movie theathers, resturants, hospitals, salons,doctors, lawyers, teachers, hair salons,hotels,churches, need I continue on? This is why’, whites went into the black area and burned the cities down. People of african descent were making money without the help of whites. Guess what! African descent families were in tact and strong! If people of african descent what tell the stories of old, we would have many men and women of african descent employed and putting money back into hands of african descent. We have to know and believe “God made no mistake when he created us. ‘weeee!!!!!! have to believe it.

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