We’ve had a black president, a black Pulitzer Prize winner, and an African American Olympic gold medalist, and we’re still relegated to supporting roles in the world of arts. We’re no more than two lines on a script to our white creators, and our roles remain limited.
In this blog, I’ll call out some of these stereotypical roles that cinema has assigned to us.
1. Always the Friend, Never the Protagonist
You only have to look at all the Netflix movies that came out during the pandemic to know the travesty of this stereotype. If the streaming platform were life imitating art, it wouldn’t show black people as sassy forever friends who speak ghetto and speak with their entire body.
I know who my life revolves around, and it’s not some fratty kid with no color on their skin. I also happen to be the sum of my parts, a fact that makes me a villain, main character, supporting character, a recurring character, or extra, depending on who’s looking
2. The Loud and Obnoxious Woman
This might be a little ironic coming from a self-proclaimed apoplectic nigger, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. Black women are always portrayed as loud and obnoxious in TV shows and movies. It’s like they’re incapable of being soft-spoken and kind like my own mama.
These stereotypical black women have major attitude adjustment issues a weird tendency to roll their necks while talking, which they never seem to do because they’re always using their highest pitch to make conversation.
The stereotypical loud woman might be funny on the screen, but she could have grave consequences for black women off of it. It could potentially get in the way of their careers and romantic lives, and that’s why it needs to go.
3. The Gangsta
If I had a penny for every time I watched a black person play a drug dealer, bank robber, or engage in some form of criminal activity, I would’ve quit my job sooner than I actually did. Although this racial stereotype has kind of taken a backseat now that the white mass shooter stereotype’s taken off, there’s still a massive amount of content already out there portraying black people as being on the wrong side of the law.
This stereotype is well and truly dead. As systematic racism fades, so do black convictions. In fact, they have fallen by a third since 2006, so showing them as convicted killers, thieves, and pimps is doing more harm than good at this point.
Read as I channel the ‘angry black man’ stereotype in Diary of an Angry Black Man and reclaim the anger that has been taken from my people. Learn about the grave consequences these stereotypes have had on people of color through a curse-fueled address to an oblivious America.
Stay tuned for more updates about my debut book. Coming soon! Stay tuned for the release date by subscribing to the newsletter or following me on social channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.