I can’t tell you how bad I wanted to just ignore the whole “Whitest Oscars” topic, but this morning I read an article that just left my head spinning as to just how discombobulated people are to issue of race and equality in this country and the world for that matter. We’re looking to our leaders demanding change when the change we seek is in our very hands. And with those same hands, we are slowly destroying the prospect of the change in which we seek. I started this blog to provide a springboard for conversation topics that involve childrearing from a reality stand point. This is not your typical mommy blog. We don’t do bake sales, organize clutter, or provide tips on potty training. Here we don’t focus on the child. We focus on the parent. Because the parent will be the direct result of the contributions their tiny humans will give the plant, which brings me to why I’m writing about this article.
Jackie Bischof writes, “Unfortunately, it appears a large majority of our awards are presented to blacks when we play roles where we are servants, slaves, ghetto moms, or thugs. The sad part is that many of these actors have been in other movies that have been just as good, yet they went unrecognized when they didn’t “fit the description. (Bischof, 2015)” Thank God this was an opinion piece because in the article, ‘Hollywood’s Blacks: Servants, Slaves, Ghetto Moms and Thugs’ Bischof seems to blame Hollywood films for not giving accolades to movies that portray positive images of black people. Well, I’ll give you three reasons that I beg to differ. Forrest Whitaker (‘The Last King of Scottland), Whoopie Goldberg (If you remember she won for Ghost, not The Color Purple), and Russell Williams (Producer of the movie ‘Glory’). Those aren’t the only reasons, because we can’t leave out greats like Louis Gossett Jr, Sydney Poitier, and Jamie Fox’s portrayal of Ray Charles. The list goes on, not very far, but it goes on and I think that’s what Bischof needed to have looked at before writing this article. And I’ve got news for you, white people have won Oscars for playing some very shady roles. Just think back on Anthony Hopkins (‘Silence of the Lambs’), Kathy Bates (‘Misery’) and Javier Bardem (‘No Country for Old Men’). But that’s still not why I’m writing today. If Bischof feels that Hollywood is to blame for our children knowing more about celebrities and athletes versus who Benjamin Banneker was then she and the rest of society that feels that way are seriously convoluted. If you want your children to grow up knowing who Garret Morgan was, or that the first black female millionaire was Madame C.J. Walker and not Oprah then YOU HAVE TO TEACH THEM, not Hollywood. And if parents are sitting back waiting on Hollywood to teach their children then we really have a problem.
Parents, stop blaming society for what’s wrong with your children. You control your household and if you don’t, then you need to stage and ambush and take control back. Yes, there are many parts of black history that may as well have never happened according to the generation of kids we’re raising, but that’s because we are allowing teachable moments to slip past us every day. And it’s not just black history that’s being lost, its Jewish history, Irish history, Croatian history, Brazilian history, Canadian history (yes, Canada has a history) and I could go on forever. Traditions are passed down by responsible family matriarchs. You don’t just have to have one in your family. You can all be one. Don’t wait for a special month or holiday to education your children on where they come from. Do it every day, because it’s who they are. If you want true history to come to the big screen, teach it to the children who will one day write the screenplays.
Bischof, J. (2015, 02 21). http://www.newsweek.com/hollywoods-blacks-servants-slaves-ghetto-moms-and-thugs-308436. Retrieved 02 23, 2015, from Newsweek.com/Opinions : http://www.newsweek.com/hollywoods-blacks-servants-slaves-ghetto-moms-and-thugs-308436