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African Americans Should Stop Bullying White People for Oscar Nominations

African Americans Should Stop Bullying White People for Oscar Nominations

By Cassandra George Sturges, MA, MA, Psy.D

Black people were supposed to boycott the 88th Academy Awards show because there were very few, if any, African Americans nominated to receive an Oscar.

I don’t understand why in an Era of, President Barack Obama, Shonda Rhimes, Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, and Lee Daniels –would Black people still feel the need to be validated by the political, social, and cultural ideology of white mainstream America.

For the sake of God, Oprah Winfrey owns a television network; couldn’t wealthy, affluent African Americans organize their own award show?...With their own token white president? I think we are just as capable of judging, reviewing, and analyzing white movies through our cultural lens of what we think is artistically exceptional bodies of work. I don’t want to offend anyone… but we don’t need “master’s” approval anymore. We never did.

We (Black folks) psychologically bullied White people into making Black Barbie Dolls. So, White doll makers threw on so brown paint, altered the features a smidge, curled the hair— and said, “Are you people happy now?” The Barbie Dolls still look essentially white, but most important of all… The white doll companies are still in charge. It is still their company. White doll companies simply figured out a way to take more of our money and stop, Black people from psychologically bullying them.

The American Girl Doll also created an African American Doll to shut up Black people from psychologically bullying them. The Black doll’s name was Addy her storyline was based after the Civil War and her primary concerns were—(you guessed it) the inequality of racism. European Americans have a right to make dolls that reflect their idealized beauty of their mothers, aunts, sisters, etc… They have a right to create images and stories about African Americans from their perspective—that they enjoy. As African Americans, we should make our own dolls that uniquely express our perception of Black beauty and culture. And stop whining.

Each person’s cultural lens shapes how he or she sees the world. And I believe that this is a sacred aspect of each person’s soul’s expression. I don’t need the Sex in the City, Bridesmaids, Something’s Gotta Give, Beaches, Wedding Crashers (Anything with Meryl Streep or Julia Roberts)—movies to try to appeal to me as an African American female. I just want it to be authentic. I can appreciate and love white movies and white actors that resonate with my spirit.

However, the things that I love passionately with primarily a black cast, that I watch on repeat are—Love and Basketball; Love Jones, Think Like a Man, The Best Man, Brown Sugar; Waiting to Exhale—I went to see Straight Out of Compton 4 times paid full price and enjoyed every second. Every time, I hear Sweet Thing, by Chaka Khan in Love and Basketball, I literally get chills. I watch Scandal 3 times or more following each episode. Yes, you heard me right. Scandal is my crack.

I don’t need white people or anybody for that matter telling me what is beautiful, funny, brilliant, entertaining or amazing. But, I believe there probably may be more people who look like me with many of the same cultural experiences may have a similar worldview. (I said may… Stacey Dash…need I say more) It’s not a big deal. There is enough room on this planet for all of us to have culturally diverse preferences for various artistic expressions that are not share by other ethnic groups.

What is entertaining to me as a Black Woman is probably not going to be entertaining to a white male. And, even if we both are entertained, it may be for totally different reasons.

So, the bottom line is this: Please Black People, my people—stop psychologically bullying white people. It’s not fair to them to expect them to see the world through the cultural lens of what it truly means to be a person of color-- in a white dominated mainstream society. A country where Black people can still be killed in cold blood and no one goes to jail; and a city’s water supply can be poisoned and “the man” at top is not fired.

Come on now… you know why there were no Oscar nominations for African Americans at the 88th Academy Awards: there were no slave movies to remind them of the “good ole days” when we knew our place and our struggle for justice. Halle Barry or any other prominent African American actress did not show her breasts, get fucked “real good” by a white man who murdered her husband. There were no rogue Black cops, maids, butlers, bad parents, crack heads—you get the picture that entertained mainstream white America enough into being psychology bullied into feeling the “pressure” or sincere enjoyment to nominate black filmmakers and actors for an Oscar. It’s not their fault.

To be honest with you, I feel that many of the Oscars awarded to African American actors were more insulting than no nominations at all.


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