As the Academy Awards (The Oscars) slowly approach, so does the controversy it brings. As the days slowly wind down, I have now looked at the whole situation totally differently.
You’re probably wondering what situation I’m talking about; well, have you ever heard “African Americans can’t get mad for not being acknowledged at a show that wasn’t created for them”? Well that is the situation.
That leads me to ask those same people a few questions of my own. Who said these awards weren’t created for black people? Is that written somewhere, can someone cite that for me?
The answer is no one; no one ever said that African Americans couldn’t receive awards at this awards show.
Actress Jada Pinkett Smith made headlines this week as well, asking the host, Chris Rock, to step down and not host; along with a host of other actors and performers. Smith in no way bashed the Oscars. She just reminded the African American community that instead of begging for recognition to back away and not to attend.
I see one problem with that. The problem is not that we are being singled out, but that African Americans don’t take the initiative to get involved. If you’re mad, I feel you; I’m mad too. Mad at the fact that we’d rather get mad, post Instagram memes, go on Twitter rants, pretty much do everything but attack the actual problem.
If I offended my readers, well. I want you offended. I want you so upset about what you’re reading that it challenges you to gain more knowledge on this “situation.”
This week was the week everything hit the fan. As nominations went out, the African American community couldn’t help but notice that we were yet again, singled out for not being nominated. Idris Alba in Beasts of No Nation, Jason Mitchell in Straight Outta Compton and Michael B. Jordan in Creed, actors who blew out the box office, went unannounced for one of the biggest award shows in 2016.
I too was very enraged, until we discussed it in class. While discussing the topic my teacher informed us that the president of the Academy Awards, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, was indeed an African American woman. That left me confused and with plenty more questions. I assumed my class felt the same way because hands began to rise.
“What about the board, what race is it made up of?” one student asked. The teacher told us that it was predominantly white.
After doing my research I found out the entire board is made up of White Americans, and then I thought about something. How can we expect for someone to vote on someone they have no knowledge of, probably couldn’t care less to get knowledge on and maybe not even want them to succeed. We can’t.
You want change? Go and find out how to become part of the board and do that. Stop limiting yourself and be part of all these great things you’re into. Stop sitting in front of the television or your computer and go out and change the world.
Wake up call guys, the president is BLACK.
Don’t get confused. I want the actors to be recognized as well, but without the proper support how can these Black actors and actresses succeed?
And in no way do I believe in begging anyone for recognition. If I did it, I did it. I don’t need applause. But these actors have worked hard and made a lot of people rich, so I feel them and anyone who is enraged.
Maybe boycotting will make an impact. I hope so since I sincerely believe in taking a stand. Though maybe next time around, we will have gotten involved in the process so there’ll be no need to protest the result.
DeQuanna Alexander is a senior mass communication major from New Orleans, Louisiana.