With so much positive energy flowing throughout the USA presently, why do WE as Blacks and Latinos still choose, willingly to degrade ourselves. I make this statement in referece to the film, Next Day Air. Now, before I continue, I must state that I have not, and probably will not see this film. With that said, the plot of this film deals with a lazy, weed smoking delivery man who works with a partner who likes to steal from the packages they are supposed to deliver. The lazy/pot smoking lead character delivers a large box of drugs, mistakenly to two lazy hustlers who are near eviction from their apartment. The plot thickens when the man, whom the drugs were supposed to be delivered to, angrily looks for the missing drugs all while dealing with his loudmouth, scantily dressed girlfriend.
Now I know I've said a lot to fill and confuse your mind, but keep one thing in mind. All of the pathetic characters in this film are of African Decent. The reason why I ask "When are we going to be strong enough to say NO", is because we do not have to shuck and jive and shoot people anymore to work in film. I may be naive in my thinking, but aren't there enough people of African Decent whom have the skills, money, and resources to create and distrbute pieces that reflect a broad spectrum of ideas. Why should the likes of Donald Faison of Scrubs fame, acclaimed Actor/Rapper Mos Def, Mike Epps, Wood Harris, Darius McCrary, and the legendary Debbie Allen even go near such a project? Are roles that diffrucult to come by for Blacks and Latinos? Or do we even care about the images that we portray about ourselves?
The answers are Yes and No respectively. Hollywood only seems willing to open its multitude of doors for for rolls that glorify, violence, ignorance, stupidity, and laziness within the African Diaspora. Yes there are films that portray these attributes to Whites and other races, but Hollywood allows for a diverse balance of both intellectualism and foolishness within the many films that feature White actors and subject matter. To the second question that I posed, I will quote something my father always told me. We are too willing to sell-out cheap. Blacks and Latinos just see an opportunity to work and make a living without looking at the overall consequenses of accepting certain degrading rolls.
This is a dilema which gave Halle Berry an oscar while leaving Angela Bassett out of work. I am referring to the lead role in the film Monsters Ball, which Halle Berry won the best actress academy award. Angela Bassett was up to portray the lead, but declined because she thought the part was degrading. I have known friends who have been put in similar situations, in various parts of the entertainment field, and have chosen to remain on the outside in order not to degrade themselves or other people of African Decent. I know the pain that they feel, to be so close at success, but unable to sell themselves out to allow success to happen.
My question remains, When are we going to be strong enough to say NO?