"The thing that sucks about Girls and Seinfeld and Sex and the City and every other TV show like them isn’t that they don’t include strong characters focusing on the problems facing blacks and Latinos in America today. The thing that sucks about those shows is that millions of black people look at them and can relate on so many levels to Hannah Horvath and Charlotte York and George Costanza, and yet those characters never look like us. The guys begging for money look like us. The mad black chicks telling white ladies to stay away from their families look like us. Always a gangster, never a rich kid whose parents are both college professors. After a while, the disparity between our affinity for these shows and their lack of affinity towards us puts reality into stark relief: When we look at Lena Dunham and Jerry Seinfeld, we see people with whom we have a lot in common. When they look at us, they see strangers."
When they look at us, they see strangers.
I was trying to find this quote recently. I don’t think most white people understand how it feels to be thought of as only as a dehumanized stereotype or a token. Never as someone like you who can be relatable and have things in common with you. It’s always a surprise to people online and offline when people find out that I like things that they do, too ; that I’m not just some angry activism-obsessed woman. When people like Lena Dunham say they don’t know how to write Black people, it’s pretty much saying that she doesn’t think that Black people are also fully complex human beings like her. Sure, there are cultural considerations to be made, but it’s ignoring the fact that people of color are diverse and not a monolith, so it’s not like the only girls who are like her are white.
"What gets me is that so often the expression of the African-American experience that is acceptable and applauded by the industry is not coming from us. They are stories being told from the outside in. Interpretations of the black female experience, as opposed to reflection, are valid. All we are saying is our reflections are also valid. What our films have in common is they are showing reflections of who we are. They need to be just as valued, just as heard, just as critiqued and distributed as our white male counterparts’ interpretation of us. That is what the disconnect has been and the cinematic legacy on screen as black filmmakers has been. These films are set apart and there is not a balanced approached to their value."
— Ava DuVernay, director of I Will Follow and the critically acclaimed Middle Of Nowhere, for which she became the first African American to receive Best Director at The Sundance Film Festival; on the dearth of Black filmmakers in Hollywood. (via The Daily Beast)
"We use novels, not old newspapers, to get a sense of what life was like 100 years ago. I believe 100 years from now, future generations will still use novels the same way. They’ll use novels, not tweets or posts like this. And they’ll use the rich ones — the ones that have things to say things about culture and politics, the ones that absorb and synthesize."
—Robin Sloan, writing for The New York Times, on the future of fiction. (via jarrettfuller)
My first thought when I read this was “so what you’re telling me is that my great great grandkids will be reading about the lives of the white people that lived in my now. I mean, who’s going to decide which novels are “the rich ones,” after all?
"I’d like them just to cast some black people. I don’t know why… Can they cast some black folk? I mean, I know that that’s simplistic. But I do think that it would be great if every show would represent the world. There’s Asians, there’s Native Americans, there’s black people, there’s Latinas–there’s more than just white people in the world. If you’re gonna do a show in a metropolitan area like New York, you need to have some color. Pick your color, it doesn’t matter, just put some color. I think more people of color, all the races that are underrepresented need to be more on television,period."
— Yvette Nicole Brown [via Racebending] (via ravenclaw-mormont)