“I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.” Mother Harriet Tubman
“The True worth of a race must be measured by the character of its womanhood.” Mother Mary McCloud Bethune
“We do not realize that the massive deaths of Black males constitute the genocide of Black people (as it takes Black males to make Black babies and ensure future Black generations).” ― Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors
From now on, I am dedicating all of my posts to Black African American females because a race can rise no higher than its’ women.
As in all of my posts, UNDERLINED WORDS are links.
On May 16, 1929, White American Actors and Actresses created the Academy Awards, or “Oscars,” for White American Actors and Actresses. It has since become the premier annual performance hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The winners in the various categories receive a statuette, officially called “The Academy Award of Merit.” The nickname of this statuette is “Oscar.” Legend has it that Bette Davis named the statuette “Oscar“ after her first husband Harmon Oscar Nelson, when she was president of the Academy.
I would estimate that tens of millions of people watched last night’s airing of the 88th Academy Awards and I am certain that millions of these viewers were Black African Americans in general and Black African American women in particular.
In spite of all of the negative hoopla surrounding the absence of Black African American actors being nominated, we still watched. Although some Black African Americans were demanding that Black African American actors boycott attending and Brother Chris Rock refuse to “Host” it, millions of Black African Americans were glued to their TV sets “oohing and awing” at all of the “White glamorous people.”
In 1939 Nana Hattie McDaniel was the first Black African American female, as well as the oldest winner (44 y/o) and the first person of African ancestry to win an Academy Award. She appeared in more than 300 films, although she only received screen credits for about 80.
Nana Hattie has two Stars on Hollywood Walk of Fame , one for her radio career and the other for her movie career.
There was intense competition for the role of “Mammy” in the movie “Gone With The Wind” and was nearly as intense as it was for the role of “Scarlet O’Hara.” So much so, that “First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt” wrote the film producer, asking that he select her maid, Elizabeth McDuffie for the role. Although Ms. McDuffie did not have any acting experience, she had numerous years of “on-the-job” training as a maid.
It is said that Clark Gable interjected his preference for Nana
McDaniel Hattie and she arrived at the audition wearing a “maid’s uniform” and received the part.
The premier showing of “Gone With The Wind” occurred on December 15, 1939 at the Lowe’s Grand theater on Peachtree Street in Atlanta. Nana Hattie’s role as “Mammy” was considered “Too familiar” for the racist standards of the south because of the way she spoke to Whites in particular and the character “Scarlet O’Hara” in general.
Because of this violation of southern “Jim Crow” standards, all of the Black African American actors and actresses were barred from attending and their names were excluded from all advertisement and souvenir programs.
As a consolation, Nana Hattie was permitted to attend Hollywood’s premier thirteen days later on December 28, 1939 and her picture was included in the souvenir program.
Not only did Nana Hattie have to contend with racism and “Jim Crow” she also had to put up with the ignorance of Walter White and the NAACP.
Remember, the NAACP was formed to steer Black African Americans away from Baba Marcus Garvey and the “Universal Negro Improvement Association.”
Walter White called Nana Hattie an “Uncle Tom”, for perpetuating White racist stereotypes, which reflects his total ignorance because the character “Uncle Tom” in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” is actually a hero to the other enslaved Black African Americans. When a trader to the Black African American race are called “Uncle Tom,” you are actually insulting “Uncle Tom.”
Nana Hattie responded by saying, “Why should I complain about making $700 a week playing a maid? If I didn’t, I’d be making $7 a week being one.”
On February 29, 1940, Nana Hattie delivered the following acceptance speech:
“Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, fellow members of the motion picture industry and honored guests: This is one of the happiest moments of my life, and I want to thank each one of you who had a part in selecting me for one of their awards, for your kindness. It has made me feel very, very humble; and I shall always hold it as a beacon for anything that I may be able to do in the future. I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race and to the motion picture industry. My heart is too full to tell you just how I feel, and may I say thank you and God bless you.”
By the way, she and her guest were segregated during the entire presentations at a table for two.
James Baskett was the first Black African American male to receive an Oscar, howbeit an “Honorary Oscar for his performance as Uncle Remus in the Song of the South in 1948. This gesture was designed to appease Black African American movie goers.
Baba Sidney Poitier was the first Black African American male actor nominated for an Academy Award for his role in “The Defiant Ones,” in 1958. This is the movie where he was chained to Tony Curtis as escaped inmates and Baba Sidney’s character “Noah” sacrifices his freedom to go back to prison with Tony Curtis character “Joker.” The end of the movie finds Joker’s head nestled on Noah’s chest while Noah sings to him with the posse and bloodhounds approaching.
In 1963, Baba Sidney Poitier was the first Black African American male to win an Oscar for “Best Actor,” and the youngest at age 37 for
he the in thovie movie “Lilies of the Field.”
Baba Sidney plays Homer Smith, a homeless “handyman” driving an old station wagon with mechanical problems. As he crosses the Arizona desert, he comes upon a farm operated by German Nuns and ask for water for his car. After getting the water, he is persuaded to do a “small roof repair” by the “Mother Superior.” Homer begins working for the Nuns, expecting to be paid cash, yet, they never pay him. They learned well from the slave owners.
In lieu of being paid money for his labors, the “Mother Superior” gives him a Bible quote, “Sermon on the Mount” instead. Ergo, the movie title, “Lilies of the Field.”
In essence, the scriptwriter is saying that although Black African American males may have skills, they are not worthy of a “real” job, wages, nor a home, as Homer sleeps in his car.
In addition to laboring for no money for these White German Nuns, Homer also gets a paying job and uses his money to feed these White German Nuns, by buying them groceries.
At the conclusion of the movie, Homer built a church for these White German Nuns and teach them how to sing the “Negro Spiritual,” Amen, as he cranks up his station wagon and continues his nomadic journey.
After all, it would be improper for Homer, a Black African American to put down stakes and live with these White German women, even if they are Nuns. His duties as a servant was finished, it was time for him to continue his nomadic travels.
In 1982, nearly twenty years later, Baba Louis Gossett, Jr. became the second Black African American male recipient of White Hollywood’s most prestigious award, the Oscar. He won the Oscar for “Best Supporting Actor” in his role as Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in the movie, “An Officer and a Gentleman.”
Zachary “Zack” Mayo (Richard Gere) arrives at Naval Officer Candidate School (OCS) and encounters Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley, who makes his life a living hell, in hopes of
making turning him into an excellent Naval Officer and a Gentleman.
Of course, thirteen
week weeks later, “Zack” is graduates as an Ensign in the U. S. Navy and now outranks his teacher, Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley, who now has to salute the new Ensign every time he sees him.
In 1989, Brother Denzel Washington became the first Black African American male to receive two Best Supporting Actors. One for his role as Pvt. Silas Trip in the movie “Glory.” Pvt. Trip is an escaped slave who joined the Union Army.
Although Pvt. Trip does not expect things to get better for “Negroes” if the North wins the Civil War, he joins, “just in case.” Of course, racism is rampant in the Union Army and Pvt. Trip ultimately
beaten for going goes AWOL in hopes of finding shoes. Upon his return, he is beaten under the orders of the White Northern Officer, Col. Robert Shaw, which Pvt. Trip endures without making a sound.
As the scriptwriters would have it, Col. Shaw earns the respect of Pvt. Trip, and they both are killed in the same battle.
Sister Whoopie Goldberg became the second Black African American actress to win the coveted Oscar in 1990 playing the role of “Ode Mae Brown” in the movie “Ghost.” This was the highest grossing movie in 1990, costing $22 million to make and grossing over $505.7 million at the box office.
The plot centered around Patrick Swayze’s character “Sam Wheat,” a banker killed by a mugger and his girlfriend, played by Demi Moore’s character “Molly Jensen.” In actuality, Sam’s death was a failed attempt at preventing him from finding out about some banking improprieties.
Sister Whoopie Goldberg’s character “Ode Mae Brown” is a con artist posing as a “medium” who can actually hear Sam. Now she must assist Sam in convincing Molly that she is in danger from Sam’s former business partner “Carl Bruner” played by Tony Goldwyn.
In the end, the bad guys die and go to “Hell” and the good guy, Sam, says his final farewell to Molly then climbs the stairway to Heaven.
I did not see this movie, so there is nothing I can say about it.
In 1996, Brother Cuba Gooding, Jr. became the youngest Black African American male to win an Oscar for his role as Rod Tidwell in the movie, “Jerry Maguire.”
Jerry Maguire who is played by Tom Cruise decides to go it alone as a “Sports Management” agent and pursues Cuba’s character “Rod Tidwell.” Of course, Tom Cruise has to have a leading lady, who is Renee Zellweger, whom he ends up with at the end of the movie, along with his money-maker, “Rod Tidwell.”
I never saw the movie, so I don’t have any more to say about it.
In 2004, Baba Morgan Freeman became the oldest Black African American to win an Oscar at age 67 for his role as “Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris” in “Million Dollar Baby.”
The Plot is about Hillary Swank’s character Maggie showing up in Clint Eastwood’s character, “Frankie Dunn’s” boxing gym wanting him to help her become a professional boxer and he refuses.
Baba Morgan Freeman’s character, “Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris” naturally comes to her aid and helps her win the support of Frankie. “Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris” also narrates most of the movie, which is why he won his Oscar.
Brother Jamie Foxx became the first Black African American to receive two Oscar nominations in the same year in 2004 for his roles in “Collateral” and “Ray.” He received the Oscar for portraying Baba Ray Charles in the movie “Ray.”
Brother Jamie did an excellent job telling the world the story of Baba Ray Charles.
In 2006, Sister Jennifer Hudson breaks all kinds of records in her role as Effie White in the motion picture “Dream Girls.” She became the first Black African American actor (male or female) to win an Oscar for her first acting performance.
She also became the youngest Black African American actress to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress at age 25 and this was also the first film featuring two Black African American actors for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. Sister Jennifer also became the first Black African American actor to win an Oscar for a musical film.
The film is based on the rise of Motown and The Supremes. It had an $80 million budget, which was the most expensive film with an all Black African American cast. The box office receipts grossed over $154 million, which proved to be a very wise investment.
The plot follows the rise and fall of a girl group during the 60s and 70s, ultimately leading to its breakup and a solo career, resulting in stardom for one of its singers.
I didn’t see this movie, so there is nothing I can say about it.
Brother Forest Whitaker; won his Oscar in 2006 portraying Baba Idi Amin in the movie “The Last King of Scotland.” This was a fictional account depicting Baba Idi Amin as a despicable and barbaric African dictator who violently seized control of his country Uganda.
The movie centers around James McAvoy’s character “Nicholas Garrigan” arriving in Uganda, recently graduating from medical school. He is summoned to treat President Amin’s injuries resulting from a car accident and while there, takes the initiative to shot an injured cow, putting it out of its’ misery.
Of course, this impresses President Amin, who appoints Nicholas as his personal physician and puts him in charge of modernizing Uganda’s health care system. Keep in mind that once in office, the real President Amin ousted all non-Ugandans from his country.
Needless to say, Nicholas meets and “falls in love” with one of President Amin’s wives “Kay” (played by Kerry Washington) and impregnates her. She begs him to abort the fetus and he reluctantly agrees.
He is called away the day he is suppose to perform the abortion, resulting in President Amin finding out about her infidelity and dismembering her, laying her remains on an autopsy table.
Nicholas is furious and decides to kill President Amin with poison and end his murderous reign. One of President Amin’s soldiers discovers Nicholas’ intentions and tortures him, leaving him lying on the floor to die.
Here comes Nicholas’ medical colleague, Dr. Junju (played by David Oyelowo) to the rescue, sacrificing his own life to save that of a White man and the movie ends with Nicholas flying off into the sunset.
This movie is a typical rendition of the White races fears, as well as their lust for Black African women anywhere in the Diaspora. It also depicts how Black Africans throughout the Diaspora will give up their own lives to save the life of one White man.
Mo’Nique starred in the 2009 movie “Precious” where she played the role of Mary Lee Johnston, the abusive mother of her daughter “Claireece Precious Jones,” which was played by Gabourey Sidibe.
“Sixteen year old “Precious” has one son, named “Mongo” which is short for “Mongoloid” (aka-Downs Syndrome) who is living with her maternal grandmother, but Mary is still claiming that he is living with her in order to cheat the Welfare Dept.
Precious is again raped and impregnated by her stepfather and continues to suffer the physical and emotional abuse from her mother. After the birth of her second child, everything comes out and the movie ends with “Precious” walking down a New York street with both of her children. The scriptwriter does not tell you where they will live, nor how their lives turn out.
In November 2009, Sister Mo’Nique said, “I own the rights to Hattie McDaniel‘s life story, and I can’t wait to tell that story, because that woman was absolutely amazing. She had to stand up to the adversity of black and white [society] at a time when we really weren’t accepted. Mr. Lee Daniels is going to direct it, of course, and I’m going to be Miss Hattie McDaniel. I really hope I can do that woman justice.”
I have not seen this movie, therefore, I don’t have anything to add.
Sister Octavia Spencer starred in the 2011 film, “The Help.” Her character was a maid by the name of “Minnie Jackson.” This was the third film to feature Black African American nominees for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.
This is not your typical movie about Black African American Mississippi “Maids.” These Sisters have a lot of pride and although ahead of their time (movie wise) they followed the lyrics of Baba James Brown and
get got some “Payback.”
In 2013, Sister Lupita Nyong’o became the first Black African (Kenyan) actress to be nominated, the first Black African to win in any category and the second Black African actress to win for a debut performance.
She achieved these history-making feats in her debut film, “12 Years a Slave,” an adaptation of the 1853 Slave Narrative of Solomon Northup who was born free, kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841, where he suffered the degradation and brutality of American slavery.
Sister Lupita’s character “Patsey” brought tears to my eyes as I watched the beating she received for slipping off to another plantation to obtain a piece of soap to cleanse herself of the filth of being raped and ravaged by the plantation owner Edwin Epps.
The following is taken from Wikipedia and I strongly encourage you to go to the link and listen to Sister Lupita’s heart-rendering speech: “Nyong’o resides in Brooklyn. She is fluent in Spanish, Luo, English, and Swahili. On February 27, 2014, at the Essence Black Women In Hollywood luncheon in Beverly Hills, she gave a speech on the beauty of black women and talked about the insecurities she had as a teenager. She said her views changed when she saw South Sudanese supermodel Alek Wek become successful. She mentioned receiving the following letter from a girl she had inspired in turn: “I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.” — Lupita Nyong’o quoting a letter written to her by an unidentified little girl from Africa
Brother Denzel Washington was the second Black African American male to receive an Oscar for “Best Actor” in 2001 for the movie “Training Day,” which at the time, I regarded as the worst movie I ever seen him in. I thought his role in “Flight” was the worst ever because of the message at the end, where he is sitting in prison saying, “Being here is the best thing that ever happened to me.”
The movie is about a day in the life of two LAPD detectives. Brother Denzel’s role as “Alonzo Harris” a corrupt drug-using LAPD narcotics Detective assigned to train a White American rookie detective “Jake Hoyt” played by Ethan Hawke. At the end of the movie, “Alonzo” is murdered and “Jake” walks into the sunset, the consummate hero.
Another Oscar record was broken the same time Brother Denzel won his, when Sister Halle Berry became only the second Black African American female to win an Oscar, making this the first time two Black African Americans won in leading roles the same year.
Sister Halle Berry played “Leticia Musgrove” in “Monster’s Ball, along with Billy Bob Thornton (Hank) as the leading actor. The plot of this movie is that Leticia’s husband Lawrence (Sean Comb) is on death row in Georgia awaiting eminent execution.
After the execution of Leticia’s husband Lawrence, their son Tyrell (Coronji Calhoun), who Leticia has been physically and mentally abusing for being obese is murdered by a hit and run driver. While still on the side of the road, Hank arrives and with hesitation decides to take them to the hospital where Tyrell dies. (Note: Both Black African American male characters are killed in this film.)
Leticia and Hank eventually gets drunk and they engage in explicit sex scenes, resulting in the two of them shacking-up and sitting on the back porch eating ice cream.
There were absolutely no culturally redeeming or educational benefits in this movie. What it portrayed at the unconscious level was that a White American man can be a devout racist and directly involved in the execution of a Black African American man and his Black African American wife will give herself to his executioner.
As the saying goes for White American males, “You’re not a man until you’ve had sex with a Black girl.”
When asked why she turned down the role of “Leticia Musgrove,” Sister Angela Bassett told Newsweek, I wasn’t going to be a prostitute on film, I couldn’t do that because it’s such a stereotype about black women and sexuality.”
To date, there has only been twelve (thirteen if you count Brother Denzel winning twice) Black African American recipients and one Honorary recipient of White America’s coveted Oscar. Every year, Black African Americans are disappointed at the scarcity of Black African American
s winners and every year it is the “same-old-same-o.”
What is even worse, none of these thirteen movies (with the exception of “Ray”) had
and a socially positive impact on the Black Africans in general or Black African Americans in particular. In fact, with the exception of “Ray,”all of them depicted Black Africans throughout the Diaspora in a subservient, docile, sadistic, animalistic and criminal manner.
The Academy of Motion Pictures do not have to do anything differently because they know that we are going to flock to the box offices by the millions to watch White actors and actresses perform in predominantly all White casts and complain about the lack of Black African American representation.
My definition of “STUPIDITY” is doing the exact same thing over-and-over and expecting a totally different outcome! If Black African Americans want anything to change, we must become the change that we want to see happen.
When we begin flocking to “OUR” theaters to see socially redeeming movies created at “OUR” studios, directed by “OUR” directors, financed by “OUR” investors and bankers, and performed by “OUR” actors and actresses, what White Hollywood do for White American actors and actresses will be of no consequence to us.
Until then, be of good cheer Black African America, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), “promise” to become more diversified in their nominations by 2020.
I ask that should you read anything in my posts that you can factually show me is false, please do so immediately. Although I have made every effort to verify everything I write, I do make mistakes.
Oh, what a blessing it is that my people are so Gullible because they do not read, think or use Common Sense says the Pastors, Pimps and Politicians.