More than a house slave

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2016-12-11 23:23Z by Steven

More than a house slave


Gabrielle Pilgrim

“It’s my black girl who looks like a white girl with a tan and a bad hair day.”

I saw Birth of a Nation and I liked it, as much as one can like a movie that gruesomely shows her ancestors being tortured, raped, beaten, broken, and lynched. Today, I am not analyzing the film. I thought it was cinematically great: I left mad, but inspired. I was particularly drawn to the house slave Isaiah (played by Roger Guenveur Smith) as I am regularly fascinated with multiracial, racially ambiguous, and lightskin black folks.

I don’t know if nonblack people are aware of the “black enough” vs “not black enough” spectrum, but it is real — so real. Colorism is real. The fulfillment or lack of fulfillment of stereotypes is real. Middle to upper-middle class black folks may experience feeling like “not enough.” Childish Gambino voices his struggles with justifying his blackness: “Culture shock at barber shops cause I ain’t hood enough / We all look the same to the cops, ain’t that good enough?” Biracial/multiracial black folks may experience feeling like they are “not enough:”…

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