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The Absence of Blackness

In America, Black people are still widely and truly excluded from what society refers to as “mainstream”.

Thinking about the 95th Oscars and so many award ceremonies in various fields that don’t elevate Blackness; even in our schools.

Over 100 years, what has really changed? My perspective from what I see, in particular with award shows like the Oscars is that Blackness is still classified, identified, treated and viewed as other.

Viewing the Oscars this year really gave me perspective on just how much more difficult it will be for the masses of Black people to truly be free. Because from the looks of it, even in assimilation, the absence of Blackness is still a norm.

I really think about how white people are really playing in our faces about diversity, inclusion and equity. It reminds me of affirmative action. The systems in America better known as the institutions which house government power structures leading, influencing and controlling decisions made for the people.

Decisions that don’t support diversity, inclusion or equity because it goes against their bottom and best interest. And the bottomline is preventing the advancement of colored people.

The absence of Blackness impacts how Black children see themselves in the world. Many of our children don’t get a chance to live out their full potential or thrive in their gifts. We don’t make the investment in arts programs for them. The absence of Blackness in the Oscars and other awards programs in cinema also represents the lack of opportunity being presented to Black actors, producers, photographers, designers, etc.

Our presence in the editing, writing, casting rooms and even funding, investing and having ownership in cinematic projects. What does diversity, inclusion and equity mean in practice in America if we’re still demanding basic civil rights?!

What we see matters, how we see ourselves and how others see us matters. Where we see ourselves in stories matters. Who we see sharing, telling and creating stories matters.

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