Zoe Saldana Nina Simone

Zoe Saldana Speaks On Playing Nina Simone And How She Got The Role

“Nina,” the biographical film that focused on a period of singer Nina Simone’s life, is set for a limited release tomorrow (April 22), according to Colorlines. This day has been long in the making, after multiple attempts to get the project off the ground and has seen its fair share of controversy. Namely, the use of makeup to make Saldana’s skin appear to be darker and prosthetics being used to make her nose look wider.

Zaldana didn’t directly reference this controversy in a recent screening, but she did reference “well, the other obvious reasons” while talking about her initial hesitations with accepting the role. She did go on to speak about what it took for her to play Simone and what kind of process she went through. Take a look at some of what she had to say below:

Mindy-Project

Why I Wish “The Mindy Project” Was Cancelled

In 2012, when I found out that the Mindy Kaling landed a show, I was ecstatic. At the time, I was still in the Scandal and Nicole Beharie in Sleepy Hollow bliss. When I first started watching Kaling’s show, The Mindy Project, I was willing to ignore some of the jokes that didn’t land or the undeveloped characters because it’s still a struggle for people of color to be represented on television. Now almost four years later, my enthusiasm and dedication for The Mindy Project has disintegrated. I am left wishing that the show was canceled because it doesn’t even try to confront race.

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Ben Carson Would Rather Put Harriet Tubman on the $2 Bill

For some reason, the media is still looking to the former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson for his opinions on social matters. This week, he expressed that he is not pleased with the Treasury Department’s decision to replace president Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with the iconic freedom fighter, Harriet Tubman (insert the world’s tiniest violin).

Islan Nettles

Killer of Black Transgender Woman, Islan Nettles, Sentenced to 12 Years

On Aug. 17, 2013, James Dixon, 23, met Islan Nettles, 21, in Harlem, New York. The two began to flirt until Dixon learned that she was a transgender woman. According to what Dixon later told authorities, he went into a “blind fury” and attacked Nettles, hitting her twice. The first blow knocked her to the ground. The second time, Dixon hit her as she already lay on the pavement. Nettles died five days later – after falling into a coma. Her death was a direct result of the physical assault from Dixon, according to the New York Times

“I just didn’t want to be fooled,” Dixon reportedly said in a videotaped statement. Apparently his friends began to mock him for flirting with a woman of trans experience. He blamed the taunting for his decision to beat Nettles to death.

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In 2016, UVA Medical Students Think Blacks Feel Less Pain Than Whites

Welcome to America where Blacks are consistently marginalized and stereotyped, and color matters more than ever. People are more likely to arrest you if you are Black, and even Raven-Symone won’t hire you if your name sounds too Black.

In a new study, white doctors think that Black people are invincible to the pains that they deal with on a regular basis. There was a study run by the University of Virginia which gathered more than 111 medical students who wholeheartedly believed non-truths about black people, like the idea that African-American blood clots faster than that of Whites.

Picture of Abbie Mills from Sleepy Hollow's official Twitter page.

‘Sleepy Hollow’ died along with Abbie Mills

Black lead character Abbie Mills (played by Nicole Beharie) died during Sleepy Hollow’s season three finale last week. As audience members, we learned that just because a show has people of color does not mean that it is people of color friendly.  

Her death was the final blow in the show’s treatment of her character. After her death, we are left to decide what to do with shows that have no respect for their characters of color.

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What They Really Mean When They Call Black Hair ‘Unprofessional’

There is something particularly violent about White women being the phenotypic referent of beauty in every social space. While it can make life logistically difficult for folks who do not share physical characteristics with whites (like hair, skin type, figure, etc.), the real problem arises when that difference is seen as a flaw. This is especially frustrating in public spaces like the workplace as a Zara employee recently learned when she wore box braids to work.

deray-mckesson

Of Course We Should All Be Critical of DeRay’s Mayoral Run

School district administrator turned-activist-turned mayoral candidate DeRay Mckesson’s recent interview with the New York Times conveys the hope (and simultaneous frustration) behind his bid to become mayor of the beleagured city of Baltimore, Maryland. McKesson pins his dismal poll numbers on voters’ (particularly those within the city’s organizing circles) inability to conceive of someone like him occupying such a powerful position.

Quite the contrary.