The Oscar nominations were announced this morning and the list of nominees is overwhelming white and male. Ava DuVernay, the director of Selma, was passed over for a Best Director nod. Over at Very Smart Brothas, Damon Young says that it’s okay for black people to be upset over the Oscar snub of Selma.
Do not let these people fool you. Recognition does matter. It does make a difference when you labor over and produce a quality product and your peers actually notice. And it is okay — shit, it’s fucking human — to acknowledge that. In Selma’s case, it does matter that Ava DuVernay wasn’t nominated for Best Director. Because she would have been the first Black woman to receive that honor. Although people don’t still read almanacs, textbooks, and encyclopedias, that’s the type of shit that makes it into almanacs, textbooks, and encyclopedias. It means more visibility, more work, and more opportunities for Black women (and men) to direct and produce films their own films. Which means more Black actors and actresses and directors and cinematographers and grips and production assistants and security firms and caterers would find work. It’s okay to be upset about that. It’s okay to be upset that Selma joins the list with Malcolm X and Fruitvale Station and other great films produced, directed by, and starring Black people that were largely ignored by the Academy. It’s cool to not be cool about that.
Read more at Very Smart Brothas.