It Looks Like The Academy Is Actually Listening To People Of Color

Maybe all of our griping and organizing around the lack of people of color awarded by the Academy is finally paying off. Maybe.

A few days ago, I sat in a room full of activists as they worked their way through a variety of issues that occur in their spaces. One of these was the challenge of avoiding exhaustion and complete burnout due to the constant fighting for a cause and, ultimately, feeling like you’re tallying up far fewer wins than losses.

My thinking on this problem is that the effects of social activism usually can’t be quantified until much later on. By trying to change an entire world’s thinking on certain issues, there’s no sort of instant gratification involved. A leader could spend their entire career fighting for equality and not see any significant change until years, or even decades, later. 

WATCH: Kerry Washington and Aziz Ansari discussing racism in Hollywood

It is very clear that the entertainment industry has an issue with race and racial representation across genres. Actors Kerry Washington (Scandal) and Aziz Ansari (Master of None) sat down for the fourth season of PBS SoCal’s and Variety’s Actors on Actors team to discuss how the lack of diversity of voices, writers, and talent in the television and film industries affects their careers.

‘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.

Academy Awards Works To Increase Diversity With New Appointments

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences was deservingly on the receiving end of public outcry after a second year with a noticeably lack of diversity among nominees. After [hopefully] learning a valuable lesson, the Academy is playing an active role in fixing the problem.

The Academy has added three new governors, all from diverse backgrounds, to leadership positions, that will last for three-year terms, according to Deadline.

Hampton University Approves First LGBTQ Organization

Hampton University brings more diversity to its campus as it welcomes its first LGBTQ organization.

On February 4, 2016, the students at Hampton University heard that the first LGBTQ organization had been approved by administration. It’s called Mosaic, which is an acronym for “Motivating Open-Minded Social Acceptance and Inspiring Change.” This group will be a safe space for queer Hampton University students and allies to come together and promote acceptance, tolerance, and awareness of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Was I Right about the NAACP Image Awards?

Alright, alright, alright now.

I think I want to offer a formal congratulation to everyone who won and was nominated for an NAACP Image Awards. It is super important that African Americans are honored for the work they do on and off the screen, and I am happy that there is at least one day where an award show is quality enough to be for us, by us. With that said, I have mixed feelings about the award show.

Misty Copeland’s Documentary Set to Air on Feburary 8th

On February 8th, BBC will air a documentary about the life of Misty Copeland, the first Black principal ballerina in the American Ballet Theater.  

While growing up, most children are told that they can be anything that they want. As a child, I went from wanting to be president to a lawyer in the span of an hour. However, as I got older, I realized that as a Black girl, society believes that you don’t belong in certain roles. As a young woman of color this can be disheartening and isolating. When there are no role models, who are you able to look up to?