The Not So Silver Screen Review – GGM LA
by Amani Comeaux
Just recently, I was able to attend the Not So Silver Screen discussion panel on March 30th, 2017 at the UCLA Hammer Museum. This particular panel went over the different ways black women are portrayed in the film industry and how it has effected the expectations of black women throughout society. Moderated by UCLA law professor Kimberle Crenshaw, the show took many interesting turns as the women started to express both their opinions and factual evidence.
As far as myself, I am a 15-year-old African American female, and many of the things that were mentioned in this program were just a refresher. I know how black women are seen or portrayed to be on television, in music or in general, especially those of darker skin tones. The famous actress Diahann Carroll, who is part of an older generation also had an abundance of things to talk about relating to her career as a black actress. It is truly amazing how long she has dealt with rejection, stereotyping and just plain rude comments.
Through the discussion, cast and scripting were brought up a number of times. As far as who fit in each role best, lighter skinned women were greatly appreciated. More times than others, it was considered weird or unusual for a black woman to play or read the role of a supposed white woman. Film directors and screenwriters would try to change certain lines in order to “fit” the character more.
Overall, I thought it was a very valuable experience, and I would gladly attend each year. There were lots of takeaways that I continue to think about every time I watch a video or movie, I acknowledge the 7 women; Gina Prince-Bythewood, LisaGay Hamilton, Tracy Byrd, Tonya Pinkins, April Reign, Kristen Warner and Diahann Carroll, as well as the audience for recognizing these faults in the media and ways to fix it.
To see a video of the panel discussion in full, click here.