The list of Oscar nominees was rolled out last week and again it was an all white affair. For some reason academy voters didn’t see Idris Elba’s performance in Beasts of No Nation or Michael B. Jordan’s portrait of a prizefighter worthy of nomination.
Predictably it’s all about actors playing men dressing up as women and women making love to women on-screen who deserve the nod of artistic approval from Hollywood. For a liberal community that preaches and admonishes inclusion, acceptance and tolerance Hollywood does a terrible job when it comes to embracing all races in the quest to create an all inclusive world of cinema.
Our fate is tied to theirs and days meant to commemorate powerful black activists such as Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X must be honored in Africa too.
It seems that Black actors are only worth nominating when they portray characters perpetrating the image of blacks as social liabilities or racial misfits. That is why Denzel Washington will win the best actor for playing a corrupt police officer and Michael B. Jordan will be ignored for portraying an inspiring black fighter. The hypocrisy of liberals is deeply expressed in the bias of Hollywood.
A Donald Trump may be seen as a certifiable nut job for voicing out his candid views but he is no hypocrite like the pretenders who will fill some pavilion pontificating righteousness to the world whilst practicing prejudice in their inner midst.
At a time when the racial divide in America is on the rise, it would have been fitting to acknowledge a film like Creed that brings together a white trainer who sees a son he never had in a black boxer and the aspiring black fighter identifying a father figure in his white trainer. Ryan Coogler’s ode to the Rocky franchise is also a clarion call for racial integration in the US but that message was conveniently lost on the entertainment industry.
Racism however, continues to percolate from Hollywood because in part the African American community allows it to. The fraternity of colored filmmakers would do well to stay away from the Academy Awards this year as a sign of protest but rather unfortunately, they will be well represented to aid the projection of the falsified image of equity within the industry.
Young black thespians like Michael B. Jordan, Lupita N’yongo and veterans like Samuel L. Jackson, Will Smith, who failed to garner nominations will be invited on stage to present awards and in some cases perform for the white nominees who are being celebrated. It appears as if the black man is still only good for labour but not good enough for acclamation.
The bigotry of the American film industry is a reflection of a greater social malaise accentuating the fact that, racial discrimination will never go away unless the black minority seeks solutions from within by eschewing the lip service that the white majority pays to addressing the problem of racial prejudice.
The plight of the black man in the Diaspora must resonate with black people on the motherland. Our fate is tied to theirs and days meant to commemorate powerful black activists such as Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X must be honored in Africa too.
The realisation that, the commonwealth of the black man will only be achieved through the concerted effort of Africans and African Americans forging ahead together must form the basis for a quest for equity. It would be inspiring to see an Oprah Winfrey, or a Dr. Cornel Ronald West frolicking with African leaders at the next AU summit.
For the black man can only ameliorate his lot through interconnectivity with his own kind. It’s a radical notion that will obviously be rejected by many but it’s also the bitter truth which is emerging from the deliberate and systemic effort to keep the negro down.