Let’s Help The “Sista” Out For A Change!

Update: By official proclamation we here at Acts of Faith In Love & Life will hereby be taking a more forward-thinking stance when my sistas are prominently and positively featured across various media. I urge every black woman to do so and follow up by writing directly to the powers that be.

We MUST communicate with ample enthusiasm our desire to not only see our images being displayed well but extend our loyal support to those for doing so! Here’s the response reader Khadija got after writing to Elle magazine thanking them after I asked why hadn’t there been more black women paying attention to the Kerry Washington November Elle cover.

She reports:

They sent me a gift package of: a tote bag, a bound journal with the “Elle” inscription, and a copy of the magazine. Well, that’s allright!

People are paying attention to our conversations at these forums! and appreciate our feedback when they do something we like even more so than when we find fault. **Because this was such a profound comment (amongst all the other illustrious things from the whip-smart crew that comments at this forum) I had to bump this up:

Via Evia – I’ll be posting news soon about another major production in which a bw is the romantic lead playing opposite a non-black man. These plays/shows/movies are out there but barely anyone circulates the info. IMO, ALL of our sites should be mentioning them so that they can be attended/supported to the max by black women and our supporters. As you said, there should be some sort of communication of appreciation or indication of interest shown. Let’s all think about how we can do this so that it is DONE each time. IMO, this should be the SOP (standard operating procedure) whenever a bw is prominently featured in a positive way in the media or even when a bw achieves highly on other fronts–to drown out the negativity that thrills the anti-bw crowd.

Evia did post information for this latest production at her blog Black Female Interracial Marriage Ezine about Falling For Eve which not-so-coincidentally was written by the same contributor of the TONY Award winning musical Memphis (Joe DiPietrio amongst others) which ALSO features a black woman in a leading role. There’s a few other shows worth checking out that she’s discussed. If they’re not in your areas and you’d like them to be you can write to the producers to tell them to bring their shows you. As long as they know it will be supported they will come! Somebody likes us!

Here’s a scene from Memphis:

This conversation came around again because we need to take a more active role in sending shout-outs to those who show positive images of black girls and women who showcase us in the full range of our beauty and don’t exclude the regular black women that we know typical DBR/No Value black males IGNORE.

This isn’t about them of course! We can’t always be lamenting the dearth of roles and negative portrayals when we don’t support things that do feature us favorably. Look at how many women were touched by the Sesame Street “I Love My Hair” video. Why did it take a white adoptive father of an African girl to see the need to promote his daughter’s unique beauty for so many others to take notice? Where was the affirmation of our (non-exotic, biracial, multicultural) standard beauty from black males? We should NOT be waiting for affirmation from those who do not value us (and show it by their actions) to begin with!

This was why I urged black women to not to do the typical knee-jerk reaction based on (fear, emotional hunger, dissatisfaction, non-critical evaluations or something else) by financially supporting another Toilet Paper, er Tyler Perry production of the hijacked project For Colored Girls from my Monday post as I listed my reasons why we cannot afford to contribute to our denigration anymore.

Betty Chambers Has Spoken featured a great profile of television productions featuring black women (some are current others are not) Black Actress Media Watch post (laughing at the Blair Underwood reference for those who can read between the lines). Instead of us getting all excited to see your typical black male on the teevee (film, music, etc) we need to be asking if he has gone to bat for a sista in his professional and personal life or is it business as usual (self-focus except when he wants to cry racism and asks us to go to bat for him)?

I’m going to add a little blurb to the Executive Producers and the CBS network that airs my favorite show, The Good Wife thanking them for having more than one black female featured character so far this season.(only 4 episodes in and it’s been a delight to watch)! I’m compiling an extensive post on this show as I think the writing is superb for all women but I was missing a meaty role cast by a black actress. Lo and behold they throw a major plot twist with the addition of Anika Noni Rose. She needs to be made a permanent cast member! HINT HINT!!!

CBS Viewer Feedback Online Form for THE GOOD WIFE (you can watch past episodes online to catch up).

CBS affiliate listings (along with the other networks) and phone numbers. The snail mail address is listed but here it is as well: Leslie Moonves, President & CEO CBS, 51 West 52nd Street NYC 10019

The bottom line is this: if we don’t change nobody else will.

13 Replies to “Let’s Help The “Sista” Out For A Change!”

  1. I realy liked this innovative angle that you have on the subject. Certainly wasn’t thinking on this at the time I started searching for tips. Your ideas were totally simple to get. Im glad to find that there’s an individual online that gets it exactly what its is talking about.

  2. I don't currently have funds to see a stage play, but those of you who do in the D.C. area might want to check out Arena Stage's current production of Oklahoma. Saw an ad for it in the Washington Post Express today, and noticed that a black actress has a leading role in it. (Actually, there are a couple of major roles in it with black actresses in the production--check out the favorable article about it in the NYT from Nov. 10--the article's titled, "'Oklahoma?' Revival in D.C. Generates Broadway Buzz").

    1. Coming and Going: Thanks for letting the reading audience know about Oklahoma -- which happens to be one of my favorite musicals. I'm sure PBS playing it every year when I was a child had something to do it but I adored Shirley Jones and I liked the idea of Curly and Laurey together. Also, looking at the musical now there was the clear promotion of marriage as the ideal and protecting a woman's reputation. This regional production may get picked up for Broadway as evidenced by the NYT's article http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/10/okla… so this is a good time for black women to start paying more attention.

  3. "We MUST communicate with ample enthusiasm our desire to not only see our images being displayed well but extend our loyal support to those for doing so! Here’s the response reader Khadija got after writing to Elle magazine thanking them after I asked why hadn’t there been more black women paying attention to the Kerry Washington November Elle cover."

    loooooooooove it, will be featured on my blog as well, thx

  4. As soon as I came across the information regarding Falling For Eve I passed it along ASAP to Evia.

    And I'll continue to pass along information regarding uplifting performances about US in the future.

    GREAT topic as usual Faith!

    Yes, we MUST be willing to support positive and attractive images of ourselves as BW.

    1. Felicia: Yes thank you so much for forwarding the information on that project to Evia. Feel free to share and send more so we can ALL support each other.

      ChizzyD: Thanks for posting to your blog. Send us the link so we can visit your post as well!

  5. Faith, WONDERFUL initiative that you've started re communicating directly with producers who uplift us, letting them know we approve and will SHOW it. If there were a LOT of bw's sites that would sign onto your initiative, the success of it could even be eventually tracked by posting discount ticket coupon codes on bw's sites and those of OTHERS too. Just to make this clear, the bw's sites would NOT collect any money; the coupon sits on the site, but it is linked to the show's box office or ticket outlet center.

    In the meanwhile, some of you who are excellent concise writers--I know I'll never be accused of being "concise"-LOL!-- need to take on that "communicating with producers" role. Trust me. Producers are capitalists. They will respond favorably, and now that the economy has gone south, this is an excellent time to let them know we are ready with our $$$$$.

    But talk is cheap. AAs may get bowled over by talk, but not others. As I've mentioned, we've got to jam-pack these theaters, watch TV shows, and buy the books of authors, etc. that uplift us to the mainstream stage. And this is all the more important when non-black, mainstream producers are lifting us up. When these producers know that every time they lift us, that there will be gobs of bw hungry to buy those tickets, watch those TV shows, buy those books, well watch out!!

    And even if we don't actually attend the show, we ought to be willing to invest in our uplifted image by buying the tickets. If bw could use the discount ticket coupons they see on sites to buy tickets, then Elverniece in Chattanooga, TN could invest in uplifting her and other bws' image by buying a tkt for a B'way or Wash., DC show, knowing she won't be there to see it. So, it wouldn't even matter whether the women actually attended the performance. Of course, SOME clueless bw won't participate in this, but many would. And if Elverniece actually got a good theater seat, this tkt could be re-sold to someone in NYC or DC via Ebay, or other online sites.

    1. Evia: I agree wholeheartedly. We can all pitch in if some of us would like to coordinate funds or at the very least WRITE to let them know they've caught our interest. I mean if BW are flocking to to latest denigration project how are others supposed to KNOW many of us want something ELSE?! I just added the links for the address to CBS as it's been the #1 Network for some time (there's a shift to Fox due to the baseball stats but as for Dramas, etc this is it and we need to support them. I'd say throw in something for Grey's Anatomy but I did not like the way the backstage shenanigans affected the story development but again it all came down to who was vocal about pulling their support and who had an established power base.

  6. Faith,

    Very important points you addressed here. Support for black women by black women is crucial to the continuous improvement of our image/brand on the world stage.

    As you know via twitter, I am a "Good Wife" fanatic! Its wonderful how the producers/directors/casting are showcasing great talent. Anika Noni Rose has my head spinning. I love how cool, calm and collected her character comes off. And she is ultra-feminine in her performance.

    LMAO! to the Blair Underwood reference by Better Chambers. I caught it immediately while reading her post!

    1. Vanessa F: Yeah I watch The Event and I was still scratching my head over President Martinez from Cuba trying to figure out if that was the actor or the writers who came up that one. His real life wife is ahem…lighter complexioned so I just decided to NIGnore. Besides his character is not the main story so whatever. This is why BW need to stop ASSuming (I say that with Senor Baby Wipes being on L&O LA as well as Michael Ealy on The Good Wife).

      As for Anika -- YES!!!! Besides waiting for the inevitable (I hope) pairing between Alicia & Will and Kalinda's swagger-jacking I'm loving the minor characters this season. I don't think I initially thought it was because her hair and makeup are so flattering. Isn't that pathetic. I remember when Nia Long did Big Shots and she was wearing a weave because she specifically said they didn't have an experienced hair stylist that had worked with enough black actresses and she didn't want them jacking up her hair! WTH!!

  7. Happy Friday, Faith! Great post. I am also a "Good Wife" lover. I like the fact that they don't sugar coat or make mockery of the issues as most other shows tend to do. As to the image of Black women, I spend lots of time outside the U.S. growing up and in my life I always saw Black women in strong roles and leading roles. We have to support those who put out positive and balanced images of Black women with our finances and the social networking capabilities that we now can access. Keep spread the word.

    1. LaVonne: I've added links to CBS. I think it's time we bombard them with Wendy Scott-Carr badges. It would be good to have several viable AA woman State Attorney General officials (like Kamala Harris) in real life!

      Here's an interview with Anika and it looks like the writers/producers have lots of plans for her character: http://www.tvfanatic.com/2010/11/anika-noni-rose-

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