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Roy Douglas Malonson, Publisher of African-American News&Issues
Roy Douglas Malonson, Publisher of African-American News&Issues

One of the most puzzling things that seemingly happen every year is that some White Awards show refuses to honor African-American actors, actresses, directors, and producers for their artistic work. Predictably, African-Americans in Hollywood cry foul and charge the Awards show and those who decided who would, and would not, be nominated for an award. This time around it is the Academy Awards that has once again refused to acknowledge the accomplishments of Black Hollywood.

My question is a very simple one, “What in the world is wrong with Black Hollywood? Why are they expecting for Whites to celebrate them for their accomplishments?”

If nothing else, history has shown us that Whites hate to give credit where credit is due when it comes to African-Americans. I am shocked that Black Hollywood does not realize that anything, and I do mean ANYTHING, that wealthy Whites do is aimed at promoting them and their people. Even when they appear to celebrate African-American actors/actresses, as they recently did with Denzel Washington, one does not have to look very far to uncover some form of bias. In Denzil Washington’s case, one has to remember that he did not win an ‘Oscar’ for his role in Malcolm X, Glory, or any of the other notable roles. Washington was honored by the Academy Award for his role in Training Day a film that saw him play a rogue, drug dealing, murderous police officer; the role was most certainly not a positive image for Black America.

I have little concern regarding who is nominated for some Hollywood Awards Show and I am at a loss for why any Black person, including those working in Hollywood, would ay any attention to it. Unfortunately, it appears that our people have invested much energy into the Academy Awards; so much energy that Black Hollywood is calling for a boycott of the Academy Awards.

My question is a simple one, ‘What will a boycott accomplish?’ The truth of the matter is that a boycott, although covered by major news outlets, will have a negligible affect upon what types of movies, storylines, actors/actresses, directors, and producers are ‘green-lighted’. Unfortunately for Black Hollywood, until they infiltrate those areas, they can count on routinely being left out.

Considering the harsh reality that there is actually little that Black’s in Hollywood can do to impact how things are done in that world, it may be time that we ‘took our ball and went home.’ Black artists should divest from their current belief system that tells them that winning an Oscar is the apex of their arena and focus their energies toward developing their own projects and thereby telling our stories without White influence.

Until Black Hollywood totally divests from their psychological and emotional dependence upon ‘White industry leaders’ who they have voluntarily agreed to imbue with the power to coronate some works worthy and others worthless, there is no hope for contemporary Black Arts. Black Hollywood must accept the obvious reality that White America will never celebrate positive Black cultural expressions, particularly if it is not financially beneficial to do so, before they will be able to turn inward and focus their attention upon creating and screening positive uplifting images of worth and utility to Black audiences.

My primary question for Black Hollywood is a simple one of, ‘Why is the applause of your own, that you will receive for creating positive images, not enough?’