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Friday, February 20, 2009

Shoulda, Coulda, Did & Why?

Well since it's the Academy Award season I thought I would give my opinion on African American nominees & winners over the years. You may not care what I think, but I'm giving it to you anyway. Feel free to lay your opinion on me, I would love to know what you think.

1) Hattie McDaniel won the very first Oscar among African Americans. She won it for Gone With The Wind. Her role was "Mammy." I am proud of her for this accomplishment, although many have grumbled under their breath about her winning for playing a Mammy. One person said to me, suppose someone won today for playing a video hoe girl, wouldn't you be mad. My response was if a large percent of African American women had jobs as video girls in real life it wouldn't be an inaccurate representation. The fact is, at the time that Ms. McDaniel played that role their were many African American women, including my grandmothers working in the homes of White women. I can appreciate that Blacks pushed for a higher depiction of us, but I can also appreciate her role and award.

2) That brings me to the Oscar for It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp. Three Six Mafia Won, and I am not in the camp of being mad at them. Bash me if you need to, but I sang that song a lot when it was out. I felt like it was hard for me a pimp of the system. Plus, I also felt a little empathy for a real Pimp's situation. I had no idea that a prostitute would leave if the Pimp didn't have cadillac, rent, and gas money. Hey, I learned something about his struggles I am fully aware of how wrong I sound, but yet I persist .

3) Quincy Jones is quite the man in the Academy Award arena. He has been nominated in three categories and he hasn't done bit of acting. He was nominated for Best Picture Producer of The Color Purple, He was nominated for Best Original Song the movies were, For the Love of Ivy, a movie I've recommended here. Other films were The Eyes of Love, The Color Purple. The third category was for Best Score The Color Purple,The Wiz, and In Cold Blood. Needless to say, I think he should have won at least one of those, but hey we know how Hollywood is.

4) I also still feel like Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne should have both won for Best Leading Man & Woman in What's Love Got to Do With It. They were cheated and that's all I'll say about that.

5) Halle Berry won the Best Actress for an African American Women and I've often asked myself why . Dorothy Dandridge, Diana Ross, Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson, & Whoopi Goldberg were nominees in this category too. No disrespect to Halle, but each one of these women did a better job in their roles than Halle. However, I really appreciated the homage Halle paid to her predecessors. IMO they each have done a comparable if not a better Job than Meryl Streep in many of her roles, for which she has won the Oscar.

6) Denzel is a great actor and I am happy that he has won two Oscars, he deserves them because he has taken great care in choosing his roles. Could you imagine where Rap music would be if rappers chose their songs to release in the same manner in which Denzel has made his choices.

7) Some of my other favorite nominees and winners are Sidney Portier, Spike Lee, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Queen Latifah, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, James Earl Jones, Will Smith (he was robbed for Ali), & Don Cheadle.

Looking at this list of great nominees and winners, only shows we have come a long, long way and I really appreciate the progress. Good luck to Viola Davis & Taraji P. Henson. I"ll be watching on Sunday, at least until their part goes off.

BTW- I didn't forget Jennifer Hudson, I just feel like she didn't do too much more than what Jennifer Holliday did when she won the Tony. However, considering she followed the role that Jennifer Holliday laid out for her to the letter, she was a little ungracious and forgot to give a proper thank you to her predecessor. I think she said something like "oh yeah thanks Jennifer Holliday" after the music hard rushed her off. Not to mention the many interviews before and after, where she continued in her path... I'm just saying. Here's the original role.


Unknown said...

Nice synopsis of the Oscars. I am surprised that you didn't highlight Sidney Portier. I think the funniest thing you said was about the Pimps, I just know that you are joking about them. Right? Right. LOL And I actually think that Jennifer Hudson did a great acting job, I did not see the original Dreamgirls when it was on Broadway but I suppose she could have said thanks to Jennifer Hudson - considering she didn't change the song at all.Even though the Oscar was for acting and not singing it still would have been a nice gesture but it didn't bother me much.

Jewelry Rockstar said...

The Tony was for acting too, just on stage. The movie was lifted from the play. In 1982, African American Movies weren't getting green lit as often as now. If they were, Jenn Holliday probably would have played back then, but how can I say for sure. I think J. Hud did a good enough job, she just didn't seem to recognize that she was definitely on the shoulders of Jenn. Holliday.

Nope not completely joking about the pimps. I did learn something and I used the song as a metaphor for my own struggles in parenting, as an employee, as a business owner, etc.

Jewelry Rockstar said...

BTW- Sidney Portier falls in the same category as Denzel. He chose his roles well, and pushed us ahead in a big way. My bad for forgetting. He deserve recognition.

Barbara said...

Cool. I'm not big on watching many of the award shows, but I am gonna try to remember that the Oscars will be on Sunday...

I am personally itching to see new black stars in films. I mean I love the great actresses and actors that we do have, but I wanna see some new faces. Why we gotta have the same faces in all movies when it comes to black actresses/actors. I'm happy to see that Taraji P. Henson is getting the opportunity to branch out a little in Hollywood, and people like Derrick Luke and other fresh new faces. I say this because the number of movies that Angela and Laurence have played opposite each other are many, and in the same kinds of roles... someone's mother/husband.

Great post.

Jewelry Rockstar said...

@Ms. Bar B. It is nice to see new talent in Hollywood. I wish though, that we didn't have such an "it" black girl & black boy thing going on. One year Gabrielle Union was it, Nia Long was it in the early 90's, Angela Bassett used to be it too, but now she and Laurence have taken television shows to keep working. Kerry Washington and Jamie Foxx have been the "it" people too. Taraji, deserves this moment because she has been around for a long time working her craft.

I love Tyler Perry because he gives actors the opportunity to work, and he tries to use a good variety of talent.

MBB Founder and Editor Denene Millner said...

Great post, RockStar--my fingers are crossed for Taraji and Viola, two women who have been in the game for much longer and worked much harder than mainstream media is willing to admit.

As always, we've come a long way, but have so far to go...

Anonymous said...

Lovely tribute. It will be very interesting to see who wins tomorrow.

Barbara said...

Definitely! Tyler mixes it up and introduces new black faces and familiar ones in different ways each time. Hopefully there can be some changes within Hollywood in general so that black Hollywood can start to expand.

Unknown said...


interesting point made on #1.

i can hardly stand to watch the halle acceptance speech...too cheesy dramatic in the beginning (and that's saying a lot since i'm quite sensitive and emotional), but i saw enough to get you you mean.

i'll tune in tonight to see what happens.

Jennifer said...

NIce! I'd much rather read your perspective than watch the Oscars anymore. They need to call you and spice it up!

*High five* regarding the lovely Halle Berry. I think her persona off screen has made me like her a lot though.

P.S. I LOVE that you are homeschooling. It's a goal of mine so I'll have to follow your experiences.

T.Allen said...

I get you on the pimp thing. I know I'm pushing it given my recent post about ol' girl-but hey this is my voice and I'm gon' tell it. :) Capitalism is capitalism is capitalism-'nuff said. And yes, that song had a special (albeit annoying) place on my cerebral radio dial.

As for the rest of the Academy awards...I have trouble being unbiased-if I say they won, they won. *Laughs* I can't bear to see my vote get robbed.

Did Taraji win? Viola?

Jewelry Rockstar said...

@T.A.M. I am with you. If I say they won, I never forget what I said. I am sorry neither Taraji or Viola won. I hoped they would, but I didn't see either of their movies. I would have seen Ben Button, but Brad Pitt and Angie are on my list. I don't know when I'll be taking them off. As a result of them being on my list, I won't watch their movies.

Capitalism is capitalism is capitalism-'nuff said. I see you completely understand that sometimes it's hard out here for a Pimp!

@Jennifer, thanks for hearing my opinion. It's always good for someone to care.

@Flytie - Interesting how? In a good way or in a that's some B*ll type way.

BTW- I did turn it off about 9:55pm after the supporting actress award. Then I tuned in again in enough time to see Sean Penn win, and to catch what looked like a glimpse of a smirk on Jenny Anniston's face in the background. Hehehe. I know I have to let this go, but when will I actually do it.

Rashan Jamal said...

I'm still trying to figure out how Halle won an Oscar. That movie was horrible, and her performance was horrible-er. LOL

Denzel shoulda won for Malcolm X. Don Cheadle needs an Oscar before his career is over.

Forget Oscars, I'd settle for just someone making movies about Black people... (and not buffoonery like that Tyler guy everybody but me seems to dig.)

Makeup Theory said...

Halle Berry's acting is so hit & miss. She's gorgeous, no argument, but the acting is mediocre at best. But hey, tons of white actors are skating through on their looks - um, Scarlet Johansen, anyone?

I thought Jen Hudson kicked behind in Dream Girls. It was her first acting role, if I'm not mistaken. She made Beyonce look like a spectator in the movie. Oh, speaking of people who get roles because of their looks/fame. Don't get me started.