A while back, I wrote this article on Annie for Black Girl Nerds (still super proud of it’s title), then Emily Hashimoto of Bitch Magazine asked for more of my thoughts on having a black girl lead in a movie, which I happily provided. Here’s the quote:
“Having more images of [young women of color] on film, which everyone absorbs from a very young age, could be so inspirational and allow girls to look at themselves as heroes, as conquerors, as worthy of rising above whatever problems they may have, because someone who looked like them was able to do it, even if it’s just on film,” writer Constance Gibbs explains.
In another article I wrote for Black Girl Nerds, I talk about “People of Color and the Empowerment Fantasy” and the lack of stories starring PoC protagonists who get to have superpowers. The great thing about Annie is that she is a poor girl who gets to live richly. There are very few stories where people of color get to live that fantasy. There was a film in the 90s called Blank Check where a kid finds a millionaire’s signed but blank check and he puts $1 million on it and deposits it. Then he has days and days of fun until he spends all the money. Could that film have been made with a black kid? I doubt it. We rarely get to rise out of the media portrayal of blacks in poverty (which is why The Jeffersons and The Cosby Show and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air were so important, showing the other side of the coin), so movies like Annie are important in showing black kids, especially poor black kids, that they can be themselves and have fun and that its still possible to escape whatever problems they’re living in. It’s all about hope; sometimes that hope is all you need to see a better future for yourself even when things are bleak.
Anyway, please read the rest of the article In Praise of Difficult Girls | Bitch Media.
She called me “writer Constance Gibbs.” Ahh! 2015 is about living up to that title even more than this year.