A few years ago I attempted to watch the Oscars & I got to tell you, I somehow managed to last 30 minutes. I couldn’t take it. That has to be absolutely the most boring awards show on television. Never mind how “prestigious” that award show is & how an Oscar can literally sky rocket somebody’s career in the entertainment business…but my goodness, that shit is hella boring. If you’ve never watched the show basically they hand out Oscars to people in every imaginable category of the entertainment business you can fathom. Best score, best DP (director of photography), best lighting guy, best camera man, best fluffer, best assistant to the assistant of the assistant director, best donut-run boy, best light switch on/off flicker. They make you suffer through all of those awards for people you’ve never heard of nor do you even care about…that’s not to take away the importance of the job they had for whatever film they were working on, but still…do you really care about who’s going to win an Oscar for “best sweat wiper of the forehead due to extremely hot ass lights on set”? Fuck no. So you must endure this endless line of Oscars being handed out until the very end of the 3 hour show where they announce the nominees for the 3 categories people only care about: Best Director, Best Film, & Best Actor. That’s it. Nobody outside of the entertainment industry cares about those other categories. Just facts.
Insert Jada Pinkett Smith with her fine ass…
“Is it time that people of color recognize how much power, influence that we have amassed, that we no longer need to be ask to be invited anywhere?”
Ummm…yeah. Why have you been missing from these conversations Jada? Marcus Garvey, The Black Panthers, & Malcolm X have been telling us since forever now that we should not be asking the dominant society to take care of us or reward us. I’ll address this “power” thing in a minute.
“Have we now come to a new time & place where we recognize that we can no longer beg for the love, acknowledgment, or respect of any group?”
The time for Black society to stop begging for Scooby snacks & a pat on the head is long overdue my dear. If 400 years of slavery & Jim Crow wasn’t enough time for every single Black person in America to recognize that this country wasn’t setup for the advancement of non-white people, then I don’t know what to tell you. Seriously Jada, where have you been during these discussions that have been taking place since before the Civil Rights movement?
“That maybe it’s time that we recognize that if we love and respect and acknowledge ourselves in the way in which we are asking others to do, that that is the place of true power?”
The true place of power resides in one’s economy. Not their feels. Black folks can love, respect, & acknowledge each other all day long but that’s not going to get us one step closer to securing power. Jada, how does one acquire power if they are broke? Explain exactly how that works? How does one begin to cause a shift in the system without any money? You know, the same money the system uses to continually inflict its will upon people of color to the point where we have you making Facebook videos complaining about the system. The same system that has paid you & your husband millions, yet even with all of your money, they don’t respect you. Explain exactly how Black people getting in tune with the feels of other Black folks is going to solve an issue that is purely built off who is using their money to exercise power? You got money, but I don’t see it working for you. So how is it going to work Ray Ray and them?
“The Academy has the right to acknowledge whomever they choose, to invite whomever they choose, & now I think it is our responsibility now to make the change. Maybe it is time that we pull back our resources and we put them back into our communities, into our programs, & we make programs for ourselves that acknowledge us in ways that we see fit that are just as good as the so-called mainstream ones.”
Jada, didn’t you grow up with Tupac if I’m not mistaken? If that’s the case, have you ever listened to some his music in your spare time? Because if you did, then why are you acting brand new to this line of thinking? In case you are not familiar with the words of Marcus Garvey, The Black Panthers, or Malcolm X; surely you have to be familiar with the words of your once close friend Tupac who stated these very things back in the early 90s that you are stating now. Help me understand how you are now just getting in tune to the world of Black economic empowerment. I’m lost. Seriously.
“Begging for acknowledgment or even asking diminishes dignity & diminishes power. And we are dignified people & we are powerful. And let’s not forget it.”
Begging for acknowledgment or even asking diminishes dignity and power how exactly if you’ve never had real power to begin with? Show me exactly what this power is that you are referring to & when/where has it ever been applied? Further if Black folks did have this mysterious power that you can’t present in some type of tangible form, then why in the hell have we been begging & asking since day one? Help me understand Jada. What power are you speaking of? Somebody reading this, show me this power Jada Pinkett Smith speaks of. It sounds like to me you are equating power to that of just being alive & breathing. People with actual power derive their power from their economy which they then use to build things like businesses & institutions which then allows for them to fund other projects like I don’t know….laws to set the tone for how a society is to conduct themselves. The same society which has obviously allowed for Black actors in Hollywood to only be highly paid employees & not owners, because if you had any true power sitting in front of your bank accounts, then we wouldn’t even be having these discussions about us begging from the beginning. Black Hollywood would have figured this shit out years ago because it’s not like it’s been a secret as to how they view you all. Shit ask Kevin Hart...and that’s just 2 years old.
Why is this all of a sudden a problem now?
Why do you all of a sudden believe that Black society needs to do for self? Is it simply because there were no Black nominees or was it because your husband wasn’t nominated?
What if there were some Black nominees, then what would your sentiments be?
You can’t pick and choose when to be about Black empowerment. You’re either about it 24/7 or you’re not. You don’t just suddenly become about Black empowerment after something happens to you that you don’t like even though you’ve been in this industry for years & KNEW how that industry has been getting down since the invention of the first motion picture projector.
You want to prove to Black society you are serious Jada Pinkett Smith, then rally all of your Black millionaire friends that work in the entertainment business & put your money together to create your own studios, create your own films, create your own award shows, & whatever other jobs that are necessary so that Black people who do work in the entertainment industry will not have to worry about being snubbed or finding work in the entertainment business. But please do not just put up some bullshit thinking that just because it is “Black owned” that that will be enough to please those of us in Intelligent Black Society. You said it yourself, “Maybe it is time that we pull back our resources and we put them back into our communities, into our programs, & we make programs for ourselves that acknowledge us in ways that we see fit that are just as good as the so-called mainstream ones.”
If that’s the case, it’s time to put up or shut up.