A cross-post from Ankhesen Mié:
First off, it’s not about us
Let’s be clear: these Black women we constantly see cropping up opposite white men in film and television – like Angel Coulby on “Merlin”, Antonia Thomas on “Misfits” and Katerina Graham on “The Vampire Diaries” – are not being written for Black people’s benefit.
No, no…this is white fantasy at play or, more specifically, white mantasy. These characters don’t even sound or seem like the Black women you would know personally. Almost all of them come off as white women dipped in watered-down chocolate.
They are the white female interpretation of Black women, with no care for reality at all. In their minds, a Black woman is desirable so long as she’s as white-washed as possible.
No, this isn’t new
White men desiring Black women has been going on for centuries. It is what is, and the Black women who are on these shows and in these films are there … because white guys want them there.
White guys own Western media. If they don’t like it, it’s not broadcast. White women may be writing some of these storylines, but it’s white guys who are making sure Black women are put opposite other white guys.
And it’s not going to go away. White guys aren’t going to stop; men just don’t operate that way.
Dilution don’t mean dick
This is precisely why we need to lose the colorist rants in communities of color.
Dark-skinned sistahs, I feel you. But these are our sistahs too, and their struggle is just as real. And despite their light skin and straight hair, the moment they lock lips with a white dude, they become public enemy #1. It doesn’t matter if one of their parents is white – they’re that demonic, full-blooded darkie who’s corrupting/molesting/attacking/imposing themselves on some helpless, innocent white male actor who’s actually living out the mantasy of some white male writer.
It’s just easier for white female fans to get mad at them rather than at the white guys who blatantly want these women.
A house slave is still a slave
Over on the Black Girls Club post, we discussed how a lot of these characters are treated like dirt on their shows. They’re the poorly written punching bag, misfit, “best friend” (*shudder*), and overall handmaiden – having light skin doesn’t save them from this fate. Yes, the white guys may find them attractive (alas, an unfortunate side effect), but their sole purpose is still to serve the white chick, make her feel better, and even been willing to lay down their own lives if necessary to protect the fragile pale princess of the show.
They’re racial insurance; they’re supposed to be concrete proof that the characters and writing and casting staff are not racist.
So they’re not there for us. Our “appeasement” was the last thing on the minds of their characters’ creators.
All these bitter, simmering haters who watch these films and shows need to realize that you can hate the player all you want…but it won’t change the game.
Rereading the post and some of the comments and misunderstandings that followed from it, I see that two points need to be underscored:
- Ankhesen is not condemning anyone. Rather she is pointing out that these black characters are not meant for a black audience but a white one. Therefore:
- These black characters attempt to strike a balance between the needs of white male viewers and white female viewers. (That was clear in the original post but not in my edited version.)