On Sunday, Viola Davis won a Screen Actor’s Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for ABC’s smash hit, “How To Get Away With Murder.” During her SAG Award acceptance speech, Davis addressed colorism in Hollywood and America.
“When I tell my daughter stories at night, inevitably, a few things happen. Number one, I use my imagination. I always start with life, and then I build from there. And then the other thing that happens is she always says, ‘Mommy, can you put me in the story?’ And you know, it starts from the top up.”
Davis thanked the producers of “How To Get Away With Murder” for thinking a “sexualized, mysterious woman could be a 49-year-old, dark-skinned, African-American woman who looks like me.”
On Monday, Roland Martin, host of “NewsOne Now” and the Straight Talk panel discussed colorism in Hollywood, America and within the African American community.
When talking about America’s standard of beauty, “NewsOne Now” panelist Avis Jones-DeWeever told Martin, “We (African Americans) have a beauty that obviously often times is not recognized by the broader world.”
DeWeever added, what Viola Davis said about engaging her daughter about the standards of beauty in America was something that really stood out to her. “Raising a Black girl, let her know from the beginning that she needs to be part of the narrative, that she is beautiful does start at home and that is where we really need to put our emphasis, letting our children know that they need not be defined externally by others views.”
Listen to Martin, Avis Jones-DeWeever, Rock Newman and Shelby Emmett discuss colorism in the media as well as within our own community in the audio clip below.