write your own stories

I wrote this a while back during the “Love is…” tv show fiasco. That show angered me so much. Also, this free-thinking, free-flowing, query-driven piece was sparked by “Queen Sugar” and the choices made with casting.

For me personally, I love to begin blogs with the ending. So, right now I’m going to say. I need to tell my own stories. That is the moral of this entire blog. But, let me get to why I had to come to this conclusion.

Writers, directors, casting directors, and producers seem to be very careless where it concerns colorism especially in the shaping of characters and storylines. More care needs to be taken in how storytellers approach placing certain characters in stereotypical roles.

Sometimes I wonder if we are being trolled. As it pertains to “Love is…” was the dark skin woman just so perfect for the baby mama role or was it hard to believe someone light skin could convincingly play the role?

Is it hard to see a light skin woman play an aggressive woman without the dark skin woman playing second fiddle? I understand that I need to tell my own stories. It’s no one else’s responsibility to get it right for me.

Can you just use light skin and dark skin women interchangeably no matter the context? Shouldn’t storytellers be more cautious in furthering these narratives?

How much of this is about actors/actresses really being able to capture or embody a certain character or is this about the casting director, writers etc. selfishly wanting to see a certain dynamic play out? ie. loud angry dark skin baby mama, quiet happy light skin woman

We all live on this planet and I believe we have all been conditioned to think within these parameters? I think it will take some effort to see outside these clearly drawn lines in the sand of where everything should exist. Can a light skin black woman embody the loud angry baby mama character? Can a dark skin black woman embody the soft-spoken happy chosen loved woman? Can these opposing narratives exist together in one story? Can we even envision a romantic story being told where the dark skin woman gets picked over the light skin woman? Is this too far from our minds to grasp or wrap our minds around? Are lovable happy go lucky chosen light skin women just caught in the loop of this perpetual angelic narrative? Do they have the chops or the skills to play someone outside of the norm? Maybe light skin actresses lack the depth to play roles outside of the stereotypes. Maybe casting directors and agents hindering their growth.

Sometimes I feel, as a dark skin woman, I’ve been forced to see the negative spin on things because of how much we have so much negativity directed towards us. A lot of us are not able to live in a world where we can see the positive or be optimistic.

Writers seem to enjoy hurting black women specifically dark skin black women. Throw shots and sit back to watch the backlash because no one has to put up with being depicted in a horrible light. Free licks, no accountability. No one cares about the pain of the dark skin baby mama.

I long to see stories told with plus size main characters where her weight is never mentioned. I long to see stories with light skin women playing the aggressive strong black woman, the asexual auntie black woman, or the clout chasing baby mama. I plan to write some of these stories.  I believe all kinds of stories should be told and these stories should strive to venture outside our ability to imagine them being portrayed. There are only a handful of stories I can endure without cringing these days. Until then I will continue to enjoy Nollywood films.


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