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Finally It’s Been Said, We Are Enough!

Tarani P Henson makes more than a statement she redefined what is significant

Tarani P Henson makes more than a statement she redefined what is significant, “We are Enough!”

So often Blacks  have been slighted and left out and have been placed in the position of second class citizenship. Fact but this year  when Jada Pinkett Smith led a boycott call of this years Academy Awards soon followed by her husband Will Smith whom was slow to come on board. Some thought he felt forced to show unity with his wife. But then again we have to believe that they discuss such things as the bold move before going public. 

Anyway actors reacted not so warm and fuzzy by the call even though it is true Blacks are not included in the Academy nominations. However the call to boycott the prestigious awards prompted all sort s of different  responses as some pointed out to Hollywoods top black power couple. 

One in particular, Janet Hubert, who played Will Smith‘s Aunt Vivian on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,  slammed Jada Pinkett-Smith for her 2016 Oscars boycott in a Video rant. Some of which  rang true.  Janet’s rant,  “. . . . The second thing, girlfriend, there’s a lot of s— going on in the world that you all don’t seem to recognize. People are dying. Our boys are being shot left and right. People are hungry. People are starving. People are trying to pay bills,” the actress continued. “And you’re talking about some motherf—ing actors and Oscars. It just ain’t that deep.”         

Director F. Gary Grey, actor and awards show host Anthony and O'Shea  shared  a laugh  a backstage

Director F. Gary Grey, actor and awards show host Anthony and O’Shea shared a laugh   backstage

 However to accuse the couple of being blind to whats going on in the world of Black folk  is not true. She accused them of turning a blind eye to such things as our Black boys dying. Problem with that angle is that Jada has initiated a move to “Bring Our Girls Back,”  and in 2010  the couple was  listed by The “Giving Back 30” among the top 30 celebrities who made the largest donations to charity in 2010 according to public records.  Forbes.com reports that Will and Jada took the number 20 spot due to their committed efforts with the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation, a charity that focuses on education and inner-city family welfare. The Smiths also donated a combined $900,000 to the Lupus Foundation, the Baltimore School for the Arts and the Make-A-Wish Foundation over the past calendar year. So Ms. Hubert’s rant was not factual. Regardless of what side of the fence you fall on the regarding the Oscars some have always known that it really isn’t that big a deal.  

In fact, if you speak to most Black Oscar recipients that will tell you that their careers did  not improve, that their Ocsar win did not get them better roles, Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx, Forrest Whitaker, Halle Berry, Jennifer Hudson, Mo’Nique, Octavia Spencer,  Lupita Nyong’o,  Lou Gossett Jr., Cuba Gooding , Jr., Whoopi Goldberg, Morgan Freeman, Hatti McDaniel(deceased).  Many felt that the call to boycott was more self-centeredthan about the lack of equity amongst the Academy Awards nominations.

The Smiths were accused of being upset that Will Smith was not nominated for Concession.   He has been nominated before and has been snubbed when he should have been nominated but there have been many others even whites who were never won. Tom Cruse stands out, nominated here times but base never won. There are a few movies I can think of that he should have won. But such is life. Brad Pitt has been nominated but has never won for his acting. Johnny Depp is among the list of actors, who have yet to take home the gold man and without question his performance as Edward ScissorsHands  was worthy.

Jada Pinkett Smith and hubby Will Smith take Anderson's hits with stride

Jada Pinkett Smith and hubby Will Smith take Anderson’s hits with stride

However, the award can only go to one any given year for the particular oscar of which one is nominated. The point made is that the prejudice that Smith may experience is not necessarily racist. He has enjoyed the benefits of top box office star and is consequently wealthy as a result of his good fortune in Hollywood.  To ask others to sacrifice their  relations in Hollywood  is bit much for most. As Ms. Hubert said,“Here’s the other thing, for you to ask other actors to jeopardize their careers…You know damn well, you don’t do that,” Janet added in her rant. “They don’t care!

So that was that. We won’t know until the Academy Awards who boycotts and who doesn’t. But the  NAACP Image Awards, thank God for the  NAACP Image Awards stand high  in the hearts and mind of Blcak Folks. Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett were among the heavy hitters who came out to support the event.   But while Will, 47,was nominated for the NAACP Outstanding Actor Award, he didn’t win.

B. Jordan expressed his surprise at being nominated and his happiness to be Black

B. Jordan expressed his surprise at being nominated and his happiness to be Black

Instead, young actor Michael B. Jordan, 28, the star of Creed, was the winner, thanking his parents in an emotional speech for their support. The young actor expressed  his amazement at even being considered for an award.

“I thought it was a typo that I was in this category in the first place,” he said. “I’m proud to be Black in this room, honestly.’

Another big winner was Straight Outta Compton that won Outstanding Motion Picture and also an Outstanding Supporting Actor award for O’Shea Jackson, Jr. 

Over in TV land , Empire and Black-ish swept their respective categories; Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson took home Outstanding Actor and Actress Awards.  On the comedy side, Anderson himself nabbed Outstanding Actor In A Comedy, providing the setup for the future trivia question, “At what event did Transformers performer Anthony Anderson beat out Don Cheadle, Dwayne Johnson, and Andre Braugher for an acting award?”  Other winners at the NAACP Image Awards held in Pasadena, California, included  Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross and Marsai Martin for their roles in ABC’s comedy Black-ish. 

Will Smith Congratulates Terrence Howard

                Will Smith Congratulates Terrence Howard

Anderson dressed in a white t-shirt sporting a gold chain was also the host of the awards show that aired on cable channel TV One as it opened. The funny man went right for the big issue of the year in Hollywood – the lack of diversity in the Oscar nominations – as soon as he hit the stage. 

He started the ceremony by looking out  into the audience and saying: ‘Look at all of these beautiful shades of people in the audience. Hollywood needs to know that this is what diversity is supposed to look like.’

The actor said he loved seeing so many ‘Black people working.’ 

“Everybody keeps saying it’s a comeback. But hell, don’t call it a comeback. We’ve been here for years. This is about us. This is our show and it’s not a comeback. We have been here and we aren’t going anywhere.”  

Straight Out of Compton Cast

                        Straight Out of Compton Cast

Anderson did not stop with his intro.He also sprinkled his time on stage with other references to the Oscar debate. He sang his own rendition of N.W.A’s Straight Outta Compton, changing the lyrics, hitting out at the Academy. The big-screen staple also took aim at actress Stacey Dash, who recently called for Black History Month and the NAACP Image Awards to end.

Anderson did not shy away from addressing a hot topic at the 47th annual NAACP Image Awards on Friday, which included the Smiths which he shared  a moment, ‘They better be here after all this ish they started!”: Will and Jada Pinkett Smith get singled out for their Oscar beef by Anthony Anderson at NAACPs.

The Smiths took it in stride and with smiles replied, “Yeah we started some  _ish!”

Will recently clarified to BBC Radio 1’s Breakfast Show that the decision to boycott the Oscars was not about whether he personally received a nomination.

‘This is an issue of a really regressive trend, not just in Hollywood but in my country,’ he said.

‘It’s not about me or being nominated.’ 

Many people expected Will to pick up a lead actor nomination for his role in Concussion, he didn’t

The film documents the struggle of Nigerian forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu against America’s National Football League.  But it has to be remembered that the film is controversial and one the NFL never wanted to be made.

But the Award winning Moment of the evening was when Taraji P. Henson, a Howard alum, referenced the ‘Oscarssowhite’ controversy said,  “WE are enough!” Taraji P. Henson declares African-American actors ‘don’t need to ask for acceptance from anyone,” echoing what we’re going to assume is the prevailing assessment at Fox, where Empire continues to be one of the biggest things on TV. 

Walk Away 
  • Michael B. Jordan wins Best Actor for Creed, beating Will Smith who was nominated for Concussion
  • Straight Outta Compton wins Outstanding Motion Picture and supporting awards for stars O’Shea Jackson, Jr. and Phylicia Rashad
  • Empire won the award for Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Actor & actress went to Terrence Howard and Taraji P Henson respectfully
  • Comedy Black-ish picked up three NAACP acting awards, honoring Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross and Marsai Martin 

The NAACP Image Awards  ceremony  recognizes ‘the accomplishment of colored people also known as/AKA Black people (however in recent years has generously acknowledged Whites & hispanics)  in the fields of television, music, literature and film.’




Finally It’s Been Said, We Are Enough! was originally published on chicagodefender.com

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