(ThySistas.com) This year is shaping up to be a dynamic year for people of color. In 2016 thus far, not only are we seeing more folks in the black community support each other, we are seeing the propelling of black consciousness to the forefronts of mainstream media. From Beyoncé’s “Formation” video and Super Bowl halftime show to Kendrick Lamar’s stunning performance of “Alright” at the Grammys, the revolution is being televised.
I don’t know about you, but the way black superstars are unapologetically proclaiming their blackness is inspiring. In fact, it is a call for everyone in the black community to rise to the occasion. Now is an excellent time to be black in America; to be black period.
Some people do not agree with the direction in which certain black, influential entertainers like Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, and Chris Rock, (among a host of others) are going. They feel that they are either doing too much or are not entirely sincere in their efforts.
This is where we in the black community fall short of truly unifying towards the common goal. We are too quick to “call someone out” as being inauthentic when what we really need to do is rally behind individuals who are taking a stand to help push the cause forward. Beyoncé and Kendrick have used their authority to bring attention to the realities we experience every day. What they are dong is noteworthy because it communicates a potent message- black is beautiful. Their actions boldly proclaim that black is powerful.
We should take our cues from the example that they are setting. One entertainer, in particular, has expressed her frustrations with the lack of acknowledgement black people receive for their efforts across a broad range of industries. Jada Pinkett-Smith’s boycott of this year’s Oscars is another important message that not only declares her blackness but draws attention to the fact that we, as a community, have what it takes to take care of our own. And what she said in her early morning video on January 18, 2016, does not only apply to Hollywood. Furthermore, I wholeheartedly believe that her decision to boycott is not rooted in the fact that her husband, Will Smith, is not nominated for an Academy Award for his role in Concussion. She just came to a point where she realized, “Enough is enough.”
Let us see the beauty in the opportunities that have been opened thanks to famous black people coming to points of reckless abandon. The way that they have used some of the biggest stages in entertainment to bring awareness to black issues and culture shows young people a different, more positive way to live. In a world where being a reality TV star is “the come up” and there’s no end to what one will do to be famous, there just aren’t enough constructive images of black women in the media, on TV and in movies. The impact of the stand these entertainers are taking is paramount.
It is time to embrace the power that makes us great; unapologetically, fearlessly and purposefully.
Staff Writer; Rasheda Abdullah