Standing in Our Own Power

Alisha Rose

Alisha Rose

The nominations for the 2016 Oscars were recently announced and the lack of diversity among the nominees have some people rather upset.

Two mega successful Black films, Chi-Raq and Straight Out of Compton, surprisingly, were both snubbed for an Oscar nod.  The lack of melanin within the nominees this year, has sparked the controversial hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, which sent Black Twitter into a frenzy, accusing the 93 percent white, 74 percent male operated Academy, of racial discrimination. Many prominent Black figures and activists called for Black people to boycott the Oscars, actress, Jada Pinkett Smith, being one of them.

Smith took to her Facebook page, on Monday with a respectful, yet inspiring video, entitled, We Must Stand in Our Power, in which she explains why it is time for Black people to boycott the Oscars.

“…Maybe it is time that we pull back our resources and we put them back into our communities, into our programs and we make programs for ourselves that acknowledge us in ways that we seem fit that are just as great as the so-called mainstream ones… begging for acknowledgement or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power and we are a dignified people and we are powerful. Let’s let the academy do them, with all grace and love and let’s do us, differently…”

So far the video has over 9.7 million views, whereby Smith garnered immense support from Hollywood and fans alike.

Unfortunately, not everyone agreed with Jada’s message. Former Fresh Prince actress, Janet Hubert, posted a response video on Facebook, bashing Smith for condemning the Academy, stating,

“I find it ironic that somebody that has made their living… and made millions and millions of dollars from the very people that you are talking about boycotting just because you didn’t get a nomination… that is not the way life works baby…”

Hubert’s response to Jada seemed to insinuate, that Will and Jada Smith, were only proposing a boycott out of bitterness for being ignored a nomination.

Here’s my take, regardless of what influenced Jada Pinkett to come to the decision of boycotting the Oscars, and to make a public plea for support, she is 100 percent on the right track.

One of the main tenets that slave owners stood by, comprised of the oppressor creating a system of dependence by which the slaves depended on their master as their only hope for success and the standard of excellence that they should strive for, but never be able to achieve. Slaves must always look toward their oppressor for acknowledgement and affirmation.  Jada as well as other prominent leaders in the Black community are calling for an end to this, Willie Lynch syndrome, that Black people have been holding on to for centuries; and for the re-establishment of black-run communities and programs that protects and promotes our own interests.

It seems Hubert still has unresolved feelings from being fired from the Fresh Prince 20 plus years ago, and she would rather ignore the opportunity to help build Black Hollywood. This alone comes across as if she’s bitter. She would rather side with the same people who fired her over two decades ago, just to get even with Smith for their unresolved fall out.

I stand in solidarity with the Smiths, and anyone else who is ready to begin building a stronger, better, melaninated community, and who are focused on the promotion and encouragement of Black excellence and Black solidarity.

Full List of Nominees

Here are both videos. What do you guys think of this entire situation? Are you on #TeamBoycottOscars or #TeamGiveItARest



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