Monday, July 21, 2014

Spoken Word: N.W.A Casting Call

Source: Todd MacMillan/Universal Pictures
Last week, a casting agency caused a lot of uproar in the interwebs.  The Sandi Allesi Casting posted a casting call to their Facebook page looking for women for the new N.W.A Biopic.  In this decade's most racist casting call, women were broken down into 4 categories: A, B, C, and D.  The A-C category requested women who were the hottest of the hottest, mixed race, medium to light skin with long hair, natural or weave.  Being of the darker shade myself, I had a bit of a problem with Category D.  Category D asked specifically for dark skin women who were not only out of shape but poor looking.  Because as we all know only dark skinned women are out of shape and poor.

To express my disgust for everything in this casting call, I decided to find my inner Love Jones and come to you with this post in spoken word.  So turn down the lights, light a cigarette, and snap as I approach the stage and give you


2014, but it might as well be 1943 
Too dark to be "the hottest of the hot"
But just right to be a rag, wearing mammy

I can be cast to be the loud mouth baby mama or
The girl twisting her neck at the corner store
Shaking my hand as I talk
Oooooo, maybe I get the part as Dr. Dre's Compton whore

Hair not long enough for Category A
Skin not medium enough for Category C
Dark skin, short hair, chubby stature
Just right for Category D

Why can't I be the love interest?
Why can't I be the woman that Ice Cube strives for?
Why is that light is right,
But dark gets ignored?

I thought this dispute was over
This way of thinking was in the past
But I'm still having to defend my dark shade
All my childhood insecurities coming back fast

My mom repeatedly having to tell me I'm beautiful
Giving myself pep talks before I left for school
Being intimidated to wear vibrant colors 
And only clear lip gloss was the rule

But the pep talks are few
I wear every color on the spectrum
I embrace my dark skin 
Rather than view it as an incurable infection

Casting call agent 
I have some words for you
The next time you mention my shade
This is what you should do

Pair it with strength, perseverance,
Vulnerable, charming, and beauty,
Funny, smart, sarcastic,
And maybe a little snooty  

Casting call agent,
Listen to my plea,
Do not shame my black women and black girls
With Category D

*Snap, Snap Hope you enjoyed the flow of my words.  What did you think about the casting call? 

Update: The casting agency and N.W.A has made a public apology for the ignant casting call.  

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