Yes Zendaya! ‘I Am Hollywood’s Acceptable Version Of A Black Girl And That Has To Change’

by Krystal Franklin

April 24, 2018

Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.” 

Viola Davis made this incredible statement at the 2015 Emmy Awards where she won Lead Actress. Colorism has long since been a topic that Hollywood has tried to ignore. Within the last few years, we’ve seen Black women of darker hues demand the same opportunities as that of light-skin women. Insert one of our favorite young role models, Zendaya.

Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)

Over the weekend the 21-year-old spoke on the privileges she experiences as a light skin Black woman while on a panel hosted by UBER Chief Brand Officer Bozoma Saint John. The actress made it very clear that she recognizes how Tinsel Town sees her and is on a mission to create opportunities for black women where they don’t exist, simply because of their complexion.

“As a light skin black woman it’s important to say hey, I’m using my privilege and my platform to show you how much beauty there is in the African-American community. I always find it weird that Hollywood…I mean I wish you guys could be in these meetings…I am Hollywood’s acceptable version of a black girl and that has to change. We’re vastly too beautiful, too interesting for me to be the only representation of that.”

Watch below. Be sure to click on the right arrow to watch the entire interview.

We’re guessing this is what Yara Shahidi was trying to say last week, but unfortunately, it fell a little flat and wasn’t received nearly as well. Similar sentiments were felt when Amandla Stenberg revealed she turned down Black Panther because she was light skin.

While we still have a long road ahead of us, we can’t ignore the strides, though small, we’ve seen in the success of Davis, Lupita Nyongo’, Issa Rae, Lena Waithe, Gabrielle Union, Octavia Spencer, Kerry Washington, Taraji P. Henson and others remarkable actresses that still haven’t gotten their just due.

And because we could use ALL the reminders of black girl magic and just black people magic that we can get, take a look at some of our favorite moments from award season over the years that make us damn proud to be blackity, black black.

TELL US: Do you think light skin Black women have an obligation to open doors for darker skin women?

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