Reed Between the Lines : Why must every BLACK show…

Why must every BLACK show…

have a light complected and/or biracial-looking teenage daughter????



The VAST majority of African Americans are a similar complexion/similar look to the youngest daughter

I am sure that there are African American-looking young actresses out there who are just as suitable as this young actress that plays the oldest daughter.

It simply irritates me how TV producers think that it's okay to have biracial (looking) girls and women replace non-biracial Black actresses for Black characters on television sitcoms and this has been happening since I was a child at least

And what's funny is that you'll never see this with the male actors on the show... they're almost never biracial.


I know if I'm sick of seeing this happen (and I am light complected) then how must Black women and girls feel, who are darker, when they see that the majority of "Black" girls used in film/tv/media work are actually biracial-Black?

Re: Why must every BLACK show…

In this case I think they just wanted a kid to resemble the mom who is biracial. But understand what you mean. I wonder also about lots of characters in Hollywood having to style their hair like girls on this show when a lot of times you can tell their hair is not "natural". I wondered if its because the biracial look is in like you said. If they don't have long weaves that seems like the only alternative style.

Re: Why must every BLACK show…

I don't have a problem with any of the girl's natural hair on the show but I understand what you mean

When I was younger (before 'going natural' was a movement) I used to notice how all the girls on TV were light with curly hair (back then curly hair meant that they were either mixed or had 'good' enough hair to wear out without a relaxer)

It used to really bother me that we were suppose to be stupid enough to believe that these girls were 'truly' Black. I feel like this is the big pink elephant int the room that never gets mentioned in Black spaces


Why don't we ever talk about this?

Oh. Problem b/c it would open up a can of worms about the beauty standard for women in the Black community

Re: Why must every BLACK show…

Ahhh you do realize Tracee Ellis Ross is biracial don't you.

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Re: Why must every BLACK show…

I must applaud you, a light skinned girl, for being brave enough to acknowledge this. Most people on the planet abide by the motto: "if it doesn't affect me, it mustn't exist" so your ability to recognize and acknowledge a problem that affects your darker skinned sisters is commendable. Why don't people talk about this? The most affected people, the darker skinned black women do. They go unheard and are quickly dismissed as being oversensitive even by some light skinned sisters. You will find the same situation in India. You will be surprised at how utterly clueless most light skinned Indians are to the blatant shadism and lack of equal opportunities plaguing the darker skinned Indians. I actually had one of them tell me that "it has always been this way. It is not racism because it is amongst Indians so it is ok". And this was the only person who would actually acknowledge it just for a fraction of a second but then immediately trivialized it!

There is nothing wrong with biracial or light skinned casts for female roles but as you say, why must they, the minority, always represent black women in everything including music videos and why isn't this "courtesy" being extended to the male roles? Darker skinned women are gorgeous AND desirable too and it goes without saying that they are more than capable of handling those same roles. It is outright shadism and as Ms. Kaci Reynolds would put it if she were dark skinned: "They would never do this to a boy. Just because I am a girl they are trying to use my skin as a tool of oppression."

To the other poster Corporateraider1, you are missing the point. No one is questioning Tracee's looks or background. Why didn't they cast a light skinned girl as the little kid and a much darker girl as the teenage daughter for a change? That is the point the OP is making. It never happens even though in reality, a son could be light skinned and the daughters much darker. You can clearly see this when you look at black families in your neighbourhood and if it is not such a big deal, why don't we see this reality being portrayed on screen?

Re: Why must every BLACK show…

I just don't understand how Black people can be so against racism and then turn around and impose the same system (more or less) to our own community

How can we expect for people to take us seriously and respect us for being the civil example?

It's completely irrational and hypocritical imo


I guess it is unusual for me, a light skinned girl, to be concerned with television over representing my type but I am still a Black girl. I know a ton of light skin girls like myself who see and can acknowledge the truth. I think many of them are insecure themselves and exhausted from all the inequalities they receive just from being Black girls that they tend to latch on to any privilege that they can get. Other light skin girls are just blind b/c they've received this preferential treatment their entire lives so some might feel entitled to it. Light girls, like myself, can see the bias and openly disapprove of it. I guess it helps that I wasn't always aware that 1) I am "light skinned" and 2)colorism exists in the black community

I grew up in California where bigger "ism" is the preferential treatment to race admixture. I was light but I was not "mixed" so I grew up noticing how preferred they were over "regular black" girls like myself. Plus, I am called "light skinned" by Black people but I was raised in a city where 80% of the population is lighter than me so I never really considered myself "light" until I moved to the South. You know television representation is OFF when you have a young Black person, like myself, grow up thinking that most Black people are the same complexion as me and Tyra Banks. Boy, was I in for an awakening when I moved to the South! I guess all that gives me a really unique perspective on colorism in the Black community

At the end of the day, I am still a black girl. I have colorism in my family (not as much as the older generations but it's still there). I have an older sister who is darker than me and she's always telling me how beautiful my skin is. It upsets me that she doesn't feel the same way about her own skin tone. It's just exhausting to think that this type of bias still exists. It's annoying to say the least

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Re: Why must every BLACK show…

Khadayzia, your point is neither here nor there and really has nothing to do with the discussion at hand. That's a topic for another thread, this topic is about colorism and favoritism

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Re: Why must every BLACK show…

I agree. I just feel it's a really big issue that needs to be discussed.

And if they want to keep hiring these biracial girls, they should have the guts to show an interracial family and show a white parent. It's rare, it's happened and I think FOX is airing a show with a teenage girl like this with a white mother soon, but it's rare.

Why did I have the bowl, Bart? Why did I have the bowl? -Milhouse

Re: Why must every BLACK show…

And if they want to keep hiring these biracial girls, they should have the guts to show an interracial family and show a white parent.

Exactly!!!!

I wouldn't have a problem, at all, with them showing a biracial parentage of the biracial child. It's just doubly offensive when the TV father is Black, the son is Black, the mother is Black (usually light or visibly mixed) and the daughter is mixed race. GOSH that's so offensive!

Do they really think Black women and girls are too ugly to be on TV or not pretty enough to be viewed on the regular?

I just feel like mixed-race women get their cake and get to eat it too! They can play mixed race and "full" Black and they usually are taking the spots from "fully" Black women. But in real life try throwing them in with into the "Black" category and some will quickly remind you that they're "Biracial" and their experiences are considerably different from that of an "fully Black" person

Re: Why must every BLACK show…

You both put it very well. I could not have said it better myself. It is certainly implying fully black women are not pretty enough. I hate BET for this very reason. Just look at most of their presenters. I don't know why blacks aren't being more verbal and getting on their blogs more about this. So many opportunistic blacks on television! True, at least be honest and cast an interracial family in these instances. This way blacks will be forced to face the reality that everyone else is well aware of. I once found myself watching a video on youtube by an asian guy who claims to love black women (do not ask me how I got there lol! I couldn't even tell you if I tried). He brags about how he freely loves black women "you know, those fine mixed chicks". Go figure! So much for media not having an influence.

Re: Why must every BLACK show…

Yes, because when you cast biracial teenagers on a show with black parents and portray her as the most beautiful and popular girl in school, you're showing this is what beautiful black girls look like. Now, this wouldn't be a problem if the majority of shows with black teens didn't do this. But they do.

If you showed an interracial relationship, at least the girl would be beautiful and not presented as a "black" girl. She'd just be a beautiful girl. It would certainly make black people and even people of other races more uncomfortable in saying that's THE ideal black girl because the white parent would be right there in our face. We'd be honest about what she is.

The worst part about casting these biracial girls are these shows present themselves as "positive black shows." If they didn't slap on the word "black" it wouldn't rub me the wrong way. Not as bad. "Hey, we're all one" is what I'd be thinking. But when you say "This is an ideal family, audiences, watch us and our light skinned curly haired beautiful daughter and slightly airheaded son!" it just makes me want to turn the TV off.

I'm rambling, I think.

Why did I have the bowl, Bart? Why did I have the bowl? -Milhouse

Re: Why must every BLACK show…

You are definitely not rambling. I totally agree with everything you said. These are the same issues that bother me. And what is soooo dangerous about casting a full black, nappy haired dark skinned black girl as a main cast and as a sexual being instead of the angry, sexless creatures that pop up once in a while for a few seconds tops just as fillers for entertainment? It really does bug me that people think black women have to be mixed with something to be beautiful or that they need to be light skinned to be attractive.This is clearly false! There is no recipe for beauty and beauty is diverse! Why not give equal opportunity and equal representation instead of favouring one type? I just don't get it.

Re: Why must every BLACK show…

I feel you OP. It makes me miss the great, late Bernie Mack and the Bernie Mack show for that among many other reasons.

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Re: Why must every BLACK show…

Just curious - were you equally disgruntled with Bill Cosby at casting Lisa Bonet and Sabrina LeBeof as his daughters? I see your point, by the way.

____________________________________
Take it from me someday we'll all be free.

Re: Why must every BLACK show…

Peggy, I think the OP may have been a little too young in 1984 when The Cosby Show first aired. However, I was a tad disgruntled, but they also had Vanessa & Rudy (neither of whom were light-skinned), so there was a balance. He also had a balance on A Different World by having 2 bi-racial women (Jasmine Guy & Cree Summer), yet he had Charnelle Brown (Kim) and Dawn Lewis (Jalisa).

However, look at the cast of The Game. Actually, come to think of it, NONE of the starring cast is dark-skinned, not even the men (some may mention Janay, but she has a recurring role, not a starring role). But, you had Wendy Raquel Robinson (who is light-skinned, not bi-racial), Tia Mowry (bi-racial), and Britney Daniel (who is white).

Re: Why must every BLACK show…

Does the daughter "Claire" on My Wife and Kids come to mind? What was the reason for the change from the first dark-skinned Claire to the bi-racial Claire? This is, yet, another situation where the son (Junior) was dark-skinned (darker than both Damon & Tisha), yet ALL of the other kids were bi-racial (including the youngest daughter, the little boy who played the piano, and Donna Summer's daughter, whose character ended up having the baby with Junior).

So, OP, as a fellow light-complected woman (not bi-racial), I totally see your point.

Re: Why must every BLACK show…

Jazz Raycole was pulled from the show by her mother because she didn't agree with the season 2's opener. It's the episode where Claire finds out her best friend is pregnant. I don't really get the problem with the episode. Claire wasn't pregnant and it was not glorifying it, but oh well. But they didn't need to replace her with a girl that looked completely different than her though. It's not even about complexion. They just don't look alike.

It was something that EVERYONE thought looked bad because it's one thing to hire a light-skinned daughter originally because, hey, she could be the best for the job and another to just completely replace one of the darker girls on tv with a biracial girl. No one, even the people that just don't care about color or race, would not step back and say "hmmm." Because, you know they didn't hire the best actress and she just happened to not look like her. The character was slightly changed and she was made about two years older. They weren't really looking for another Jazz Raycole.

Why did I have the bowl, Bart? Why did I have the bowl? -Milhouse

Re: Why must every BLACK show…

I never quite noticed it, but looking back at the Cosby's Claire wasn't all that light for her to 'bear' sandra and Denise who are clearly biracial. I don't know what it is about that, but you are absolutely right. I understand it's just a show, but they could make it a little more believable.

Re: Why must every BLACK show…

When I was a kid, I looked at Denise and Sondra, and thought, they looked white, why are they a member of the family. Remind you I was a little kid back in the early 1990's. lol

My job is to inform, not persuade- Dan Rather

Re: Why must every BLACK show…

Actually, Shandifox, Sondra is not bi-racial. She's a light-skinned black woman. I know her family (she's from New Orleans).

Re: Why must every BLACK show…

I'm sorry but have none of you heard about mitochondrial DNA? The black woman carries every phenotype on this planet. It is not a stretch for this woman to produce a fairer skinned child and two darker skinned children. My brother in law is very fair skinned. The same complexion as Lisa Bonet. He married a very dark skinned woman. They have three children. The two eldest are dark and the baby is fair like Bonet. Both of my parents are brown skinned like Claire Huxtable and I am fair like Bonet. Who is to say had my parents had other children that they wouldnt be fair also. Thats the beauty of being a person of color. We come in EVERY shade and it isn't always dependent on the complexion of the parents.

As for casting biracial actors in rolls for black people I will agree. It has always bothered me when a biracial actor plays a black character. But we all know why this is. No one needs to spell it out. Actress Amandla Stenberg has been voicing this to the media and I commend her for being 16 and speaking on an issue that does not get enough attention.

A biracial married couple would be nice for TV if the man were white and the woman was dark skin. Other than that, I don't need to see the sterotypical black father and white mom. I'm tired of this portrayal and the agenda it pushes.

Re: Why must every BLACK show…

Hey Cluster I agree with you. I may not be black or AA but I never understood why BET did that. Now I really waiting on BET to do some show with an interracial couple. My very best friend is Jeniffer Hudson's complexion and the girl is sooo beautiful yet when she goes to try out for plays, TV roles or attempt Broadway, she is passed over for light skinned females. Now she has no issue with them but when she tries to Get casted in BET productions she never has a chance. I even get annoyed when Tyler Perry does that in some of his films.I just think as a woman, we shouldn't ever feel inferiority or superiority of skin color.

Sorry! The fu*k machine is temporarily out of order..So *beep* yourself and save a quarter!

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