This will be the second year that blacks have been effectively dismissed from the Academy Awards. Remember how awesome 2014 was when Lupita Nyong’o slayed the Oscars? When 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture? All of that seems like a distant memory now.
Representation is everything. There were definitely movies, featuring black actors, that stood out this year: Beasts of No Nation, Straight out of Compton, and Creed. Where the Academy’s head is, I can’t be too sure. If people of color aren’t recognized in popular culture, a necessary tool for Americans to understand the world and one another, white America will never understand our stories. Representation makes a difference.
But there is one ray of hope. The documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone? is up for Best Documentary. Here’s hoping it’s a winner.