Why has the exclusion of black people and black movies from the Oscars been so frustrating and upsetting to us? Part of the reason is because the actors, writers, and directors that we support, look up to, and are inspired by aren’t getting the recognition they deserve. Another reason is that excluding black narratives and characters from the nominations makes us feel like our own lives and experiences are being invalidated. Finally, I believe that the lack of black nominees in the Oscars this year resonates with us deeply because as black women we have experienced similar invalidation throughout our lives and careers. We know the pain and disappointment of being overlooked and underrated. We are familiar with the frustration of having our ideas and abilities repeatedly questioned. The fight to diversify the Oscars is not just about the entertainment industry, it’s also about fighting for our lives, our work, our stories, our selves to be acknowledged as important and legitimate.
So how do we manage the stress, pain, and disappointment of being overlooked? How do we make time to affirm ourselves when the rest of the world is behind the curve? We must validate our experiences, acknowledge our accomplishments, and celebrate ourselves. Continue reading “#OscarsSoWhite: 3 Ways to Respond to Being Overlooked”