*Lee Daniels’ highly-anticipated film “The Butler,” upset some people when a photograph of Mariah Carey playing the role of a field slave went viral. Daniels’ movie also features the character Eugene Allen (Forest Whitaker).
The picture caught a barrage of flak from those on social media who felt that anyone with a complexion like Mariah’s wouldn’t actually have to work in the field, therefore deeming the illustration inaccurate. Those with fair skin like hers were usually used as house slaves. Fans took to Twitter to express a desire to see a more dark-skinned woman in the place of Mariah Carey in the movie.
One critic tweeted “She wouldn’t even be a house slave, she could pass as white,” and another posted “Zoe Saldana is Nina Simone and Mariah Carey is in the fields taking good slave acting jobs from dark-skinned people.”
Daniels’ choice to cast Mariah Carey in this particular role raises the question in some folks’ mind about whether he took the time to gather historical facts. Others believe that the media has brain washed us into believing that slaves were always separated by the tone of their skin which wasn’t always the case. Slaves with light skin weren’t always granted immunity from picking in the field just the same as all dark-skinned slaves weren’t banned from working in the house. Yes there were many cases where a slave bearing lighter skin was a result of a slave owner having his way sexually with one of the female slaves. In this case more often than not the children were still confined to slavery but were used as house slaves because of their blood relation with their owner.
Even in today’s society where we have an African-American president, we still find ourselves having the debate on colorism. From Zoe Saldana’s playing Nino Simone or Mariah casted as a field slave, it’s doubtful we will ever really stop this never-ending argument.
*Singer Kelis got the surprise of her life when a man at a UK airport called her a “slave” and a “disgusting Nigerian.”
Kelis twittered, “A red faced sweaty “man” (I use the word loosely here) started calling me a slave and told me to call him sir…
“He called me Kunta Kinte and ranted and raved some more. The man behind the passport desk laughed, shook his (head).”
Kelis tweeted that over 50 people said nothing.
“Didn’t flinch. We all know I’m no saint, so I retaliated. Not the way I wanted to, or how that pig deserved. But #1 my gorgeous baby boy was literally sitting on my hip and #2 I’m a believer. And we are better. Supposed to be anyway. It made me think. This person was approximately a 50 year old English man.”
Kelis also tweeted that she is in London all the time and that the racial issues in the UK are “disgusting.”
“Decades behind progression because everything is swept under the rug. People don’t talk about it. People don’t fight it.”
*Roger Ebert has backed away from his controversial use of the N-word on Twitter after jumping into a literary language debate on Wednesday.
The film critic was responding to controversy over the censored N-words in the new edition of Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by tweeting Wednesday, “I’d rather be called a N—- than a slave.”
But following responses from Twitter followers, Ebert backed off today.
“I’ll never be called a N*****or a Slave,” he Tweeted. “So I should have shut the **** up.”
Ebert is married to Chaz Hammelsmith Ebert, who is African-American. She also serves as the vice president of the Ebert Company.
*In case you missed it, here’s the big tour bus argument between NeNe Leakes and best frenemy Kim Zolciak from Sunday’s episode of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
The whole thing began brewing over a number of issues – from the constant cigarette breaks taken by Kim, to racial comments directed at the lone white housewife – ranging from “white people love to go barefoot in public,” to accusations that Kim treats her African American assistant Sweetie like a “slave.”