African American culture is a unique, dynamic, and eclectic culture that has had and continues to have a profound impact on mainstream American culture, as well as the culture of the broader world. But that should be repeated in a clearer and better way; African American culture is a unique, dynamic, and eclectic culture that has had and continues to have a profound silent impact on mainstream American culture, as well as the culture of the broader world.
The culture, history, reputation and image of African Americans have a tainted history and story due to the history of outsiders being able to be responsible for molding the image of African Americans- anybody remember Black Face and those horrid Minstrel Shows? And we cannot nor should we ever forget those awful and painful moments when Black actors had to accept demeaning and debasing roles in mainstream Hollywood so they could just receive work in the very racist industry of their time- an act and severe sacrifice that every succeeding Black actor respects because if it was not for those select individuals these modern-day Black actors would not be where they are. Yet, there is still much more work to be accomplished but the road for Black actors has evolved greatly since those days, and we honor and should always honor those that paved the way for better opportunities (within every industry).
And of course we cannot or should not ever forget about the second version of Black exploitation in mainstream Hollywood- which the astonishing Robert Townsend explored within his movie, Hollywood Shuffle. This great satirical movie dealt with the problems that Black actors faced and experienced within mainstream Hollywood during a select period of time, as the movie so eloquently told the true story in a comedic fashion of how Black actors were told how to be “Black” from Whites who had no idea of what being “Black” was or even about- so you had a great clash between reality and how many Whites in Hollywood used only stereotypes to portray Blacks in movies, and this movie broke the ice by revealing this severe issue.
But let us return to the very beginning; it is befitting to express the attitude that African Americans do not receive their rightful respect for having a profound influence on American culture and the culture of the broader world, because it is one of the standard attitudes or view points of African Americans that is woven and immersed in the culture itself, and if some African American individuals do not share this deep-rooted customary belief then that is very rare. In fact so extremely rare that it is unheard of, but when those feelings do unravel then typically there is some education that must be attained.
A woman taking the lead nowadays for fulfilling that void of what is real and what has been imagined by stereotypes from outsiders is Dana Owens, better known by her stage name of Queen Latifah.
Queen Latifah is not the least bit worried about discussing the lack of diversity and respect in Hollywood, while many other insiders shy away from the issue. Just a few years ago it was deemed too passé to discuss such topics, and of course it would be because there is always some new concept to not highlight an existing problem.
But the Queen does not just talk about changing Hollywood, but she was full of action as she launched her production company, Flavor Unit Productions. Not only has the production company been rapidly growing, but Queen Latifah has not yet disappointed with the direction of the company yet.
With her production company recently signing a massive deal with Netflix, there is much to come from this amazing production company that will continue to produce films or projects where people of color are not made into buffoons, but respectable characters that tell the story of the reality of the cultures- or they will showcase quality work because everything does not have to be only about revealing a cultures’ beauty.
Latifah said in a statement that Netflix is a “strong brand and the perfect place to showcase our projects.”
Flavor Unit Productions has these upcoming projects on its plate, the Terrence Howard thriller “House of Bodies” and “Percentage,” starring Ving Rhames and Macy Gray.
Ensuring more diverse images of women, and especially women of color, she has always ensured that this mission was at the top of her list with any project she has been a part of. As an actor, and long-time celebrity she quickly realized she needed to form her own production company if she ever was to make a real impact on Hollywood.
The 42-year-old says she is fully aware that minority women such as the sensible characters played once upon a time have greatly been replaced by catfights and fighting- which is another stereotype, held by many about women.
Queen Latifah has said, “I don’t like that element of reality television at all,” who is the executive producer for Single Ladies for VH1. “My rap songs (great Jazz singer as well) were always about women being respected and loved by men and other women. We are the mothers of the universe. If you ever see a baby come into the world, you know that women are amazing and incredible. Women should treat each other that way, and everyone else should do the same.” This indeed is similar to the positivity that is usually seen from woman to woman, but you would not know this when watching reality television.
This message will be seen throughout all of what Latifah creates, and we will be there for every adventure.