Saturday, September 17, 2016


Do you remember Freddie from the television show A Different World?

Do you even remember A Different World ?

In case you don't remember: 

Lisa Bonet's character Denise Huxtable from "The Cosby Show" went to school at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in this television show. And Cree Summer played the carefree air-heady, Freddie on this television show.

Freddie was a character that I recognized as a more naturally white character being played by a light-skinned black actress immediately. 
Apparently most black people did. That's why her interview with Fusion became popular on the internet via black news and black online magazines. Most everybody who is black instantly knew that her statement is absolutely true. Most everybody who is black knows that Freddie doesn't exist or very rarely exists because it's mostly true that 


Nothing, like the character she played, Summer is apparently adored and admired by the likes of Amandla Stenberg which ought to tell you something all by itself.


"I don’t know a single black girl who’s carefree because it ain’t easy being a girl of color, period. God, I wish we were carefree. A lot of political things would have to dramatically change in this planet for a woman of color to be carefree. But I think what they mean by that is more of an aware black girl, a conscious black girl. The more conscious you are, maybe the less cares you have and maybe the more cares you have as well—it kind of goes hand in hand. Self-awareness and more self-love and also the ability to care for other black women.
It has something to do with being politically aware of where you stand on this planet and I think it has to do with not accepting the definition that’s been given to you by designing yourself. 


Indeed, I can't even be carefree when watching her show, 25 plus years later, on Netflix because I am woke, now. 

In an age where most blacks have, for decades, rejected 
"There's only one race the human race," 
a phrase used by whites to negate racism 
and I have now personally rejected 
"Oh my Gawd! We're all black!"  and all variations on this phrase 
used by light-skinned and dark-skinned black people, both, 
to negate colorism,
I cannot believe I never noticed 

The actresses above represent the characters that we, as a young female audience, were supposed to identify with.  These are the actresses that played the female students of "A Different World," a black sitcom

Jasmine Guy
Lisa Bonet
Cree Summer
Chamele BrownMarissa Tomei

Chamele Brown's character was the only black female going to this fictional college who appeared to have two black parents, who was not pale, sans being Aisha with the good hair.  As I recall, Brown wasn't on screen very often. And I'm not sure her romantic relationship was ever on screen for more than 10 seconds-- if she even had one.
Think about this casting choice at the same time that you think of the skin color of Producer Bill Cosby's wife and his rape victims.

Now, think about how harmful NOT NOTICING this might be?  

But now I'm also wondering if casting choices for A Different World is accurate even if I don't like it. 

While I've never seen so many recently-mixed-race black chicks in a public setting, in one spot, in real life, I wonder if this isn't more of a reality at a college, HBCU or not?

Somehow we all sort of know the cost of not noticing race and racism when white people say they are colorblind. But do black people know the high cost of not noticing color and colorism when black people say they are intraracially colorblind?

More tomorrow

While you're waiting for part 2, think about who would pay most of this high cost for not noticing skin color preferences in the black community.

I'll give you a hint: It's the people whose outer worth is still tied to looks in this country.