In Mainstream Art & Culture
By Trevor McNeil
Minority identity in mainstream art and culture is often illusive. Everybody wants to be seen. Everyone wants to be recognized. Now in the age of branding, group identity is held up as the most important part of a person. As such, the notion of “Media Representation” has become a hot topic in recent years. The #OscarsSoWhite campaign has highlighted the issue. As with most things however, not every situation is the same and there needs to be some nuance.
Fear of a Black Planet
The #OscarsSoWhite campaign had a legitimate point to make. The point being, most Academy Award nominees/winners have traditionally been white. Those numbers make no sense. There is now, and always has been, a giant reservoir of talented and creative people of color working in the arts. So why are people of color so poorly represented in the awards department, I wondered. I believe that particularly in terms of acting, there is the ever looming issue of tokenism. Tokenism dramatically affects the dynamics, by limiting the type of roles offered to black actors. The hipster cabby. You know the image.