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The “Variety And Volume” Problem – Does That Sum It All Up… Or Is There More?

The "Variety And Volume" Problem - Does That Sum It All Up... Or Is There More?

Slow news day today folks; lots of Cannes Film Festival/Market activity, but very, very little for us to write about. C’est la vie…

And as I’m about to get into some project reasearch, which will likely take me away from the site for a little bit (unless something breaks, or my research is immediately fruitful), riddle me this in the meantime…

In an effort to get to the heart of it all, because that’s what we like to do around here… consider these 2 items: variety and volume.

If we had more of those 2 key things with regards to representations of people of African descent on screen (big and small), would most (if not all) the issues we constantly debate (not only here on S&A, but elsewhere, online and off) be non-existent?

So… just as the *other* experience dominates our screens in its near-full breadth, would having a similar kind of varied and extensive representation of black people globally, result in less discord among us; for example, the continuous arguments over preferred industry standards of beauty, and everything that entails, where black people are concerned; the burden of representation; Tyler Perry – a name, but also seemingly a noun, a verb, an adjective and more, as far as many of us are concerned; stereotypical depictions of black people; stock black characters that have existed since the dawn of cinema and have evolved since then – the BBF, the sidekick, the Magical Negro, the Mammy and others; etc, etc, etc.

And if the answer to the question is yes, shouldn’t we then instead direct all that energy into coming up with a solution to what seems like a relatively simple problem? Or is it a relatively simple solution to a seemingly difficult problem?

And if the answer is no, then what else is there that a healthy increase in variety and volume on the big and small screen wouldn’t solve?

Give it to me! :)

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