Dorothy Dandridge's Role In Twelve Years A Slave

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During the 1950s more black actors were making their way into film. Dorothy Dandridge became very famous, due to her unique personality and beauty that won both black and white audiences. However, “it was apparent that never before has a black woman been so erotically and obviously used as a sex object” (Bogle 151). Although her acting brought her much fame, she did not have the right to own her own body. Hazel Scott, on the other hand, became a very important figure because of her outspoken personality, “a proud and demanding performer, who never tried to conceal … her color” (Bogle 109). Scott would not play degrading roles. This blackness that is seen in many black films today, is represented by many black actors, each in a distinct manner. Lupita Nyong’o and Taraji P. Henson are two illustrations of Dorothy Dandridge and Hazel Scott 1950s roles with a modern twist.…show more content…
However, her roles show the injustice occurring in the twenty-first century. In Twelve Years a Slave, she is portrayed completely different because of her complexion; she gets rapped and is dehumanized because she is not of lighter skin. In class, it was mentioned that lighter skin is seen as valuable. Clutch magazine applies this point to Lupita Nyong’o, “She’s only an “it” girl because she isn’t African-American ... she won because she played a slave ... she’s only in the spotlight because of the White man.” This clear, discriminating statement shows how the racial problems that happened during the 1900’s shaped American ideologies. The roles Lupita Nyong’o’s gets and Dorothy Dandridge played showcase how the black community is not taken seriously. Nonetheless, Henson shows two extremely successful black women portrayed in contrasting
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