“You’re Dark-Skinned” So You’ll Have to Work Harder

This is what Denzel Washington told his daughter, Olivia, who is currently a student at NYU as shared with the Hollywood Reporter and posted on the Color Lines website:

“I tell my daughter — she’s at NYU — I say: ‘You’re black, you’re a woman, and you’re dark-skinned at that. So you have to be a triple/quadruple threat.’ I said: ‘You gotta learn how to act. You gotta learn how to dance, sing, move onstage.’ That’s the only place, in my humble opinion, you really learn how to act. I said: ‘Look at Viola Davis. That’s who you want to be. Forget about the little pretty girls; if you’re relying on that, when you hit 40, you’re out the door. You better have some chops.'”

“Black… a woman… and you’re dark- skinned at that.”  So, the social construct of race, her gender and the social coloring of her skin are/ will all work against her?  She needs more than education, more than training, more than talent.  It is not even satisfactory to be gifted.  She must be a prodigy, head and shoulders above the rest because of the texture of one and the social coloring of the other.  Does it even matter that she might just want to act without having to outperform others based on what her appearance suggests to others?  May we forget the lines and roles of race.  I don’t ever want to play this part.

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