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  • Black female role models and stupidity culture

    by SajiniW
    10th April, 2006 at 4:20 pm    

    ‘Who do you think you are? Tarantino’s new star’….

    ..I think I might well end up following North and South’s (defunct 90′s Busted) advice there. According to Amina Taylor, the ever-insightful former Pride magazine editor, our Quentin’s got it right for once, what with his ‘Kill Bill’ and ‘Jackie Brown’.

    To his credit, he’s managed to avoid the ‘three main categories’ black women in modern British cinema stereotypically end up in. We’ve not seen any a) strong, determined single mother’ types fighting the system; b) lone Kidulthood-style young women ‘trying to do the right thing against her peer group’; and c) the ‘sexy background fodder’ most-commonly seen in a Guy Ritchie movie.

    Thankfully, the days of Richard Curtis, where ‘you’d think no black women lived in Notting Hill, or anywhere else in the UK for that matter‘ are coming to an end.

    Rollin’ With the Nines with its street-smart protagonist is a different matter. Taylor acknowledges that although Hope, a lady with control over her own destiny, is far from perfect.

    Her presence alone is inspiring on screen, given that the much-derided ‘stupidity culture’ (which both Pink and JK Rowling have mocked of late) where an editor is besieged by “young women who wanted to model but could barely spell the word.”

    An interesting parallel could be drawn when considering GCSE results and exclusions and constantly-evolving social aspirations.

    A recent survey suggested teenagers increasingly believe there is no link between their achievements in school and their potential to succeed because of the careers of football stars and reality TV celebrities. Dubbed “realism deficiency” or “Beckham syndrome”, researchers acting on behalf of the South West Learning and Skills Council and King’s College London concluded that “some young people are convinced that life will present them with a lucky break and that they simply have to sit tight and wait for their moment.”

    Something both pupils and educators could arguably be taking note of?

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    Filed in: Current affairs,Media,Party politics

    4 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. Joolz — on 10th April, 2006 at 4:27 pm  

      Amina Taylor is worried about the trend of black girls who want to model but can hardly spell the word and are attracted to the whole gangster rap bimbo thing but the fact is that black girls have some of the best GCSE results and they are getting better and better. So the picture is not as bad as she points out. Black girls are taking control and going into education and becoming independent and breaking stereotypes.

    2. SajiniW — on 10th April, 2006 at 4:34 pm  

      Given Sunny’s repeated posting of GCSE results and the survey below, I think Taylor is a couple of years late.

      Her point re: the lack of role models still stands, particularly when translated to black men on TV.

      Having said that, I grew up with just the Maharabat, Krishan Guru-Murthy and Raj Persaud for role models and most of my contemporaries didn’t do too badly ;)

    3. Bikhair — on 10th April, 2006 at 6:03 pm  

      What are the stereotypes of black women in Britian? I wonder if they are anything like the ones here in America.

    4. SajiniW — on 12th April, 2006 at 8:41 am  

      The stereotypes in Britain are very similar to those in the US - you’ve got the RnB video ‘ho’ and the pushy Rikki-lake types as well as the ‘difficult jobsworth’-type who’s jealous of anyone doing better than her.

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