Tag Archives: nina simone

Zoe Saldana On Being Successful As A Woman Of Color In Hollywood: “My Balls Are Pretty Big”

Casting Nina Simone
Is Hollywood still colorstruck? The search for Nina Simone is skin deep. Read More »

“I don’t want to spend my life thinking about all the impossibilities I face when I wake up in the morning. But the reality is, I’m a woman of color in America. That itself is enough for you to wake up and go, “Oh, f—!” … My balls are pretty big. There’s a confidence that my sisters and I were raised with. After my dad died [in a car accident, when she was nine years old], my mom moved us from Queens back to the Dominican Republic. A very macho sort of place. But my mom raised us to know that we are equal to anyone.”

Zoe Saldana has always struck me as the best kind of interviewee: someone who will sound off openly and honestly and say things that make you want to be her friend. Scratch that, I want both Zoe and Mama Saldana in my corner.

In this interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Zoe also talked about the controversy around her role in a biopic about Nina Simone. Some people, including Frisky contributor Erica Watson, complained that Hollywood whitewashed Nina’s story by casting a lighter-skinned woman of color like Zoe for the role. Nina Simone was a darker-skinned Black woman who was very proud of her Blackness. Here’s what Zoe — who has addressed the controversy before — has to say about that: Keep reading »

Zoe Saldana: “There Is No Such Thing As People Of Color”

Casting Nina Simone
Is Hollywood still colorstruck? The search for Nina Simone is skin deep. Read More »
Onion Under Fire
the onion rihanna
Some feminists are upset about The Onion's piece on Chris Brown. Read More »
Tokenism?
Erica says lay off "Girls" for being all-white and give black girls a show. Read More »

“I find it uncomfortable to have to speak about my identity all of the time, when in reality it’s not something that drives me or wakes me up out of bed everyday. I didn’t grow up in a household where I was categorized by my mother. I was just Zoe and I could have and be anything that I ever wanted to do…and every human being is the same as you. So to all of a sudden leave your household and have people always ask you, “What are you, what are you” is the most uncomfortable question and it’s literally the most repetitive question. I can’t wait to be in a world where people are sized by their soul and how much they can contribute as individuals and not what they look like. … Keep reading »

The Soapbox: Is Hollywood Still Colorstruck? The Search For Nina Simone Is Skin Deep

Tokenism?
Erica says lay off "Girls" for being all-white and give black girls a show. Read More »
Race On Mad Men
Dawn on "Mad Men" photo
Teyonah Parris on playing "Mad Men"'s first black employee. Read More »
Racists Upset
Some racist "Hunger Games" fans are mad about its black actors. Read More »

When the big news was announced last week that Zoe Saldana would be playing singer Nina Simone in a biopic, black cyberspace (yes, there is a “black Twitter” and a “black Facebook”) let out a collective “Oh, hell to the naw”!

For some it was because they did not believe that Zoe had enough acting talent to pull it off. Nina Simone was an extremely complex woman in real life, and the actress assigned to do this would be embarking upon the role of a lifetime. For others, the statements ranged from “Can Zoe even sing?” to “Wait, I thought she said she was a Latina?” to “Zoe is too skinny to play Nina Simone anyway!”

As the debate continued, it became clear to me that the issues surrounding the casting of Zoe ran much deeper than her acting ability. It was “skin deep.” Once again we were seeing an example of how Hollywood just doesn’t understand black women. To mainstream America, Black is “one color fits all.” But to African-American women, the color of our skin is much more than a random hue. In many ways, it uniquely shapes who we are and how we are treated in the world. For us, body image and self-esteem does not only involve loving your womanly body for the shape of it, but also embracing your complexion, hair texture and other features in a culture that constantly reminds you that thin white women are the standard of beauty. Keep reading »

Get Your Rocks Off: The Pierces Playlist For Getting Down & Dirty

The Frisky asked the sister duo behind The Pierces for their picks for “The Top Ten Songs For Getting Down and Dirty”, the first list in our series of music playlists with a sexy twist. Allison and Catherine, who originally hail from Arkansas and recently performed on Gossip Girl, came up with some super climactic tunes to shimmy to. Buy these tracks, not to mention The Pierces amazing third album Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge, on Amazon — or be among the first ten people to comment and you’ll score them for free. Playlist after the jump…

Keep reading »

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