Movies recycle black actresses

While watching movies and television shows, what do I see? Certainly not many women who look like me.

Art is supposedly an imitation of life; however, in the movie and television industry that is obviously not the case.

Instead, black women make themselves visible in the work force and institutions of higher learning while remaining virtually invisible and encountering many glass ceilings.

One may argue that women such as Halle Berry, Angela Bassett, Lynn Whitfield and Nia Long have appeared in many movies and television programs.

But Hollywood continues to name the same actresses. The same black women are being recycled in the movie industry.

Sure Loretta Divine has “exhaled” in the acting realm. She has gone from a secretary, to a lonely divorcee, to a teacher on Boston Public. But, just how long was she “waiting to exhale.”

Queen Latifah and Regina King are very passionate actresses who can bring true to life to any character, but are still ignored when casting calls are made.

Why does it take so long for a black woman’s acting ability to be recognized?

Black women are very visible on BET because it is a “black network” and they should be.

But what about Lifetime, a network that gave itself the distinctive title of being “for and about women.” How can a network label itself as such when you rarely see a woman on air who is not Caucasian?

I am certain a black woman can be convincing in one of those grief stricken man-hating roles.

While Lifetime movies do not feature women of color, we are featured on the Lifetime compact disc being used to promote the network’s magazine.

At this time in the movie and television industry, art does not truly imitate life. I commend all black actresses and the individuals who support them for exercising tremendous effort to make certain that “art imitates life.”

Lakeirra D. Booth is a senior public relations student from Belle Glade, Fla. She is the Public Relations Representative for The Famuan. She can be reached at