By Patrick Barron, Trending Writer
In the United States, we are going through a tough transition period. We are moving from the conservative traditions to progressive ones. It is relieving to know that many in the country want an inclusive America. In a similar fashion, some celebrities speak out about racial issues that continue to divide our country as they fight for equality of all races. Our country is not there yet, but individuals with huge platforms who use it to promote diversity, can help our country get to that point.
Historically, our country has discriminated and systematically oppressed people of color. This affects practically, if not all, facets of their lives such as education and jobs. For instance, Hollywood has not always been an inclusive industry. Just look at how the Japanese were depicted in the media during World War II, or the both infamous and racist Blackface in the early twentieth century. Like Hollywood, our country has made significant progress with its treatment of minorities, but we need more progress to ensure we reach this vision of a truly inclusive America. Celebrities, using their voice in a positive manner, can help us reach that place too.
For example, the magnificent African-American actress, Viola Davis has spoken out against the lack of Black films in Hollywood. When speaking about the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, she noted the lack of Black films produced in the industry, leading to few nominations for people of color. The heavily criticized 2016 Oscars awards had a lack of diversity in their nominees. As a well-respected Black veteran actress, Davis has won many awards as she appeared in numerous films, television shows, and even has some theatre credits. As both a woman and an African-American, Davis inspires many women of color in the country, as they can be successful in the entertainment industry too.
Even in sports too, the fight for racial equality caused some to speak out. In the memorable 2016 ESPY Awards opener, four NBA superstar players, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James, spoke out against the current state of America that they rightfully viewed as not understanding Black people plights. Also, they implored Americans to change the system to have a better country.
Davis and those four NBA superstar players are just some of the many celebrity advocates for positive change in the country, and though resistance may be tough now, eventually, what they want will be a reality. Instead of letting our differences divide us, let us unite as Americans, understand them and become more accepting. It takes all of us working together to reach the vision of an inclusive America, so be a part of that change today.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, January 24th print edition.
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