There is a new sitcom on the ABC network called The Fosters. It is about an interracial lesbian couple raising the biological son of one of the partners, along with several other children who have been in the foster care system. In the pilot episode, the African-American mother, a vice-principal, brings home a teenager who was recently discharged from a juvenile detention center. The girl is hostile, rude, manipulative and she had batting practice on her last foster family’s car. She seems an ill fit for the relatively peaceful home of the couple. When the white mother, a police officer mind you, comes home to this hot mess, she isn’t even annoyed. She goes into whatever makes you happy mode immediately. A few scenes later, the officer informs her other half that her new patrol partner is the officer’s ex-husband and here we go again. The vice-principal gets an attitude. Granted, she doesn’t yell but her passiveness is aggressive enough that she doesn’t invite the ex-husband inside when he comes to pick up his son for a music competition. And when she does speak to him, it’s confrontational.
Why are all the black women on night time television powerful, pretty, and peeved? They are ALWAYS mad about something. No, I can’t say it’s racist. Shonda Rimes is the African-American creator of Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy. Do you watch these programs? I do. Dr. Miranda Bailey was mad in a wedding dress a few episodes ago. She’s an attending surgeon with a good man and the interns lick her shoes. What the heck is she mad about? I love me some Scandal but Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington, is forever on the edge of tears or fire-breathing angry at the fictional President. Remember, the medical drama HawthoRNe starring Jada Pinkett? Quick, form a picture of her in your mind. She’s wearing scrubs and she’s frowning right? Housewives of Atlanta, Omarosa, Congresswoman Maxine Waters…mad, mad, mad! I’m sure Congresswoman Waters smiles sometimes but the media never shows that image. In every photo, her lips are pressed into a tight line and her eyes look like storm clouds.
Really? In the words of abolitionist and former slave Sojourner truth, “Ain’t I A Woman?” with the same blood, same heart, same sorrow, and same joy as any other woman? Go to any hair salon, work place, church event or fundraiser where women of any color are gathered and listen to the laughter.You won’t be able to distinguish Northerner from Southerner, let alone ethnicity. There is no segregation of joy or dialect of happiness. Don’t believe the hype. We are all multi-emotional. And if you do see any woman without a smile, give them one.
Follow this link to hear Kerry Washington recite “Ain’t I A Woman” http://www.history.com/shows/the-people-speak/videos/aint-i-a-woman