Thanks to USA TODAY we now have a new category to recognize during awards season — “race themed.”
Over the weekend the publication caused quite the social media uproar with its box office recap in an article titled “Holiday Nearly Beat Thor as Race-Themed Films Soar.” *scratches head* So what about friends gathering in upstate for New York for Christmas screams “race-themed?”
While the headline was in poor taste, it also points to a larger issue — that Hollywood has yet to fully recognize and respect the collective buying power of black audiences along with acknowledging the simple fact that hey, we like black movies. Well let me specify. Black people like quality movies made for us and preferably by us — movies with intricate storylines, portraying the ebbs and flow of life, and are centered on in-depth, layered characters. That’s what we like.
But for some reason this came as a shock to a lot of people, most noticeably the industry insiders knee-deep in a town so white-washed that they failed to notice the chocolate lure of Morris Chestnut or class-act directors like Malcolm Lee. Maybe Hollywood missed the national media blitz for the film or the overwhelming enthusiasm from fans in the weeks leading up to the release. Or maybe they simply doubted that black people would deem a grown and sexy, “race-themed” romantic comedy worthy of a $12 night, ultimately giving the No. 1 box office placeholder a run for its money.
Whatever the case, it goes without saying that Hollywood has little to no faith in the black moviegoer; that is unless it involves a 6’5 black man dressed in drag portraying a gun-toting, smart mouthed granny. If “they” did, there wouldn’t be articles noting how “race-themed” films were surprisingly such box office hits.
I get the whole, if don’t make dollars it don’t make sense. But in this case, it did make dollars and it does make sense, well, at least to me and probably all of Black America.