Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Scientific Accuracy in Film - Neil deGrasse Tyson Reacts to Negative Reactions to His Reviews of Science Fiction Films Scientific Accuracy in Film - Neil deGrasse Tyson Reacts to Negative Reactions to His Reviews of Science Fiction Films 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) Barbie Is Honoring Ava DuVernay (and Other "Sheroes") With Her Very Own Doll. Have a Look... Barbie Is Honoring Ava DuVernay (and Other "Sheroes") With Her Very Own Doll. Have a Look... BET Unveils 2015-2016 Slate Additions: New Original Scripted & Unscripted Series, Movies, News Specials & More BET Unveils 2015-2016 Slate Additions: New Original Scripted & Unscripted Series, Movies, News Specials & More Jada Pinkett Smith's Fish Mooney Will Return to 'Gotham' Streets with a New Look & Tougher Than Ever Jada Pinkett Smith's Fish Mooney Will Return to 'Gotham' Streets with a New Look & Tougher Than Ever Mo'Nique Presents Email Evidence That Shows She Was in Contention for the Role of Cookie in 'Empire' Mo'Nique Presents Email Evidence That Shows She Was in Contention for the Role of Cookie in 'Empire' Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library In May Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library In May James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson Will Share a Stage Again in a Revival of 'The Gin Game' James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson Will Share a Stage Again in a Revival of 'The Gin Game' Watch: Michael Jackson’s Movie Career Summed Up in 7 Minutes Watch: Michael Jackson’s Movie Career Summed Up in 7 Minutes Watch First Trailer for 'Desperate Housewives - Africa' + Individual Character Profiles Watch First Trailer for 'Desperate Housewives - Africa' + Individual Character Profiles Watch Trailer for Jordan Davis Documentary, '3 1/2 Minutes.' Coming to HBO This Fall Watch Trailer for Jordan Davis Documentary, '3 1/2 Minutes.' Coming to HBO This Fall Here Are the Cities & Theaters in Which Patrik-Ian Polk's Award-Winning Drama 'Blackbird' Will Open Here Are the Cities & Theaters in Which Patrik-Ian Polk's Award-Winning Drama 'Blackbird' Will Open Trailer: Pilot Project 'First Gen' (The Trials and Tribulations of Being a First Gen Nigerian-American) Trailer: Pilot Project 'First Gen' (The Trials and Tribulations of Being a First Gen Nigerian-American) Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Whoopi Goldberg & Daughter Alex Martin Enter Reality TV Series Ring Whoopi Goldberg & Daughter Alex Martin Enter Reality TV Series Ring Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Who's Black And Who Ain't? What Defines A Black Actor?

Shadow and Act By Sergio | Shadow and Act May 21, 2011 at 12:58PM

Let's see if I can start some deviltry here. It's been a while. But yesterday Tambay posted a item about Vin Diesel's next project The Machine. Now the funny thing is that I saw the same item when it was announced and it didn't even occur to me to post it on S & A.
44

Let's see if I can start some deviltry here. It's been a while. But yesterday Tambay posted a item about Vin Diesel's next project The Machine. Now the funny thing is that I saw the same item when it was announced and it didn't even occur to me to post it on S & A.

The reason why I guess is because I have to admit that I don't look at Vin Diesel as being a black actor. I don't know exactly why. It's no secret that he's bi-racial (though he tries hard to avoid revealing that). Perhaps because of his racially ambiguous looks, or maybe because of the parts he's played in movies, seeming to be mainly New Yawk Italian "Guido" parts. I get the feeling that any minute he'll start spouting off about "dem moulinyans" when he's in fact half "moulinyan" himself.

However I don't feel the same about Dwayne Johnson. He's bi-racial as well of course, and he hasn't played definitively black characters in his films. Yet I consider him a black actor. Why is that? Because he doesn't seem to be running from his racial identify? Because so many black women think he's sexy - unlike Diesel? Because he's been in a Tyler Perry movie and soon to appear in another one? Because he has a black name? I mean how many white guys do you know with the name Dwayne?

I have the same conflicts about Rashida Jones. Yeah I know, I know. A lot of people think she's all that and a bag of chips, and her touch alone can heal the sick, make the blind to see, and the lame to walk; but I don't see what all the fuss is about. Though I haven't, as yet, considered her a black actress and she does have a "black name" for sure. Is it because of her racially vague "is-she-or-isn't-she" looks, or because of the mainly non-ethnic parts that she's played so far?

What defines a black actor? Is it their looks, the parts they play, both or something else altogether? What do you say?

This article is related to: Things That Make You Go Hmm...


Shadow & ActNewsletter