Annie Is Black and The Sun Will Still Come Out Tomorrow
By FeministaJones on March 10, 2014
BlogHer Original Post
Where is Punjab?? For crying out loud, what is Annie without Punjab????
People are not really complaining about any of the other changes being made to the story, though. They are focusing on the star being African American and that saddens me because it shows me that Blackness remains problematic for so many people, even when represented in a child. In a time when we are seeing so many of our young people shot dead because people claim to be afraid of them, when they're doing nothing wrong, this is heart-breaking. The innocence of African American children is virtually nonexistent, and I believe that is why some people struggle to accept an Annie who has brown skin and thick, afro-textured hair—she is supposed to represent the youthful innocence and joy that African American children are not often allowed to have.
You can't pronounce her name? That's not her fault, and it should not be a source of ridicule. Kwuh-VEN-Jah-nay. Now you can.
You can't imagine a little Black person with red hair? That's unfortunate. Malcolm X had red hair, by the way.
You struggle to imagine a young African American girl being able to win the hearts of millions by giving new life to a 32-year-old movie? That becomes an issue you're going to have to work on because in 2014, racial diversity is paramount to societal progress. Little Black girls need to see themselves on television and in film. They need to see positive representations of themselves that are connected with the idea of them being beautiful. Little Black girls face physical insecurities and body image struggles, too, and a lot of it is because of the messages they receive when they're erased from the mainstream.
This new version of the classic tale of Little Orphan Annie is going to make magic happen. I can feel it. I cannot wait to take my son to see it and I can only hope I don't cry too much watching history being made.