Hollywood's Shortage of African American features in film is very apparent with the latest movie releases. It has also become clear that even the most established African American actors and actresses will not receive recognition for their brilliant performances unless the movie content is relating to subjugated roles.
For example, with past movies such as Selma depicting a unforgettable true story that chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The movies stellar cast featured David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Cuba Gooding Jr. ,Tom Wilkinson, Oprah Winfrey, Giovanni Ribisi, Tessa Thompson ..etc. Another glaring example is Twelve Years A slave, a film about an African American named Solomon Northup, a free man, who is kidnapped and forced into slavery under the name 'Platt' for 12 years. Movie's such as these force awards shows such as The Oscars to give recognition to movies by way of nomination and simultaneously acknowledging a very sensitive topic.
"It all comes down to this: black people were stripped of our identities when we were brought here, and it's been a quest since then to define who we are." Spike Lee, an African American film director said. African American entertainers are still today trying to secure their roles as equals.
A piece in The New York Times entitled “Hollywood’s Whiteout” stated, “The consolidation of a black presence in the movies and television did not signal the arrival of a post racial Hollywood any more than the election of Barack Obama in 2008 spelled the end of America’s 400-year-old racial drama.”