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Posts tagged "Quvenzhané Wallis"


Quvenzhané Wallis | Maserati

The world is full of giants.
They have always been here, lumbering in the schoolyards, limping through the alleys.
We had to learn how to deal with them, how to overcome them.
We were small but fast, remember?
We were like a wind appearing out of nowhere.
We knew that being clever was more important than being the biggest kid in the neighborhood.
As long as we keep our heads down, as long as we work hard,
trust what we feel in our guts, our hearts,
Then we’re ready.
We wait until they get sleepy,
wait until they get so big they can barely move,
and then walk out of the shadows,
quietly walk out of the dark—and strike.

In case you happened to miss one of the few commercial gems this evening, starring Quvenzhané Wallis.

(via elfyourmother)

Like Ida B. Wells-Barnett, my experience as a Black woman in the academy has been that my choice to be committed to supporting my Black husband and raising Black children has been interpreted as a “divided duty,” more than 100 years after Wells-Barnett blazed the trail. I entered the tenure-track 15 years ago when I was five months pregnant. I have taken three parental leaves, which were all met with resentment. This is not unusual, but what I am confident of is that if I had chosen to stay home, I would have faced as much hostility, if not more. America is comfortable with Black women raising white children (TheHelp, To Kill A Mockingbird, Clara’s Heart, I’ll Fly Away…need I go on?), but the minute we try to take care of our own, we’re reduced to “letting down the team,” which is what white feminist Linda Hirshman is claiming about Lady “O.” I’m confused. Just because I have five letters behind my name (Ph.D. and JD) and a substantive career does not mean I am, ever have been, or ever will be on their team.

Why? Because I am raising a daughter the same age as Quvenzhané Wallis, and it’s not the same as raising Dakota Fanning. After receiving an Oscar nomination for her role in Beastsof the Southern Wild, Wallis, the youngest Best Actress nominee ever,landed the leading role in Sony Pictures/Overbrook Entertainment’s upcoming Annie. Despite this, as many people know, The Onion degraded her childhood by calling her a “cunt.” This is where there is a divide between white Moms and “Mocha Moms.” Leslie Morgan Steiner is not raising Quvenzhané, but we are

Although Mrs. Obama did not stay at home until being married to the President, she knows that she is not entirely different from the Black women who stay at home for other reasons. She is also trying to protect her daughter from being “satired.” When Malia was only 11, she was ridiculed for wearing natural hair and a t-shirt promoting Peace. Lady “O” knows that Malia is Quvenzhané, which is why she invited the Mocha Moms to the White House. It’s an ethos Black feminists have understood all along; we need to support each other, value each other, and not degrade a sister whether she goes into the workforce or not. That’s what being on the same team is all about.

Duchess Harris, “Your Feminism Ain’t Like Ours Because We Are Raising Quvenzhané,” The Feminist Wire 4/23/13

Not saying Quvenzhané’s name is an attempt, consciously or unconsciously, to step around and contain her blackness. Yes, sometimes black people have names that are difficult to pronounce. There aren’t many people of European descent named Shaniqua or Jamal. Names are as big a cultural marker as brown skin and kinky hair, and there’s long been backlash against both of those things (see: perms, skin bleaching creams, etc.). The insistence on not using Quvenzhané’s name is an extension of that “why aren’t you white?” backlash.

It is easier to be colorblind, to simply turn a blind eye to the differences that have torn this nation apart for centuries than it is to wade through those choppy waters. And Quvenzhané’s very existence is enough to make the societal majority uncomfortable. She is talented, successful, beautiful, happy, loved, and adored–all things that many people don’t figure that little black girls with “black” names could, or should, be. Their answer? Let’s make her more palatable. If she insists on not fitting the mold of the ghetto hoodrat associated with women with “urban” names, let’s take her own urban name away from her.

Refusing to learn how to pronounce Quvenzhané’s name says, pointedly, you are not worth the effort. The problem is not that she has an unpronounceable name, because she doesn’t. The problem is that white Hollywood, from Ryan Seacrest and his homies to the AP reporter who decided to call her “Annie” rather than her real name, doesn’t deem her as important as, say, Renee Zellwegger, or Zach Galifinakis, or Arnold Schwarzenegger, all of whom have names that are difficult to pronounce–but they manage. The message sent is this: you, young, black, female child, are not worth the time and energy it will take me to learn to spell and pronounce your name. You will be who and what I want you to be; you be be who and what makes me more comfortable. I will allow you to exist and acknowledge that existence, but only on my terms.

Brokey McPoverty, “What’s In A Name? Kind Of A Lot,” PostBourgie 2/26/13


The New Princess of Independent Film

This Sunday Quvenzhané Wallis may become the youngest person to ever win an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the film Beasts of the Southern Wild. See more photos from Milk Made’s exclusive photo shoot with the young star, and read what it was like playing dress up with the new princess of the silver screen on MIlk Made.

Photo By: Koury Angelo

Giving your weekend a Racialicious Seriously Cute start. 

(via blackcontemporaryart)

From Roger Ebert’s interview with Quvenzhané Wallis (the full transcript is there):

If there is one 2012 movie that seems to have a lock on a best picture nomination, it is Beasts of the Southern Wild. And if there is a single reason its early viewers have loved it so much, it is an 8-year-old girl named Quvenzhané Wallis, who was six when she filmed it. Here is a case of a great role finding the perfect actress to play it.

"My computer has trouble pronouncing names," I told Quvenzhané not long ago in my living room.

"That’s okay," she said. We worked together on a phonetic spelling: kwa van je nay. A beautiful name for this composed young woman, who deserves her own Oscar nomination, and whose nickname is Nazie.



On a day where little Quvenzhané Wallis (Say it with me: Qwe-ven-zhane) becomes the youngest Best Actress nominee EVER, it would be borderline disrespectful for us not to acknowledge what happened 11 years ago. 

March 24, 2002: The Oscars are all-“Lord Of The Rings”-everything. Shire Gang was heavily in the building. Opie reigned supreme with “A Beautiful Mind.” Business as usual.

Then we got a little bit of history.

Halle Berry wins the Best Actress Oscar for “Monster’s Ball”. The first black woman to EVER win a Best Actress nomination. EVER. As in, EVER.

That in itself is #PEAK status, but the night isn’t over!

Denzel Washington. The man who people thought should have won an Oscar in ‘92 for “Malcolm X” (HE SHOULD HAVE.) #PEAK Mount Rushmore Black actor. He wins the Best Actor Oscar for his role in “Training Day.” 

This is the first (and only, so far) time the winners of Best Actor and Actress are black.

History and a Top 5 #PEAK moment, all in about 20 minutes. Not too shabby.

And now, a soapbox:

My sincere opinion is that quality black roles in film and television come when the people in charge of those decisions think it’s in their best interest financially to make shows and movies featuring positive black characters. It sucks. It’s true. Spend your money on “Beasts of The Southern Wild.” Take friends. Make it a #PEAK outing. Wallis DESERVES the Oscar this year and I’m rooting for her openly and loudly.

Soapbox over, thanks for your time.


(via blkgirlblogging)



Fascinating article at nymag about the 8 year old star, Quvenzane Wallis Here

Standing ovations happen every year at the Cannes Film Festival, but rarely are they as long and as loud as the one that erupted following last month’s Cannes premiere of Beasts of the Southern Wild—a low-budget, magical-realist adventure about a little girl and her community struggling for survival on the southernmost edge of Louisiana as a storm rolls in.

All of this was, of course, a bit lost on the film’s star, 8-year-old acting novice Quvenzhané Wallis. (It’s pronounced Kwe-VEN-zhah-nay, and means “fairy” in Swahili, but you can call her Nazie—NAY-zee.) “It felt like I was in a cage!” she says of being in a theater on the French Riviera, surrounded by towering, applauding adults.

“It was crazy! They were all looking at me and clapping for seven or ten minutes, just standing up for meeeeee!” Mid-ovation, Beastsdirector Benh Zeitlin lifted her up, eliciting even louder cheers. “That was fun because the lights were in my eyes, and it was like this”—Wallis squints hard and pretends to go blind. Less fun was the celebratory dinner afterward, when she tried what the menu said was crawfish. “And it was shrimp!” she says, putting her hands on her hips mock-indignantly, then dissolving into giggles.


(via strugglingtobeheard)