Simply Casting Black is Not Enough

Angela Bassett, aged 57
Remember back in 2013 when TV producer Bryan Fuller dreamcasted his then-nonexistent Star Trek show?  Fuller - who previously wrote for Deep Space Nine and Voyager - wanted to cast Angela Bassett as the Captain and Rosario Dawson as her First Officer.

Mind you, he was just being hypothetical...but it was still enough for the Trekkies among us to lose our goddamn minds.

But then, Fuller's dream came true and the next thing we knew (February, 2016 to be exact), CBS named him showrunner of an as-yet unnamed Star Trek show set to debut in 2017.  And I, having been known in my time as the Queen of All Things Trek, should have been ecstatic.

But I wasn't.

For one, I highly doubt we will actually get our Captain Bassett and Commander Rosario.  But let's just say we did...do y'all remember why this is called the Black Girls Club?

Back in 2011 I chronicled the fuckery surrounding the casting and writing of Black female characters in shows from 2009-2011.  The comments section went on to add on characters I'd missed.  And that's when I realized that there was no point in getting excited for Star Trek in 2017.  When it comes to writing for Black women, pretty much everyone who is not a Black woman hasn't the first fucking clue what they're doing.

Or...they know what they should do, and whom to hire to to do it, but they really just don't want to.

Rosario Dawson, aged 36
While networks, studios, and websites increasingly recognize the drawing power of Black women (and people of color in general), it doesn't mean this is what they want or that things are going according to plan.  The fact that brown people make up an overwhelming percentage of the human race (and always have), is not "things going according to plan".  The fact that we love ourselves (gasp) and want to see ourselves represented in the media that we support and pay for (double gasp), is not "things going according to plan".  It's an inconvenient truth.

So casting Black is not enough, and anyone who thinks so needs to tell that to Abbie and Jenny Mills, Stephanie Edwards, Bonnie Bennett, Michaela Pratt, and even Olivia friggin' Pope.  And if/when Phillipus and Nubia show up in the Wonder Woman movies, you can tell that to them too.

And it's such a shame.  Bassett and Dawson would've been flawless.


  1. You know I have recently started watching ST:TNG and something it hit. I wondered if the Borg was a representation of white colonialism. I mean just think about their message:

    ""We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile."

    Just sayin!

    1. I wondered if the Borg was a representation of white colonialism.

      It is.


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