Stop expecting Black women to perform “grace”


The Oscars played in Angela Bassett’s face again, and in the wake of that disappointing moment, all white media can talk about is how she didn’t smile and clap for Jamie Lee Curtis, a Hollywood nepo baby, who won for what essentially amounted to a cameo in this year’s biggest winning movie.

Listen. As a Black woman, I have grown weary of the expectation that we are going to remain cool, calm, collected, and composed at all times — even in the face of direct adversity.

Angela Bassett is a grown ass Black woman with real feelings and emotions, and she is allowed to have those real feelings and emotions when it comes to getting snubbed for what amounts to one of the biggest honors in her chosen career field.

The idea that she needs to respond to what amounts to a slap in the face (pun fully intended) with a smile and grace is egregious and insulting.

Meanwhile, we have seen video after video of white women losing their minds over the tiniest of “slights.” 

White women have attacked Black boys and accused them of stealing cell phones that are eventually discovered to have been misplaced by the white woman in question. 

White women have called the police because Black people were barbecuing in the park, and that made them uncomfortable. 

White women have called the police because a Black man asked them to leash their dog in Central Park, and they consider that an inconvenience and an affront. 

White women have completely lost their noodles in the middle of a busy store and yelled loudly about how they were told by Apple Care

White women are afforded all the opportunity in the world to feel their feelings and even act on those feelings in public, but a Black woman being disappointed over not winning one of the biggest honors in her chosen field of work is too much for people. 

I wrote about this for theGrio because I’m tired of this rhetoric. Read “The Oscars played in Angela Bassett’s face again, and she doesn’t have to be gracious about it

7 thoughts on “Stop expecting Black women to perform “grace”

  1. Larry Huppman

    I lost job promotions continually over. 30 year career. To both black & white candidates.
    It’s a tough world out there.
    Two losses should not cause a racial response. She’s a good actress. I love her. Chill on the race “thing”

  2. Barbara Dearie

    What do you have to say about Al Pacino having to wait to win his Oscar after 8 nominations? What about Glenn Close never winning? STOP PULLING THE RACE CARD!

  3. Stephen

    Wow! Angela Bassett, who I love, lost the Oscar to Jamie Lee Curtis, and you deliver a biased, racist rant of your own, comparing the loss to white entitled women hitting children and throwing public tantrums.

    Let’s get something straight. The Oscars, like all entertainment awards, is subjective. Five entertainers are singled out as the best performance, and only one gets to win, based on one’s personal tastes and choices.

    There have been countless Oscar wins in history where the fan favorite doesn’t win, or the academy picks a film or actor that not everyone may agree was the best that year.

    Isn’t the real prize in Hollywood the opportunity to make movies and show your talent to the world. Isn’t the real win knowing that you gave a worthy performance that connects with and engages the fans who turn out to see your work.

    Angela Bassett is going to be fine. She is legendary in Hollywood. You on the other hand need to stop taking awards so seriously and focus on the accomplishments of the people you write about.

    There’s a war going on in Ukraine, transgender youth are targeted in red states, and women face hurdles with their healthcare choice. You want to write something important, focus on that.

  4. Almas Daughter

    Thank you, Ms. Judge. I was reminded of Leontyne Price and Jessye Norman when I saw Ms. Bassett’s reaction. Like other diva’s , Ms. Bassett was stoic. She was unimpressed and unaffected by the pleasure (or pain) of the moment. Black women are either happy or sad when others assess us. People need a better vocabulary when describing Black women, but I’m not holding my breath on that.

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