Disney and Black Masculinities?

Ok. I have no idea if this is one of those fake webpages where they make up stuff that isn’t true, but I thought it warranted a statement nonetheless…


There’s been much ado over the years before The Princess and the Frog about Black girls and their absence from the Disney princess pantheon. I have very little to add to that other than to say that I’ve been both happy and disappointed that the princess in The Princess and the Frog wasn’t from royalty. In one vein, it suggest that Africa and her descendants never had royalty, and thus we lack high culture. On the other hand, the very existence of royalty hearkens back to a sickening tradition of elitism and unwarranted privilege of which I’m glad she didn’t participate. Now there was also a collective of those who were disappointed in the fact that there were no Black boys to be discussed in the Disney pantheon–and even a little shade thrown on sisters for not bringing up the point when celebrating The Princess and the Frog (okay, aside from the small collective brilliant Black feminists who work in nigh-complete disregard but would change the world if anyone paid them large scale, serious attention).

This latest article on the possibility of the new film Home suggests yet another foray into Black male absentia. But I won’t hasten to conclusions…maybe there’s a gang of Black males in the film who steal people’s wallets…uuugh no. Okay, okay, maybe they wait for White women to come jogging through parks at night and then gang-rape–uuum…no to that too. Well, maybe a brother will sweep the floor in the background while the young sista awaits her opportunity from the stars to whisk her away into superstardom. Yup! There it is! From the 1980s on, Black women and girls have been gaining much needed attention and support, at least in regard to feminist-inspired media, that has suggested that they reach for the stars. And as an older brother to a successful Black woman (and many I work with who are taking over middle management in predominantly Black spaces), kudos!

However, I don’t function from a poverty mentality standpoint. I don’t believe one has to be denigrated (or ignored) for the other to thrive. I believe Black girls can succeed without ignoring Black boys…I believe Black women can get increased pay without avoiding hiring brothers…and I believe we can focus on victimized Black women and girls without the fear that Black boys will become completely ignored. In other words, I believe we can successfully avoid the Oppression Olympics we often play in the Black community. We should treat it as a given that both Black males and females require specific attention about our unique gender, sex, and racial experiences.

That said, a Disney-esque high level animation that humanizes Black males would be nice! I mean, as a father of a young, Black male who’s never really seen himself onscreen, I’d like to see his face watching it!

To be fair, the only one I can think was probably one of the best pieces of animation I’ve ever seen: Kirikou and the Sorceress! Check it out and tell me what you think!

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