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Disney casting Black | Is it giving representation or a good business deal?

Black people are constantly seeking to be “accepted” in a world that is really not trying to cater to us. This isn’t talked about much because Martin Luther King fought for us to have peace and integration. Speaking the opposite seems like blasphemy.

Well, Malcolm X brought the guns and stood for Black people rising up above the oppressor by any means necessary. I don’t think he was wrong for doing so.

We’re currently living Martin’s dream. Let’s think critically. What do we think about it?

The rhetoric of Malcolm X is being taught and lived out in pockets around the world and people have tried over and over to build thriving Black communities and powerhouse businesses, without much luck, but what if we tried again today?

There are very few Black owned publicly traded companies on the stock market. The biggest one from my google search is a chain of hotels.

The example I was going to use is the uproar behind Disney casting a Black little mermaid.

My first impression was who cares? Should be interesting, but I’m tired of remakes.

My second opinion, yes arial is great for “representation purposes”, but why do we seek validation from a source that was not MADE for us?

Disney wasn’t built for us. Disney used to be racist as hell. Why do we depend on people that AREN’T US to tell our story?

Similar to the #oscarssowhite fiasco. Like, WHY do we need to be honored by people that HONESTLY DON’T GIVE AF? They didn’t make Black Ariel for us, they made it for money. Appealing to a demographic of people known to consume and spend their money on entertainment over anything else seems like a smart ass business move to me.

We fail to recognize the self esteem and self validation, self importance scars that integration put onto many people's mentalities. That scar tissue morphs into other problems.

Unpopular opinion: many Black people are ruled by fear, ego and low self esteem. It fuels a lot of people to excel in the name of power and elitism over general self fulfillment and raising up the people around them.

There are indeed more Black people thriving today than any other time, but speaking about my own experience it has been like pulling teeth trying to succeed consistently.

Post grad I hit the ground running. 6 years later I would’ve hoped to have been established in a business that felt like a good fit. Instead I’m off to build on my own. Entrepreneurship is a very solitary process, but it doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be.

The boom of “more access” to wealth feels like an illusion. You seem to have to jump over some invisible big ass wall to see the other side of acting on all the possibilities.

Resources as a Black designer are low. Mentorship is scarce. Are we afraid to work together in fear of sacrificing our own personal come up? Where are the Black owned co-working spaces?

I’ve heard multiple designers say they aren’t going to hire young people just so they can learn the ropes and then go off to start their own company. That’s low key selfish and shows a lack of big picture thinking.

It is so sad. With the amount of successful designers and designers in training we have in Atlanta alone, we could rival architectural companies like Gensler + Perkins and Will.

The point of this message is to encourage collaboration. Encourage dependence on what is for you and less attention to what isn’t. Personally and also big picture, culturally. I want to build our culture. If any designer would like to work together or even just start a Black designers support group I’m down. Working together doesn’t sacrifice your money. It increases it.

Thanks for reading.

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