Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dorothy vs. Marilyn: Two Years Later

From Wikipedia

Today marks two years since I posted "Part One" of my post, "Let's Talk: Dorothy Dandridge and Marilyn Monroe" and today, it still is the Thriller of this blog. It's the BeyoncĂ© album that I didn't see coming. The Elvis question to my Lisa Marie Presley interview. I'm happy that people have loved the post so much. It is also the post that has received the most commentary. 

Ironically, even though the post deals with a growing topic in the Black-American community, it was actually made before this blog was even "People of Color in Classic Film" (before, this was just a film and television blog humbly titled, "Aige: Film and Television"). I'd started making plans for People of Color in Classic Film during the summer of 2012. Although the Dorothy Dandridge/Marilyn Monroe post was quite fitting, it wasn't intended to be like a "pre-cursor" to POC in Classic Film, or related to it in any way.

Both post commentary and social media commentary have altered and rearranged my thoughts on the "debate", thus changing my overall viewpoint on (for lack of better phrasing) "who's to blame" for the lack of Dorothy Dandridge admiration.


In the 2012 posts, I stated why I believed young black girls knew/loved Marilyn Monroe more than they did Dorothy Dandridge: "Mainstream" media, fashion, and pop culture simply don't talk about her as much as they do a Marilyn or an Audrey Hepburn. Therefore, our girls and boys aren't as exposed to her as they should be. That's what I observed and believed--and don't get me wrong, this is still true. But, these past two years, I've discovered another important reason why these girls (and boys) don't know Dorothy Dandridge, and I've addressed this on here before.

*Black-Americans, pretend you can see my actual self and that you're zooming in on it*

WE--my people: Black-Americans. WE, collectively, are simply not teaching. We are chastising. We are judging. We are coming to conclusions without doing research. As always, we are waiting for "mainstream media" to shed light on our ancestors--our legends. WE, those who know Dorothy Dandridge, are the ones failing our girls and boys. 

As I've stated before, you can't invite a city-dweller to your farm and then kick them out because they don't know how to milk a cow. You can't get mad at young girls and boys for not knowing Dorothy Dandridge if no one has been exposing her to them! There have been more "Dorothy Dandridge be like..." memes than there have been actual conversations about Dorothy Dandridge--what she was like: her favorite food, funny stories, her triumphs, her dark moments, etc.

America failed in preserving Dorothy Dandridge's legacy. Racism failed her. Sexism failed her. Let's be honest, Black America failed her when they began to sweep her and her death under the rug during the late 1960s. And if we, the people who claim to know and love her keep the superiority act going, we will be failing her too. 

Carmen Jones is on Netflix. 

More movies are available through the Warner Archive

Tamango is cheap.

There's merchandise on Amazon and Ebay.

I even made a Movie/Television "Marathon" post for her last year.

You can either make a meme or you can share the knowledge with your family and friends.

(This was kind of a rant)

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