In the column The Iyanla Approach, Blacktress goes out for the role of Angry Crip Girl in the Laundromat.  Many working blacktresses have early credits that read similarly and reek of tired stereotypes.

Angela Bassett- “Prostitute at Headquarters”

Khandi Alexander-“Hooker in Jail”

Vivica Fox-“Hooker at VA Hospital”

….Everyone has to start somewhere.  But the question becomes can these roles be tackled with dignity?   Of course we crave progressive roles in Hollywood that depict the full spectrum of the black experience, but can’t hookers, thugs, sassy nurses, and razor tongued best friends  be fully dimensional people too?  Although these roles are usually written with broad strokes and within stiff confines,  sometimes a good actor can transcend a stereotype. (i.e. Nelsan Ellis’ drug dealing homo thug, Lafayette, on HBO’s True Blood and Taraji Henson’s perpetually wronged, baby mama, Yvette, in Baby Boy)   And even if it’s a small co-star role, isn’t it possible to deliver a performance that isn’t a seen -it -before, generic hood persona?  Sure it is. If the actor challenges themselves to ask, who is this person, really? (Instead of who does the casting person expect this character to be?)

At Blacktress World we decided to have some fun with absurdity of the role, Angry Crip Girl in the Laundromat.  Photographers Matt O’Callaghan and Miles Feld, and actress Diarra Kilpatrick, took to a LA Sit-N-Spin to ask, who is the Angry Crip Girl in the landromat, really?  What’s she up to in there?  And is she really angry or just misunderstood?

13 Responses to “FLASH”

  1. Jesus Alvarez Says:

    It’s interesting to see the stereotype deconstructed over the course of the photo shoot. From the costume transformations to her bizarre and almost silly activities, we get a glimpse of a seldom seen side of the Crip girl. Indeed, the idea of character is often substituted for the substance of character.

    Look forward to more shoots.

  2. Dwain Says:

    “Every once in a blue moon, something new comes along that scrambles your preconceptions” unknown

  3. Mo Says:

    I think that it is interesting Hollywood stereotypes are set in stone, especially for Blacks in the game. You can categorize them into about four types. We have become predictable “cartoon characters” even in dramatic movies. How do we break through and portray full dimensional human beings on screen Blacktress? What do you think would have happened if you had played “Angry Crip Girl” with colors of vulnerability and softness? Do you think you would have gotten a callback? Can we take the flat stereotype and reshape it to resemble reality?

  4. Shereen Says:

    I absolutely love the photos, especially the sequin dress look. It is fantastic! Also, the yellow shoes with the blue tights was quite original and exciting!

  5. sniper Says:

    The unspoken character that her fortae depicted is peaceful yet exciting. She appears strong and desiring to be acknowledged but accepted that she alone has the power to move forward.

  6. Evita Says:

    OMG I was teaching in a school for pregnant foster teens and there was a “crip girl” in my class who wanted to know when my ‘C-Day” was??? I was confused. She said ‘Every black person has a C-Day.” I figured out what it was eventually…but yeah she was a complex girl, so i really appreciate this piece showing a lot of complexity because Hollywood would make it seem so ONE DIMENSIONAL. : )

    1. Blacktress Says:

      I’m still confused… Whats C-Day?. Is it like a B-Day? Please school me cause I don’t know all the complexities. And if I don’t know, you know casting directors have no idea. Thats why we have to continue to challenge stereotypes.

  7. you bring up some very interesting points. This is good D.

  8. This is inspired stuff. Really quirky and political, sexy and beautiful.

  9. Collin Says:

    I’m having alot of fun watching the journey here.

  10. Deborah Says:

    Well you certainly broke the chain with your portrayal of Carla in the Play “Sick” by Erik Patterson. This is a great column! Keep up your hard work!!

  11. Kamara Says:

    I love you in this and the jewelry and blue sequined fury how original the whole story line is good

  12. Kamara Says:

    Lol at first I didn’t kno it was you

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