Imagine if I won an award for Best Supporting Actress… the irony!
It would come as no surprise, to me at least, that my worth was ultimately judged, valued, and rewarded based on my portrayal of something deemed to be fictional. That in a world where the only human emotion I’m expected to depict is anger, I have somehow been able to mask my true angry being for long enough to display a wide enough range to impress the viewing public.
I wasn’t supposed to win an award for doing something I was socially purposed to do: providing support for the lead while my own life was a mere B-line of the overall story. I’ve watched my mother, grandmother, and generations of other Black Women before me play this role, and I would be remiss to not give thanks for the values I learned watching them skillfully and artfully give the performances of their lives.
However, I would also be negligent to accept this award without explaining its importance and meaning to my future daughters and the young black girls who look up to me. This isn’t merely a second place award, or something to pacify me for not being important enough to be the star. This is also not a representation of full potential. We are not only supporting actresses. We are Black Women with a purpose and a story.
The irony of race and gender politics behind the acceptance of this award in no way shows the flaws in my talent and beauty; it shows the flaws in the world we live in. I respectfully and dutifully accept this reward on behalf of those women whose overlooked every day supporting performances are of the highest caliber.