Michael Davis: The Black Hollywood Shuffle, Part 2

Niggers, Get A Fucking Clue

Please read last week’s installment .

Last week I recounted what happened to me, at the hands of a black woman, while backstage at The Arsenio Hall Show some months ago. I’m not pointing out she was a black woman, that’s not important.

What’s important is she’s black.

Most, from what I could see of Arsenio’s staff is black. From my brief time there, I noticed most were pleasant and helpful. But the woman who threatened to call security on me was anything but.

She treated me as if I was a dark skinned nigger from the country and she was a light skinned lady from a well-to-do Negro family. There was a time when many light skinned blacks built communities and excluded any black person “darker than a paper bag” from living among them.

How fucked up is that, eh? Not as fucked up as those people with that mindset and their communities are still here today.

The following is from the book Our Kind Of People by Lawrence Otis Graham:

Debutante cotillions. Million-dollar homes. Summers in Martha’s Vineyard. Membership in the Links, Jack & Jill, Deltas, Boule, and AKAs. An obsession with the right schools, families, social clubs, and skin complexion. This is the world of the black upper class and the focus of the first book written about the black elite by a member of this hard-to-penetrate group.

This very real, very wealthy circle is very serious about keeping dark skinned, working class Negros away from their way of life. That way of life is filled with all sorts of perks, privileges, access and money. They have no intention of sharing any of it.

Some black people in Hollywood in power positions filled with perks, privileges, access and money also have no intention of sharing any of it with other black people.

That woman on Arsenio’s staff may not be that kind of person. But regardless if she is or not her actions towards me make her one of “those kind of people.” As such, to me, those actions were unforgiveable. She had no excuse for ignoring, both my back stage all access pass, issued by her show and the pleas of everyone involved telling her she was making a huge mistake.

Her actions are unforgivable because black people in a position of power should always remember how the fuck we got here and pay it forward.

I love America but black people are still considered by many here as second-class citizens. In the case of black boys and men we are measured by even a lesser standard. The lives of black men are worth far less.

Today, another white cop got away with killing an unarmed black boy. That explains my angry subtitle as well as why editor Mike Gold will be getting this in the wee hours of the morning, once the verdict was in I had to address it so this article had to be rewritten.

The staffer’s actions prevented an opportunity to enrich the lives of young black kids as well as disallowed the most influential forum in African-American pop culture, the Black Panel (TBP), from honoring Billy D. Williams, life and work.

In the almost 20-year history of TBP only once was such an honor bestowed. That distinction went to Bill Duke. Mr. Williams was chosen and as the premier black science fiction character of all fucking time should have been given his rightful props years ago. Props, BTW, he has never received.

I’m heartbroken that within the small world of black Hollywood there are “those kind of people.” How on Earth did some of these people achieve the kind of success where that’s even possible boggles my mind.

Don’t they realize all they are doing is helping those already out to destroy any and all black influence in media? Let’s say, by some miracle they succeed, are they so dense they think they are now part of the club? Are they so blinded with hatred for their own blackness they think themselves safe?

At any time, any unarmed black man could be leaving a studio lot and be shot dead like a dog in the street. The cop that shot him won’t give a fuck if the nigger was head of programming at HBO or a head cook in a food truck. All he will care about is how long after he’s acquitted should he wait to write his book.

I’m sorry. I hold accountable every black person in Hollywood who thinks only of themselves and not how to move of our talent into positions where they can tell more stories.

I mentioned how livid I was in the first installment and I’ve outed people for a lot less than what she who was not named because of Tiffany did.

Who’s Tiffany?

Tiffany Haddish is the reason I haven’t outed the woman who put me in this foul mood by name. Tiffany is Arsenio’s sidekick on the show, although ‘sidekick’ is most likely not the best description.

I met Tiffany in 2005 when I was writer/comedy producer for the Tom Joyner syndicated variety television show. She is a force of nature, one of the most talented people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with and for the briefest of moments mentor. When I wrote a sketch, she was always, the actor I had in mind. It’s only a matter of time before she owns Hollywood, in my humble opinion.

When I left the taping without losing my mind, it was because Tiffany is everything that woman wasn’t. She’s caring and committed to not just her craft or herself but to others.

Back in 2005, I invited Tiffany to sit on the Black Panel the first time I saw her perform. She did not have the credits, but she was already a role model for young actresses of color. I left the Arsenio show without saying hello to my old friend, and that almost brought out my dark side.

It seems that the dark side is always out for many in Black Hollywood. Perhaps that’s the reason we stay in the dark.