When I finally got back in from a long day, I found myself watching Disney Channel and reminiscing on my Disney Channel watching days as a child. Like most kids (at the time) my hands down favorite Disney Channel Show was That’s So Raven, starring no other than Ms. Raven-Symonè. I’d make sure I caught the show everyday and woke up early Saturday morning to watch it while I sat around in my pajamas. That show is what Power or Empire is to most people present day. As I was reminiscing I couldn’t help but to think about Raven-Symonè continuously being under fire for the outlandish things that she has said out of that brave little mouth of hers.
We were first introduced to Raven-Symonè when she played Olivia on The Cosby Show, a sitcom that literally made history portraying a functioning black family in a way never seen before on television. Raven-Symonè took on some pretty good roles after the time of The Cosby Show but when That’s So Raven debuted on Disney Channel is when I began to follow her career more closely. Besides being extremely funny and an overall awesome show, I was happy there was a show starring a black teenaged girl who experienced some of the same things that I did as a teenager.
I think it goes without saying that many young black girls really connected with Raven Baxter (the character she played on the show) for obvious reasons. There was even an episode when Raven had a psychic vision of a white female business owner denying her of employment because she was black, a message that really spoke to me personally being a young black woman that would encounter similar issues later in life.
Like many, I adored Raven-Symonè as a child, and even when I got older. She held many roles as a black teen that we had gotten used to seeing our white counterparts in so often. To have her star in shows such as That’s So Raven and The Cheetah Girls ,which touched on the importance of girl power, going for your dreams and being a self reliant woman, was a great thing for all young girls.
Raven-Symonè has been under fire time after time for her blatant disrespect to the black community that apparently she doesn’t consider herself a part of. She has been embraced and rooted for throughout her whole career by us but that may not be the case if she continues her recent behavior.
“I’m an American. I’m not an African-American; I’m an American.”
Now that such is a slap in the face, now isn’t it.
“I’m not about to hire you if your name is Watermelondrea. It’s just not going to happen. I’m not going to hire you.”
Apparently she forgot her name was Raven-Symonè (that’s just her first name in case didn’t know). She released a poorly written PR apology that in my opinion just doesn’t cut it.
Here’s the “apology”:
What Raven-Symonè fails to realize is that considering that platform that she has been
giving blessed with, she does in fact have to take deeper consideration into what opinions she chooses to express and how she expresses them. Sometimes its not what you say, it’s how you say it.
In regards to her not considering herself African-American, whatever. She claims she meant that she is not African American because of being born in America and not having a real connection to the Diaspora (I guess). But once again it isn’t what you say but how you say it. Instead of letting the statement badly set in and later issue an apology, she should have clarified for those who believe that African American/Black/Black American are synonymous with one another. Matter of fact it probably shouldn’t have been said in the first place.
All in all, the reason why we feel a type of way about her displaying the need to separate herself from our community is because we were so proud of her to be a product of our community. What she also fails to realize is that whether she recognizes it or not, she is acknowledged for being a successful black/african american actress. The fact that she feel’s the need to separate herself from us is insulting because it feels as though she think she’s above us and doesn’t want her accomplishments to be associated with “our kind of people”.
We’re by no means are going to beg her to identify with us or be the spokeswoman for black community, but just hope she takes a second to re-evaluate the very offensive things she has said. Does she have a PR team to get her life? If not then she needs one ASAP.
As for the children (now adults) that grew up on Raven-Symonè we’re kind of over her and wish her the best with this whole identity crisis that she is going through at the present moment.
So much for being a child star who didn’t turn out too badly.