Home Uncategorized Hey Raven-Symonè, Why Don’t You Think You’re One Of Us?

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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.

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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.

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Here’s the “apology”:

Raven-Symonè comments

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.

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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.

Has Raven-Symonè’s recent commentary rubbed you the wrong way or am I (and many others) being sensitive?

5 comments

Sade Ojuola October 14, 2015 - 7:35 pm

I’ve been waiting for someone to write about this, glad I came across your post!
the sad thing is, while she goes out of her way to disassociate herself with the black community (thinking she’s aligning with the “other”), she’s making a complete MINSTREL out of herself and just leaving herself aligned with no one. We can’t be the only ones wondering why she thinks she’s not one of us and could speak so badly about her own people… kinda like when you see a cat that thinks it’s a dog lol. You laugh. You’re amused. You think “that’s absurd”…
I really think white people are laughing at her and egging her on, and of course black people are tired of her ignorance. She’ll end up left high and dry by *nobody* if she keeps this up lol.

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mika725 October 14, 2015 - 8:32 pm

Soooooo true. You are dead on! I’ve been saying to myself “I sure hope she doesn’t think she’s like dark white or something” bc if that’s the case she needs more prayer and soul searching than I think she does. Lol

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Sade Ojuola October 14, 2015 - 10:04 pm

the girl is confused, poor baby. Bless her heart. LOL

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Rich Allen November 28, 2015 - 5:02 pm

I am not black, so I won’t pretend to fully understand. But I want to say two things. In both cases, I think it is a problem that people pick apart words and don’t examine what the real issues are.
IMO R-S’ apology seems thorough and sincere. She specifically pointed out her wrong statement, and said it was wrong, and she never did that, and would never do it. We all fail sometimes when trying to make a point. We should be less critical about what people say, than about what they do; words can be retracted, but deeds, not. I think her point was that it is wiser to ensure that your name is not an obstacle to success, in this world where that happens. She misstated it, and she retracted the misstated part.
I also think she is misunderstood about being an “American”. It sounds more to me that she is saying that the Americans who descend from Africans are fully equal to Americans who descend from Poles or Brits etc., so like them, they all should just be “Americans”. I doubt that she is trying to distance herself from all Afro-Americans. R-S says out that she has met with racial discrimination, so surely she knows that she is an Afro-American.
To accuse her of disloyalty to her fellow Afro-Americans is very serious, and it is unfair to accuse her of it based solely on a little wordplay.

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admin November 28, 2015 - 5:42 pm

Being someone who has been in the public eye for so long as a representation of the black community (whether she likes it or not) she knows what power her words have. She has not only disrespected blacks on her public platform but minorities in general. Honestly with her it’s way more than word play. I don’t know if you have paid attention to her over the years but her actions speak for themselves.

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