Black actresses speak out against "black roles"

This year, the Cannes Festival was definitely about women's empowerment, especially for black actresses.

Roxanne D'Arco
Roxanne D'Arco NewsMavens, France
Black actresses speak out against "black roles" - NewsMavens
Group at Cannes, Twitter

Why this story matters:

They are beautiful. Strong. Proud. Powerful. 16 black actresses were at the Cannes Festival to climb its well-known stairs on May 16. And they were there to defend their project: a book called "Black isn't my job."

In their book, these French actresses decided to describe how they have been discriminated against in their job.

Like many countries around the world, France still has "black" roles: the nurse, the immigrant mom, or the prostitute.

Aïssa Maïga, the initiator of the project, explained how people in the industry were consistently surprised when she showed up at castings for her age but with no race indications.

Aïssa Maïga, Shirley Souagnon, Marie-Philomène Nga, Firmine Richard, Sara Martins, France Zobda, Eye Haïdara, Karidja Touré, Rachel Khan, Maïmouna Gueye, Assa Sylla, Sonia Rolland, Mata Gabin, Magaajyia Silberfled, Nadège Beausson-Diagne and Sabine Pakora can be proud. Their statement, and the sheer joy of them dancing on stage to celebrate their moment in the spotlight, moved women all around the globe, black or not.

Details from the story:

  • In France, 16 women published a book to denounce discrimination against black actresses.
  • Their names : Aïssa Maïga, Shirley Souagnon, Marie-Philomène Nga, Firmine Richard, Sara Martins, France Zobda, Eye Haïdara, Karidja Touré, Rachel Khan, Maïmouna Gueye, Assa Sylla, Sonia Rolland, Mata Gabin, Magaajyia Silberfled, Nadège Beausson-Diagne and Sabine Pakora.
  • Some of them are really famous in France, such as Sonia Rolland (ex-Miss France), but some are not well-known.
  • They came to Cannes this year for the Festival and made a statement.
  • This year, the Cannes Festival has been an important venue for women's voices in many ways.
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