I shall be honest and say I watched this program at quite a low point in my life, and I will offer that as an explanation for my actions and response. Today, I cherish what I felt with open honesty.
I think what triggered my feelings mostly was Sheryl Lee Ralph. At that time, she didn't seem to have done enough as a performer (truly compared to what she has done since. Quite honestly, I think she is capable of much more).
But at the time, let's just say she hadn't made a mark, mostly taking over as a token for Its A Living, now in syndication, replacing scene-stealer Ann Jillian.
So to now see her in this program declaring how black people had made their mark in Hollywood, I can all but still hear her speaking in first person, "look at WE have achieved, ain't WE terrific" and essentially, the same held true for Mario Van Peeples, whose 'blackness' is virtually non-existent, as he displayed in Sonny Spoon with caucasian disguises.
As I listened mainly to SLR, I did indeed feel the intensity roil up within my unemployed soul. What had SHE done? What had SHE accomplished? What had HER skin overcome? When I sat slumped in that chair, I was suddenly aware of the feelings and tried to focus on them, but alas, they eluded me. Nevertheless, I was suddenly aware that I had indeed judged on skin color.
Oh, there was no need to continue watching the program. Even at that time, I pretty much knew all there was to hear from Debbie Allen and Spike Lee up to that moment.
Through the years, every time I see Sheryl Lee Ralph, I recall that little eye-opening moment into my humanity.
Don't see Mario any more tho. Wonder what happened to him? I guess after his breakthrough work in Jaws 4, there was really nothing else left for him to do.
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