Erika Alexander on American Entertainment and the ‘Black Identity Crisis’

by Xara Aziz
YouTube via Breakfast Club

Actress, writer, entrepreneur and activist Erika Alexander has made a wave online recently after making comments about the identity crisis she thinks Black people are facing in America.

On a recent episode of The Breakfast Club, the 54-year-old Living Single actress said she feels Black people are constantly being attacked by the American paradigm that has locked them into a Black identity.

“[It’s] locked us in a Black identity which is an identity crisis for them. It makes them schizophrenic they have no idea where to put us. But with music – that music is all of ours: Rock & Roll, punk metal…all of ours,” she said.

She continued: “So why are we excluded from country and being seen as rock and rollers? Why is Little Richard demanding that even while he’s passing away and can’t make a living, can’t pay his rent and we have Lisa Cortez make that great documentary. We shouldn’t have to do that after they pass away. We should be working toward that right now to destroy those things that are destroying us.”

DJ Envy then asked why Black movies have a harder time being marketed in mainstream mediaspecifically the recent The Color Purple and Origin” movies that hit the box office recently.

“They’re not putting the marketing dollars into how they present it to us in a level of importance and allowing us to have the same types of ability to take it in.”

She further added that Black people depend on word of mouth and have the least amount of time to watch movies, but when we do want to support these types of movies, so we watch them.

Hundreds of commenters took to social media to discuss her remarks following the interview.

“We’ve adopted the language of our oppressors. Wow! She’s speaking truth! Thank you Queen! I’m afraid for US too,” one person commented.

“She needs to teach a master class on self worth, blackness, and cinema and how we can be of service to the community,” wrote another.

Watch the full interview below and sound off on social media using the hashtag #shinemycrown

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