Nia Long: Using the Term ‘Black Movies’ Only ‘Hold Us Back’

by Xara Aziz

Leading actress Nia Long is hitting back against those who refer to Black films as “Black,” stating that the term “holds us back.”

In a recent interview with BuzzFeed, the award-winning starlet said that using the term could be a disservice to the craft and the actors involved in it.  

“I think terms like that hold us back, and I have to catch myself sometimes too because I’m very proud of who I am. When I use the word Black, I don’t use it as a way to separate ourselves from anyone.”

The Brooklyn-born star, who has cemented her presence in Hollywood and broke barriers for Black actresses for her role in movies like Love Jones, Boyz N the Hood, Friday and Soul Food, further believes that using the term can possibly jeopardize an actor’s role in the industry.  

“I use it as a way to put an exclamation point behind our greatness because I don’t think that it’s always been celebrated and recognized,” she added.

She continued: “I have this thing in me that says, ‘I’m being used to tell stories, to inspire our people and to serve as a voice, so I’m going to just trust this process.’ If I read a script and I love it, and I say, ‘I’ve got to do that,’ then I’m going to do it.”

While the 52-year-old beauty said she would prefer that audiences focus more on her body of work and less on her skin-tone, she does believe multiculturalism is important.

“I’m also a lover of mankind and human beings and accepting of all people that are good, so multiculturalism is equally as important to me. But I’m here to represent who we are and if you want to come along for the ride, everyone’s welcome!”

Long has won numerous awards throughout her 30-plus-year career, including winning two NAACP Image Awards and a Black Reel Award.

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