During a recent sit-down with USA Today, writer, producer, and actress Lena Waithe shared her thoughts on the tumultuous presidential election. Waithe called Kamala Harris, becoming the first black woman Vice President “bittersweet.”
The 36-year-old “Queen & Slim” creator’s comments come as racial and political tensions continue to sweep the country as Joe Biden prepares to take office in January.
“It’s exciting to be turning a page, to be walking into a new chapter, but until we deal with the chapters before it, this will continue to be cyclical. The pendulum will continue to swing back and forth. At some point, we have to get to a place where we aren’t so divided.” Waithe went on to add, “We can’t not celebrate” the achievement, but we also have to acknowledge where we are and how long this took, and in the work that we really have to do. Because as we all know, the inauguration is the wedding. But the marriage is going to take work and time and everybody’s energy.”
Waithe also touched on the importance of representation for the Black queer community, considering that she did not see many people like her in media when she was growing up.
“Why would you expect a queer Black person to have a show where there isn’t queer Black representation?” She said before continuing, “It really can’t be the job of the artist to change the world,” Waithe said. “It’s the job of the artist to reflect the world back to itself.”
On Thursday, “The Chi” writer and actress spoke more in depth about Black queer representation during the Legacy Keynote Conversation at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s HBCU Leading in Truth Symposium, where she said that being Black and queer has actually helped her Hollywood career.
“People assume that because I’m Black, or because I’m queer or because I’m a woman, those are going to be the things that I’m bumping up against all the time. But in truth, it was something that worked for me because people wanted someone that checked more than one box to be in the room. The things that made me different were the things that made me stand out.”