Despite the lack of tolerance for racial hatred and prejudice, discrimination is still prevalent in the lives of most minorities. In fact, such disadvantages are embedded in the country’s justice system.
In light of the hindrance, though, black people have worked twice as hard to make it in this country. But, even still, many have faced their own setbacks as a result of the country’s roots in prejudice and racism, including Hollywood heavy hitters, like Sanaa Lathan.
In fact, in a recent interview with ESSENCE’s Yes Girl! Podcast, Lathan, alongside her “Nappily Ever After” co-star Lynn Whitfield, sat down to discuss the new film, as well as their personal experiences and set backs being a black woman in an industry, normally dominated by White men and women.
“I would never complain because I feel so blessed,” Lathan said of her experiences,” But there is a unique abuse being in Hollywood as a Black actor – let alone Black actresses.”
“Hollywood is very isolating,” Whitfield added.
“I have actress friends, but it’s hard to do that,” she explained of the competitive nature in Hollywood, which usually prevents long-lasting friendships. “There’s going to be periods in your life when maybe you’re not working, or maybe your friend got a job and you have to rise above in order to stay friends. It’s not easy.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
But luckily, filming “Nappily Ever After” was a fulfilling experience for both women.
“It felt like a safe space to create with no threatening feels. It’s not always like that,” Lathan said. “There’s the sisterhood and then there’s [something else.] It’s a very competitive business, and people get insecure and people get egos.”
“What was so great is that…it was just such a pleasant experience,” Whitfield added. “Once we did the little dance like, “Who are you? Are you cool? Oh, you’re cool.’ Then it felt like a safe space.”