Disney Dreams of a White Pocahontas?
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The NAACP announced the nominees for their Image Awards last month, and lo and behold, the awards, which are dedicated to the â€œoutstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts as well as those individuals or groups who promote social justice,â€ nominated Angeline Jolie for her role as Mariane Pearl in A Mighty Heart. When I heard about this I laughed out loud. I find it pathetically comical. Is it a sign of desperation? Are the pickings of performances by actual women of color so spare the NAACP had to celebrate a white woman for her brownface turn as Afro-Cuban and Dutch Pearl? Or is it a victory? A sign of our supposed â€œpost-raceâ€ times that the NAACP feels free to anoint white-as-bread Angelina Jolie as a woman of color?
But the NAACPâ€™s not the only group with questionable decision-making. Check out these photos, just released by Disney as part of their 2008 â€œYear of a Million Dreamsâ€ campaign. Theyâ€™re part of a slew of others taken by famed fashion photographer Annie Leibovitz depicting, according to Disneyâ€™s press release, â€œcelebrities living out their fantasies by starring in Disney dream scenes.â€ Apparently, Jennifer Lopez and her husband Marc Anthony, both of Puerto Rican descent, wish they were Arab royalty. And Jessica Biel fancies herself as American Indian cultural broker Pocahontas.