The representation of people of color in our society has been on the rise as of late. The recent increase in exposure of the equal rights movement has only fueled further conversation into the topic. Many criticize the way minorities are being represented and/or the lack thereof.
Celebrities such as Kevin Hart and Tyler the Creator have personally taken to push better representation of people of color. Kevin Hart has worked to show the black community as much as possible in every form of entertainment he has dipped his toes in. From movies such as “Night School” featuring prominent Black leads, to his Netflix special “Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History” which was made to educate young America about Black history.
Tyler took a different approach with his adult swim cartoon “The Jellies” changing the originally Caucasian lead character of Cornell to a black character. Due to a lack of Black lead characters in popular cartoons, Tyler had made the change after it was picked up by the adult swim channel and renewed. He had chosen to show the Black community, opposite of what many tend to perceive due to popular rappers who speak on drug use, and violence (gang or unrelated) such as YNW Melly, Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G.
Though there have been major breakthroughs in minorities representation, many hurdles have been left uncleared. Such as the popular series “Homeland” which had portrayed Muslims and Arabs as terrorists, or as informants to the U.S. Government in the show. Other shows such as “24”, “Supercell” and “Quantico” only worsened the stereotypes.
Few shows and movies however have forgone the prejudices surrounding Arabs, and shown a more truthful light on them. Such as the more recent show on Hulu “Ramy” starring Ramy Youssef. However Youssef wasn’t the only ‘Ramy/Rami’ to help. The acclaimed Rami Malek has won many accolades for his roles as Elliot Alderson on “Mr. Robot” and Freddie Mercury on “Bohemian Rhapsody”.
When being proud of your ethnic background is becoming a much more popular theme and topic, it is only that much more important for our society to conform to this appeal. As forty percent of U.S. citizens are people of color, the need for representation is more critical than ever. However our government still seems to be falling behind even though it is at a record high of minorities in congress.
The 116th congress was 78% white which is skewed when compared to the 60% of U.S. citizens responding to the 2020 census being caucasions.
As the number of minorities in the country continue to grow, it is imperative for there to be more leaders who represent the diversified side of America.
By: Kareem Al-Abed, Feature Writer