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Danai Gurira Says She’s Not a Minority

Avatar • May 26, 2016

In an interview in this month’s Harper’s Bazaar, actress Danai Gurira discusses Hollywood’s diversity problem head on. She also opens up about her reluctance to both accept the label “minority” and to have her projects classified as “minority stories.”

I never consider myself a minority. I see people who look like me in Barbados, in Trinidad, in Haiti, in London, and in Brooklyn. So I don’t know what the heck anyone means when they call me a minority. “There’s something about that word to me. It just minimalizes people.”

If a story is telling a truth, then why shouldn’t it affect everybody?..I’ve been affected by [the work of] white men before. Why can’t black women on stage tell stories that can affect white men in the audience?”

Gurira who was born in Iowa, but raised in Zimbawe has starred in The Walking Dead, and recently earned six Tony nominations for her play, Eclipsed—the first to feature an all-black, all-female cast, director, and writer.  In fact, all of Gurira’s plays tell the stories of African women.

After her first play, Into the Continuum was playing off Broadway she realized she could “create opportunities through my story-telling for people of African descent.”

It’s something I’ve constantly found shocking—all this astounding talent amongst black woman that never gets to be seen or heard.”

Gurira’s resume speaks for itself. She is unapologetically black and makes a point to get the stories of black women told. That aside, her “I’m not a minority” stance has the potential to ruffle some feathers. In America the term “minority” is a label that most people of color accept without question, so it will be interesting to see how the public responds.

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About Lisa Jean Francois

I'm a Lipstick-obsessed Journalist and Fashion Blogger. You can find me over on my blog or youtube channel swatching lippies and strutting around in 5-inch heels. I'm a also a brand coach, specializing in video marketing and digital brand development. Find me @lisaalamode.

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Justice S
Justice S
4 years ago

To be perfectly honest white have become the minority.While males esspecially.The sooner people realize this the better the world would be.My question for you is why are we considered a minority when we are the majority?

Dr.Rue
Dr.Rue
4 years ago
Reply to  Justice S

They’ve always been the minority yet they’ve always had the most power and will continue to because Black ppl don’t invest in other Black ppl

Rose
Rose
4 years ago

Danai Gurira is literally one of the most bad*ss women on television. I had no idea that she had all of this amazing work aside from the Walking Dead. She is my hero. I cannot believe BGLH just wrote about young black feminism as if to exclude women like her. She is clearly way more important than Zandaya and the twitter feminists of the world. I’ll say it again, when a black woman succeeds in a visible, unapologetic way, that is way more powerful than tweeting and trending online. Gurira is making media that speaks to a lot of women… Read more »

TT
TT
4 years ago
Reply to  Rose

Danai Gurira is almost 40 so I wouldn’t lump her in with Zendaya or Amandla as a young activist.

maralondon
maralondon
4 years ago

Thank you. How can black people be a minority when our global population is way more than that of Europeans? I have a problem with the word because by definition it suggests that those considered minorities are of little importance and have little effect or influence on the so called majority(Europeans). One of the words synonymous with majority is superiority, usually referred to the White population. It’s only when I started dissecting and learning the origins of some names/labels that I realised that mostEuropean words were/are created by design.

cryssi
cryssi
4 years ago

I understand the minority comment.

If the world’s “minorities” outnumber white people, how are we the minority. Their just little tyrants, in my opinion, who run the world from their miniscule point of view. They manipulated their way into power centuries and millennia ago and just continue to find new avenues to do so today.

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