Hattie McDaniel was the first black person and woman to win an Academy Award. At the Oscars, usually about 90 per cent of the voters are white and 64 per cent are male. I feel so proud to see the world celebrate the success that has earned Lupita Nyong’o her place in history in all realms. And just like President Uhuru Kenyatta put it, indeed, “You are the pride of Africa.”
Her role in 12 years a slave was undeniably emotional and provoked anger in many who have studied black history or the colonisation path in Africa and all countries where black slavery existed. Lupita’s acceptance speech was most moving, “It doesn’t escape me that for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain someone else’s.”
“When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”
These words gave me goose bumps and left me thinking, too.
Patsey the character Lupita played in her award-winning role exists today but in a different setting.
Today’s Patsey still has no voice despite her surrounding because she won’t talk back to her husband or fight for what is rightfully her place in society. Her abilities are locked up around cultural beliefs that she cannot rise above the man in her capabilities.
She sits back and allows the “Edwin Epps” of this world (Patsey’s master in the movie) crush her smart brain against the wall, whip her intelligence into nothingness and her future is left in limbo. Tell you what! If you’re stuck in this Patsey position, arise and claim your place.
We all have one shot at life and unlike the extreme conditions Patsey had to go through, you could make a difference in life.
Patsey, despite her slavery, was the envy of mistress Epps (wife to Patsey’s master), meaning there was something Patsey had that she would never have.
Some women tend to pay attention to things that matter less and those that really matter are left hanging. They shy away from top managerial positions because they think it is a man’s job, take on light tasks because they assume there is not much effort required to their execution. But factual information has proven that behind most successful men, there are women.
So why are women afraid to drive their own destiny? Refuse to be turned into a slave of a licentious master and become the woman you rightfully are meant to be.
Kudos to a youthful Kenyan and passionate African woman Lupita, now celebrated across the globe, for bringing out the pain enslaved women faced during black slavery days. Because of her, some women can decide if they want to be Patsey for life or do something.
Sadly though, there are ‘Patseys’ today with no way out and still asking, “What will become of me?”
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