i. When I was eight my mom took me to a production of Hello Dolly in which Dolly was played by a big black woman. This was normal to me as I knew nothing about Hello Dolly. I had limited interaction with black women. I was in third grade with a black boy and felt sort of hoodwinked when his white mom showed up to help with a Valentine's Day party. Besides museum guards at the Art Institute etc. my main rep for black women was a servant in Show Boat. Now I had Dolly--smart, giving, deserving of the best. When I caught a glimpse of Streisand belting in a big ol' hat a couple years later on TV, I was like, "That was an interesting choice. To cast a white lady."
ii. Last night instead of going to a Super Bowl Party (I used to dislike football because I didn't ever learn how it was played but now I kind of hate it for being a violent cover-up concussion swamp) Puhg and I saw Moonlight. It is a great film, done slowly and carefully, which didn't open my eyes to anything but did remind me of a couple things. I probably won't watch it again. I didn't cry. I was slightly moved. More importantly it is representation we didn't have. Should that alone win it Best Picture? Well, yes. Because representation matters.