#WhereIsToto was all that ran through my mind as I looked on at the new rendition of The Wiz Musical. When it was first heard that the likes of trendsetters such as Queen Latifah, Common, Mary J. Blige, Neyo, and the phenomenal Stephanie Mills were on board, the acting would be no doubt A1 as in stellar, meaning no one could do it better. All there was to critique was the fact that poor Toto seemed to have mysteriously disappeared, and was only seen during the first few scenes of the musical….poor Toto. Hence the hashtag…#WhereIsToto!
Unfortunately, the over 11 million viewers and I were probably asking futile questions about wanting to know the whereabouts of our favorite canine, while some of the world were hastagging #WhereAreTheWhitePeople! Side bar …the white version of The Wiz is called The Wizard of Oz, remember with Judy Garland in let’s say… 1939! It is more than just a notion, which during this classic rendition of a young girl’s dream, that I didn’t see any chocolate faces. Not one little munchkin, or one little monkey, nor one little…. (you can fill in that blank), with facial features that looked of anything but…white.
The alarms never went off, the outrage never hit the public and over the last 70 or so years, we’ve seen The Wizard of Oz as nothing but a classic film, but the moment we glamorize this classic in a new light with an all-Black cast it is an atrocity! Twitter was hit with an onslaught of claims of racial injustices as we put a little more soul to the city of Oz. Now, let’s skip from the yellow brick road and fly to a galaxy far and away.
With the opening of Star Wars, millions upon millions flocked to see the breathtakingly stunning face of John Boyega, the British acting newcomer. He is said to breathe new life into the newly revised franchise. Unfortunately, the new Stormtrooper is Black, and what happened when the world viewed the bold new transition, they met it with the hashtag #HipHopStarWars as the reasoning to #BoycottStarWarsVII, the term diversity now seen as a white genocide. Boyega, not bothered by the criticism issued his own clap back by saying, “I’m grounded in who I am, and I am a confident black man. A confident, Nigerian, black, chocolate man.“ He also added “To whom it may concern. Get used to it…..:)”
I’m not sure how displaying the world as it REALLY is with diversity in gender and race is promoting white genocide, but many have found to make it just that. As we all know we can’t please everyone so hopefully in showing truth, we can show the world that proper appropriation of the depiction of the masses of the world is so much more than a hashtag but a harmonious equality needed to see the world ultimately grow.
Written by: Sabreen Shabazz-Straker, Contributing writer, Modern Domestic