13 Jun 2013
- Written by Tracy Clayton/The Root
A still from Lee Daniel's latest movie, "The Butler," is causing a bit of a ruckus on Twitter. The movie is about Eugene Allen, who retired as head butler of the White House in 1986. The photo shows Mariah Carey as a slave working in a cotton field with two other darker-skinned (assumed) slaves in the background.
The picture raised questions in some folks' minds about the historical accuracy of the film: How likely would it be that someone of Mariah's complexion would be working in the fields on a plantation?
It seems that most people think that light skin meant you were working in the house, and that dark skin invariably put you in the fields, which is untrue. I'm going to try to decide whether we should blame movies or our failing educational system for this. In the meantime, check out part of the conversation below.
Jay Geeky @CrazyGeekyCool
Mariah Carey looks like, "All my life I been po'...."
She wouldn't even be a house slave, she could pass as white. pic.twitter.com/u5KQ0Va09X
Ving Harrison Rhames @carolinaware
Cats out here acting like Master said "Naw.. she's too light to go in the field. I need my slaves dark as tar.." -_- Really?
Mariah Carey picking cotton is bad for history y'all. Everybody knows she would have been in the big house with a room next to Massa.
Just saw a photo of Mariah picking cotton for The Butler, lighter blacks may react when they realize not everyone had house seats
Cocky McSwagsalot @MoreAndAgain
So, Mariah Carey is gonna play a field slave. . . I'm not concerned about her lack of melanin, I'm concerned about her lack of acting chops.
Rusty Redenbacher @rustymk2
Zoe Saldana is Nina Simone and Mariah Carey is in the fields taking good slave acting jobs from dark-skinned peoples.
Anyone who is mad bc Mariah isn't "black enough" to play a field slave has to overcome their own slave mentality before jumping in the convo
(Tracy Clayton is a writer, humorist and blogger from Louisville, Ky.)