by Michelle Denise Jackson
Nana Mensah is a Ghanaian-born New York based actress. You may have recognized her in her starring role as Sade in the acclaimed web series, An African City. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvia, and received dramatic training from The Actors Center and the Public Theater's Shakespeare Lab.
She is also seriously hilarious.
While we loved her as Sade in An African City, we're also excited to see her in her new film, the independent feature, Queen of Glory. In the film, she plays Sarah, a Ph.D. student who is forced to move back home after a family tragedy.
Recently, Mensah teamed up with a friend, fellow actress Caitlin FitzGerald, to create this satirical video for Upworthy, which pokes fun at the ways Black women are treated when interviewed by non-Black folks about their work. Instead of people listening to us tell our stories and share our ideas, or accepting that Black women are infinitely diverse, we're often subjected to asinine comments that play on stereotypes.
I'm sure many of us have experienced one of the following in our lives: May I touch your hair? You're so exotic. You remind me of _______ (black person we actually have no resemblance to). I just didn't expect you to be so articulate!
We saw this over the past week, when Guiliana Rancic was properly dragged by Black Twitter for comments she made about Zendaya Coleman wearing dreadlocks to the Academy Awards. And we saw it last month, as well, when an interviewer commented on how "very tan" and "very tropical" Rashida Jones (who is half-black) looked at the Golden Globes. Rashida's response? "I mean, you know, I'm ethnic."
We love this video, because it showcases the infuriating microaggressions that intelligent, creative, successful Black women consistently have to deal with—whether we're in the entertainment industry, the academic world, or the business realm.
When will folks finally get a clue?!
Watch the video below and tell us your reaction in the comments!