Oge Egbuonu Wants Black Women To Feel Seen In Her Outstanding Directorial Debut

But it’s also been empowering because I have used that sort of rejection as a redirection of how I do things.” “I couldn’t think of a better day to release a film that celebrates Black women than on the day that celebrates Black freedom,” she pointed out.  Aunt Jemima’s likeness appears in the first 20 minutes of the film, as an example of what Dr. Patricia Hill Collins — one of the several scholars featured in (In)Visible Voices— refers to as a “controlling image,” created to keep Black women in their place.  Egbuonu stresses that changing the name and logo is the bare minimum.  “It’s not impressive to me,” she said. “I won’t give you a pat on the back for realising 130 years later that the marketing you use to promote a product is racist. Until that happens, I’m like Okay, what’s next?” Since 1890, Aunt Jemima’s smiling face has been used to sell a sweet pancake topping — but also normalise the idea of The Mammy, a mythical representation of Black women as jolly, servile domestic workers, who cheerfully raise white children without complaint. The name comes from “Old Aunt Jemima,” a song historically performed by minstrel shows in blackface. It was a challenging experience, and one that has forever changed me.” In one of the final and most moving sequences in the film, Egbuonu asks her subjects to look into a mirror and say kind things to their younger selves, giving themselves the love and acceptance they may never have received as girls. Similarly, the filmmaker hopes this film will act as not only an educational tool, but also a balm for young women who see it.