Gabrielle Union is simply flawless, her radiant chocolate skin, that dazzling sly smile, and beautiful figure makes it easy to believe that she has it going on it every instance in her life. Yet, the rape survivor, makes it plain that at one point she hit rock bottom, and it took self-evaluation to get to the point of being happy, and being able to spread positivity in the Hollywood industry.
–This speech is a few months old, but in Oprah’s latest “Next Chapter” edition where the topic, “Black Women In Hollywood” is discussed by phenomenal black women in film, Alfre Woodard, Phylicia Rashad, Viola Davis, and Gabrielle Union. However, since I was new to this speech, and how Union bared her soul amongst her sisters I thought it would be worth taking a look at.—
During Essence magazine’s sixth annual Black Women in Hollywood pre-Oscars luncheon, Gabrielle Union, winner of the 2013 Fierce & Fearless Award, stunned the star-studded crowd—Oprah included—with a brutally honest speech about the fierce drive to be seen and succeed in Hollywood….
“We live in a town that rewards pretending. I had been pretending to be fierce and fearless for a very long time. I was a victim masquerading as a survivor. I stayed when I should have run. I was quiet when I should have spoken up. I turned a blind eye to injustice instead of having the courage to stand up for what’s right. I used to shrink in the presence of other dope beautiful women. I used to revel in gossip and rumors, and I lived for the negativity inflicted upon my sister actresses or anyone who I felt whose shine diminished my own.
It’s easy to pretend ‘to be fierce and fearless because living your truth takes real courage. Real fearless and fierce women admit mistakes and they work to correct them. We stand up and we use our voices for things other than self promotion. We don’t stand by and let racism and sexism and homophobia run rapid on our watch. Real fearless and fierce women complement other women and we recognize and embrace that their shine in no way diminishes our light and that it actually makes our light shine brighter.
So many of us in this room are sisters. We don’t always get to see each other and its good to see you here today. Women who we’ve laughed with, cried with, and struggled with, thank you for not turning your back on me, thank you for not tap dancing on my misery, even when I wasn’t always returning the favor.”
For me, this raw honesty that Union discusses of transcends to more than Hollywood, but in the workforce, in many career fields. The idea of being on top, and cutting down your competition to maintain your own relevance. I think its all time we all look in the mirror, our action, our words, and start to be candid on how everything we do has a consequence positive or negative.