Actress Yvette Nicole Brown, known for her roles in “Community” and 2015’s “The Odd Couple,” recently sat down with Essence magazine deputy editor Yolanda Sangweni to discuss what it’s like to be a black actress in Hollywood.
“I feel like we’re kind of the standard-bearers, and we’re lighting the torch, and that’s good and bad,” Brown explained in a chat for Essence’s Black Women in Hollywood conversation series. “Because sometimes, we’re not really able to do the kind of roles that will elevate us as a people.”
Brown said she keeps this in mind when taking on acting projects, noting that most of the roles she’s considered for are generally for flat side characters.
“When I’m saying yes to something, I’m like, ‘Oh, is this gonna set us back?’ It feels like there’s so few opportunities for us to shine in the way that we know that we shine. ‘Cause we know that we’re kings and queens, but for the most part we’re servicepeople on film and in television,” she said. “We’re assistants, we’re meter maids, we’re nurses, we’re the judge, you know?”
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