Magazine article Newsweek

A Frog of a Different Color

Magazine article Newsweek

A Frog of a Different Color

Article excerpt

Byline: Allison Samuels

For what seems like forever, I have waited for The Princess and the Frog. This is the first Disney animated film about an African-American princess, and this delightful fairy tale couldn't come at a better time, what with the two little African-American princesses who live in the White House. The newest Disney royal is named Tiana, and she's a young woman with pools for eyes, a figure straight out of a fashion magazine, and a big dream. Tiana wants to own a restaurant--she makes a mean beignet--but she's so busy working to save money for it that she barely notices when a prince comes to her corner of 1920s New Orleans. Like every Disney prince, Naveen seems completely unattainable, though for reasons that have less to do with his station or his dreamy French accent than with our own, more modern concerns. Prince Naveen has a tannish complexion, but he clearly isn't African-American. My fear is that for many in the black community, the fairy tale may just end right there.

Since the 1960s, marriages between black men and white women have been steadily increasing--14 percent of all black men are now married outside the race. Yet only 4 percent of black women do the same. Why? Black women, for better or worse, have always seemed to maintain a loyalty to the ideal of the black family unit. That's understandable, even noble, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense when so many black men don't feel the same way. Combined with the disturbing number of black men in prison, that means 47 percent of all African-American women today never marry. …

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