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Audra Mcdonald. The voice. The Force of nature. She is set to make history tonight by possibly winning her sixth Tony Award. I hope she wins. I have posted a previous blog about the power of the Tony being diminished. Adele Dazeem. However visibility is important for artists of color in an industry that promotes and supports whiteness in institutional, structural, and systematic ways… According to this report from Actors Equity, in 2012 the union was 85% white…this feeds into what is produced, what is supported, and promoted.
So a black woman winning the most Tony Awards ever for a performer, would be nice for little black, brown, and yellow boys and girls to see. Winning will not mean all of a sudden there will be as many shows with black folk as white, or that our fight for parity is over by ANY MEANS. Just as Obama being President did not end racism, Audra winning her 6th Tony will not end the lack of diversity of voices on the “Great White Way.” However it would be a step in the right direction. Seeing is believing, and I hope she is recognized for her work tonight. I remember watching the Tony awards as a kid. What children see seeps into their psyche, and helps to form their being.
Good Luck Audra!