For that to happen, they have to possess a universal appeal that will make them more viable and visually accessible to the Hollywood honchos. That’s where we encounter the formidable roadblock. Not many actresses of color are able to convincingly increase their bankability and permanently add their names to the VIP rolodex.
Veterans like Angela Bassett, Taraji P. Henson and Halle Berry to name a few were not able to completely crack the code, and the younger ones coming up–with the exception of Zoe Saldana who has shown some promise–may have a chance if they end up signing their lives away to star in a five-year franchise. But those are usually based on characters that don’t have much accommodation for actors of color because the writers are almost always Caucasian.
So that brings us to back to the familiar place where we realize that in order for black actresses to earn the kind of money their counterparts command, they have to garner the same level of respect. This is necessary in order to guarantee that they will be considered for the kinds of roles that don’t have anything to do with their race, but rather with their undisputed talent and fluidity.
Even with all those elements in place, the powers that be are supremely rigid. So, until the game plan changes drastically, the players will remain firmly in place.