The look of love that we need more of…

How Netflix’s “Been So Long” Gives Dark-Skinned Women Permission To Be Whimsically Delightful

And that’s the way it should always be

Ezinne Ukoha
7 min readNov 13, 2018

Mild spoilers

Michaela Coel is a superstar. By Hollywood’s standards, the thirty-one-year-old London-born Ghanaian actress would be experiencing the epic trajectory that envelops her White counterparts; but the industry-at-large is still woefully unappreciative of the immense talents of Black actresses, especially if the skin hue is too dark for comfort and seamless casting.

Veteran actress, Viola Davis found fame in 2011’s The Help — playing the an African-American maid, Aibileen Clark, a role that earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. But despite the accolades that were showered on the now highly sought-after actress, Davis recently admitted regret participating in a film that didn’t quite do justice to the characters that mattered.

“I just felt that at the end of the day that it wasn’t the voices of the maids that were heard.”

Given the fact that The Help was adapted from a novel written by a White woman, it’s no surprise that the film centered primarily around White characters, which is exactly how Hollywood likes it, and also explains the heightened acclaim that was bestowed.

Years later, and Davis is finally being offered the projects that allow her to embrace her sensuality and complete femininity without restrictions; both on small and big screens. As high-powered lawyer, Annalise Keating on How to Get Away with Murder, Davis embodies a deliciously complex woman, who readily indulges in her ambitious pursuits and specific pleasures.

Her latest win was scoring an enviable gig courtesy of British helmer, Steve McQueen, (12 Years a Slave). In the crime thriller Widows, Davis is given the rare opportunity to share an intimate scene with actor Liam Neeson, that depicts both their characters loving on each other — between the sheets.

Viola Davis, Liam Neeson in “Widows”

For Davis, being involved in a love scene with a hunky White actor in a highly-visible film that’s furnished by a…