Actor Siaka Massaquoi, a first-generation American whose family came from Liberia, entered Hollywood with big dreams. However, after witnessing racism firsthand and seeing colleagues lose roles because of their skin color, he began to ask questions.
Says Massaquoi, “I think the narrative Hollywood is trying to sell about black people is the same thing the media’s been selling, that we’re poor us, our lives are in danger every day by living here in this country. They see me as a black man and automatically go to victimhood, or criminal.” He says when his family arrived in America 16 years ago, the refrain was the South was teeming with racists and to keep away from rural areas.
While Massaquoi viewed Hollywood as the most racist experience of his life, he says if there would be a call to action for anyone in Hollywood, just ask yourself what really matters in your heart. “We have a chance to be different and if you don’t, you’re going to have to live with that for the rest of your life. You have a chance today, let’s do it.” Here’s more of his story on breaking free from PragerU.