For me, being a dark-skinned black woman with natural hair, getting to be this center of this love story — Growing up, I didn’t get to see that very often…I think that artists and people in entertainment, we have such an incredible power to remind people of their worth and to help people dream big. So it’s exciting to get to be a part of that.
We are living in a world where children will grow up wanting to read a 800 page biography on an immigrant who founded the financial system for America and a 1200 page Russian novel that is the center of world literature. Do not tell me hip-hop and pop music is unimportant or a waste. And especially do not tell me they ruin the culture of music theater, or culture in general.
“I don’t sound like many of the roles that have been written for someone like me, as incredible as these roles are. I was afraid that if I couldn’t (sound like them), it would cost me my career and my dreams. Then came Natasha. I immediately saw myself in her, but instantly became afraid to let myself want it. Not because I couldn’t sing the role… but because I was afraid that though our souls connected, our appearances would keep us apart. I assumed that they weren’t looking for someone like me, someone who didn’t quite fit in any of the molds that were made for me. To me, any prejudice is rooted in an inability to see the humanity in another, and I think that flame of fear is fanned by lack of exposure to people and things that don’t seem like us at first glance. We bleed the same color, we all yawn when we’re tired; I believe that if we as an industry keep owning this power and blessed responsibility to represent and humanize each other, we can have a profound hand in healing and changing our beautifully diverse world for the better.”