Journeyman's Row
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Dear Ms. Saldana,

Posted on January 28, 2017 at 1:05 AM

Ever since her fiery eyes, her confident demeanor, and strong feminine characters hit the big screen, for me actress Zoe Saldana has been an icon for women, race, and science fiction in a way that always has me riveted to her when she stars in a film. For the actors and actresses I have been talking about for this Famous People blog category, yes I have been highlighting much of what they have done solely in films that I am a big fan of. But I have to believe that a lot of who these people really are comes through their performances and on into the characters they portray. So, I have to trust my judgment to believe actress Zoe Saldana is a strong woman, a woman of color, a person who has the ability to be a powerful force of inspiration and a positive role model through her acting.

This category is to share the best of what these famous people have done in the films I refer to in an effort to share what inspires me about them. I am not judging their entire acting career, unless we're talking about Patrick Stewart whom is the best as they come. Saldana always seems to have a passion in her that she conveys through the characters in films which she portrays. Those characters are therefore an extension of that positive and inspiring force, and those characters stand eternally as more profound examples of inspiration that transcend the many barriers we as human beings naturally create amongst ourselves.

Saldana first caught my attention in the film, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, except for one impish fact on my part. As I had been with many inspirations before 2005-08, I was late with realizing or being exposed to them when they were the center of attention. I didn't gravitate to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise until around or after 2007. By 2009 however, when the Star Trek franchise began its rebirth thanks to the creative courage and vision of J. J. Abrams, Saldana's performance in the first film catapulted her empowering performance capability directly into my heart. My fondness for Star Trek aside, there isn't one moment that Saldana's character, Nyota Uhura, is not the respectable, intelligent, independent, courageous, or inspiring persona as seen on screen in that film.

Furthermore, Saldana's performance in the 2009 film, Avatar, is what ultimately sealed my inspirational judgment of her potential. Saldana portrayed a science fiction character, Neytiri, from another planet whose growth as a non-human character in the film transcended all racial barriers that we as human beings typically create. Her tolerance, her acceptance, her objectivity, her strengths and weaknesses, essentially as an imaginary character should serve as empowering examples for how we as real people can and should act in our own lives. Lives which are fraught with labels, choosing sides, and stereotypes that generalize one individual by the behavior of the group mentality.

If I were to ever have children, one of the top movies for inspirational value of good morals I would show them, when age appropriate, would be the film Avatar. Is Neytiri or actor Sam Worthington's character, Jake Sully, hateful or violent indiscriminately towards others in the film? No. The two fictional characters' actions throughout the entire film are as inspiring role models as they come. Once I saw this film, I was sold by Saldana's potential as an inspiring actress and when she takes up that mantra in the future I look forward to enjoying her performances. I really do. In fact, Saldana went on to reprise her role as the independent and confident Star Trek character, Nyota Uhura, in the 2013 and 2016 Star Trek sequels. How she portrays Uhura in Star Trek Beyond will always in my heart be memorable.

The reason why I decided to talk about Zoe Saldana at the end of yesterday's post, referring to her bullying comment, was also to show that she can be objective enough to recognize and speak out against bullying even amongst her own colleagues and liberal supporters. "We got cocky and became arrogant and we also became bullies," the 38-year-old actress said of Trump. "We were trying to single out a man for all these things he was doing wrong... and that created empathy in a big group of people in America that felt bad for him and that believe in his promises." She set aside her political beliefs and simply was able to recognize the signs that bullying behavior by liberal US supporters had helped support Donald Trump to get elected. Actress Nicole Kidman echoed a similar judgment.

I am on the side of Zoe Saldana when she acknowledged and spout out against people who engaged in bullying tactics against other people. That, right there, takes courage to do. Even I don't completely comprehend the power or influence social stigma has against society, but as I continue forward to confront it I can only hope I have near as much courage and confidence that Zoe Saldana has. She has liberal views, by the way, and has had to withstand a backlash of her own from other liberal supporters and assumingly liberal Hollywood celebrities. I dislike referring to her as a liberal, because she had such independence and strength as a woman of color to stand up against the forces of social stigma. This is why I am writing about her here and look up to her as an actress.

Ms. Saldana, if you read this, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for being you and I hope you find solace in the praise and objectivity I have shared here about you. It doesn't matter what political barriers keep us as a society down, or in conflict, people like Mayim Bialik, Zoe Saldana, and myself will hopefully continue to stand up against stereotypes, prejudices, racism, religious persecution, and so on whether it comes from the side of the conservative Trump administration or if it came from the liberal Obama administration. We will endure, in the end. Thank you, Zoe. Thank you.

Categories: Inspirational, Famous People

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