Thoughts On the Casting of Halle Bailey in The Little Mermaid

I am a natural redhead. When I was growing up in the 1980’s and 1990’s, it was hard to find on screen characters who looked like me. Among the handful who I could look to as inspiration was Ariel (Jodi Benson) in the 1989 film, The Little Mermaid.

Over the last few years, Disney has rebooted their beloved animated films into live action films. The newest addition to this trend is the live reboot of The Little Mermaid with Halle Bailey stepping into the fins of Disney’s first modern Princess.

I have to admit that I have mixed feelings about this casting. While I applaud Disney for choosing an actress of color to play the role, my heart is still wedded to the idea that Ariel is a redhead. When your growing up and you look different from your peers, you look to film and television characters who look like you. When I was a kid, that was Ariel. As an adult, I don’t agree with her narrative, but her image and the impression she made back then are still with me to this day.

Readers, what do you think? Do you agree or disagree with the casting?


If These Kids Can Succeed, Why Can’t Every Child Succeed?

It takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to educate a child.

In an ideal world, every child would receive the same education regardless of factors such as family income, zip code, background, etc. However, we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a world in which a child’s education is often dependent on those same factors.

Over the past few years, there has been a debate about charter schools. Especially when these schools are in low income neighborhoods and there are more students applying than seats available.

Success Academy Bronx 2 is a charter school in The Bronx. Not only did the entire school pass the Algebra I Regents, but every student aced the test. From my perspective, this success is proof that when we prioritize education for all of our children, they will become the academic successes that we want them to be.

We just need to make sure that the schools, the teachers and the parents have the resources they need to provide that education. The problem is that these resources are sometimes scarce or non-existent.

Congrats to the kids. I hope this inspires other schools to fulfill and inspire their own students to their own academic accomplishments.

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