Daphne Valerius Uses Hollywood To Prove That Black Is Beautiful

Daphne.jpg By Justine Frostad — 03/07/10
Daphne Valerius has always dreamed big. As a little girl in Brooklyn, New York Valerius hoped to be a back-up dancer for Janet Jackson or a Fly Girl on the hit television show “In Living Color.”
Valerius is the daughter of Haitian immigrants. Even though she studied marketing and journalism in college, Valerius never stopped honing her acting skills, “I’ve always found time to feed my creative soul.”
Valerius is using her creativity to inspire and uplift women of color through educational television and film projects. She is now involved in the biggest project of her career. It is called “My Black Is Beautiful.” The campaign aims to provide an accurate reflection of black women in popular culture through a national discussion and educational television and web segments.
This type of work is nothing new to Valerius. While she was in college, she did a research project about the lack of African-American women represented in the media. She connected with the research on a personal level and ended up producing a documentary about the topic. That is when “The Souls of Black Girls” was born. Word quickly spread about the video and so far it has been screened at hundreds of non-profit organizations and colleges across the U.S. Valerius says that “There has been a positive reaction across the board. Black, white, men, women and everything in between.”
As an actor Valerius says African-American women in the industry face more challenges than usual. “I think that the challenge is always when you want to submit yourself for a female casting…I sit back sometimes and say to myself I’m not going to submit myself for that because they’re looking for a white girl.”
Valerius believes that a strong work ethic is the only way to overcome these obstacles.
“It is not easy and it is not a game and being a woman of color I have to prove myself ten times more. It’s that much harder so you just have to go harder than the next person. When someone is sleeping, you have to be working.”
While she is still working to improve the national dialogue about race, Valerius believes that the country has come a long way since her research on the subject began. “So much has changed especially as far as media images with the historic election of President Obama and now we have an African American First Lady who has graced every single magazine imaginable. We also have a black princess Tianna with ‘The Princess and the Frog,’ which is huge.” ”
Valerius says her best advice for aspiring actors is to work on developing skills, seize every opportunity and focus on the end result. “Don’t focus your energy on Plan B because it’s only a distraction from Plan A.”
Daphne Valerius has always dreamed big. As a little girl in Brooklyn, New York Valerius hoped to be a back-up dancer for Janet Jackson or a Fly Girl on the hit television show “In Living Color.”
Valerius is the daughter of Haitian immigrants. Even though she studied marketing and journalism in college, Valerius never stopped honing her acting skills, “I’ve always found time to feed my creative soul.”
Valerius is using her creativity to inspire and uplift women of color through educational television and film projects. She is now involved in the biggest project of her career. It is called “My Black Is Beautiful.” The campaign aims to provide an accurate reflection of black women in popular culture through a national discussion and educational television and web segments.
This type of work is nothing new to Valerius. While she was in college, she did a research project about the lack of African-American women represented in the media. She connected with the research on a personal level and ended up producing a documentary about the topic. That is when “The Souls of Black Girls” was born. Word quickly spread about the video and so far it has been screened at hundreds of non-profit organizations and colleges across the U.S. Valerius says that “There has been a positive reaction across the board. Black, white, men, women and everything in between.”
As an actor Valerius says African-American women in the industry face more challenges than usual. “I think that the challenge is always when you want to submit yourself for a female casting…I sit back sometimes and say to myself I’m not going to submit myself for that because they’re looking for a white girl.”
Valerius believes that a strong work ethic is the only way to overcome these obstacles.
“It is not easy and it is not a game and being a woman of color I have to prove myself ten times more. It’s that much harder so you just have to go harder than the next person. When someone is sleeping, you have to be working.”
While she is still working to improve the national dialogue about race, Valerius believes that the country has come a long way since her research on the subject began. “So much has changed especially as far as media images with the historic election of President Obama and now we have an African American First Lady who has graced every single magazine imaginable. We also have a black princess Tianna with ‘The Princess and the Frog,’ which is huge.” ”
Valerius says her best advice for aspiring actors is to work on developing skills, seize every opportunity and focus on the end result. “Don’t focus your energy on Plan B because it’s only a distraction from Plan A.”