Renée Yoxon sent along a performance by Patina Miller singing Random Black Girl. It’s about how new musicals all just so happen to include a soulful, sassy, big-voiced, big-bottomed black girl in the ensemble (I’m looking at you, Glee).
My favorite part is at 3:45.
Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
Chill Chad Stanton — July 2, 2011
I don't think I've seen a musical movie without a random black girl with a big voice,word to School of Rock, and Sister Act
Anonymous — July 2, 2011
I think something could also be said for the fact that all of these women have good singin voices: that if you're a white woman that is apparently not necessary. The industry is mad.
CelloShots — July 2, 2011
If any Sociological Images readers will be in Liverpool on Thursday at 11:30 AM, I'll be giving a paper about this topic and playing part of this song at the Interdisciplinary Conference on the Diva at Liverpool Hope University! Patina Miller is now playing Whoopi's role in the Broadway musical based on Sister Act.
Maureen O'Danu — July 2, 2011
Thank you. That was amazing and funny and sad all at once.
Cocojams Jambalayah — July 2, 2011
I've searched but can't find the words to this song online. I've watched this video and several others and have transcribed part of the song, but does anyone have the lyrics to the entire song or a link to the lyrics? I don't want to post an incomplete transcription.
Jude42 — July 2, 2011
& if you really want to hit the demographic sweet spot, RBG should be bigger than the white girls too: a combo that lets whatever the show is wear the "they cool with fat and we cool for knowing that" ribbon....
Pam — July 2, 2011
This always annoyed me to no end, the fact that ANY black girl that appears in a musical has to have a big voice and is automatically categorized as soul or r&b. I remember once on American Idol this one girl wanted to sing country and they were like great voice but you should do soul/r&b. in fact, I can't think of a black girl singer in general who isn't considered r&b/soul. at MOST, she's pop.
rg — July 2, 2011
Instead of lamenting the fact that each show has a black woman who can sing, we should be lamenting the oversaturation of white women who can't sing. We need more women of color in these shows, not less.
Anonymous — July 2, 2011
It annoys me to no end that black people are expected to only have soul But that's th case in any ensemble. I was watching Food Network Star, and I believe it was a Latina girl who was talking about how much she loved French cooking and that's what she wanted to base her show on, and all the selection committee kept saying was, 'But what about your culture?' Funny that white people with no French background can cook French food and aren't forced to do all-American meatloaf (or research their roots and cook only Swedish food, or something), but if you're "ethnic," that's the only thing that could possibly inspire you.
Gilbert Pinfold — July 2, 2011
The sad part for me is that this reminds me of the Syrian lesbian blogger story. The lyrics appear to have been written by a white male.
Sunday Reading « zunguzungu — July 3, 2011
[...] The Random Black Girl with the big voice: (via) [...]
Lindsay Hope Simon — July 3, 2011
Martin Short pointed this out in his one man (in charge) show "Fame Becomes Me" back in 2006. There's a whole song about it - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kg6_kvv-1TQ
Cocojams Jambalayah — July 4, 2011
Wonderful! Thanks Anon!!! That site has the title in Portuguese (?) which is probably why I didn't find it through Google. "For the record", here are all the English language words to Random Black Girl by Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond:
Letra da musica Random Black Girl:
I'm not like the other girls in this show I'm something of a sore thumb I'm starting to think that I'm dif'rent and I suspect I know how come My complexion stands out and my voice foes as well and in case you have n't noticed I'm black as hell It's an obligatory part of ev'ry new musical It's the random black girl singin' the soul.
Ev'ry show must have an ensemble with out it things wouldn't be right And ev'ry crowd needs at least one person who doesn't hapen to be white And that girl is usually me Seems like O'm just filling a quota any time I ever have lines they're yes'mand yes'sir and no sa' when it comes to the plot I play no significant role I'm just a random black girl singin' the soul.
And I conduct with my hands And I'll open my mouth unbelievably wide And at the end of the song when its time to let go I'll give'em a dose of my crazy vibrato Why couldn't I be cast for a part in the Color Purple 'Stead of the random black girl singin' the soul.
My agent gave me advice Those words I'll never forget, he said, "Don't think you'll ever be cast as Eponine or Cosette" But I guess things always could be worse when it comes to my Broadway station at least I'm not cursed enough to have been born asian Then I'd be stuck in Miss Saigon Dancin' on a pole 'stead of the random black girl singin' the soul.
The desingers can't light me Director don't know my name and the make-up artist thinks that we all wear the same Shade and Mister stage manager thinks I got too much sass and costumer don't know what to do with my ol' black hair. Oh! Maybe I should audition for American Idol, They lobe the random black girl singin' the soul.
So what does this song change Well not a relevant thing but you gotta be thinkin' to yourself "Goddamn, that Sista cansing!" Don't you hate it when song are so self referential I'm just a random black girl singin' the... Don't stop me know, cause baby, I'mon a roll I'm just a random black girl singin' the... I can me anetire phrase out of one syllable Cause I'm Random Black Girl Singin' The SOUL!
Cocojams Jambalayah — July 4, 2011
For those who may be interested, I added a new page to my website about The Random Black Girl song and meme: http://www.cocojams.com/content/random-black-girl-lyrics-comments
I added a hyperlink to this discussion, included the lyrics posted by anon from the link she or her provided (with some corrections) and I reposted several comments from this page. Thanks for alerting me to this song, play, and meme.
Erika Harada — July 5, 2011
HA! That is wonderful, and it's unfortunately too true. I also appreciated the dig about the representation of Asians in musical too, since it's atrocious :P
Patrícia Dias da Silva — July 16, 2011
Talking about the depiction of Asian in the movies in song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNmzegQUtFA
"Nobody's Asian in the Movies": The tenth track of Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog's Commentary: The Musical.