Gabrielle Union Reveals She Used To Try To ‘Minimize’ Her Blackness By Hiding Her Upper Lip: I Was Trying To Constantly Change Who I Was

Gabrielle Union-Wade

Gabrielle Union Reveals She Used To Try To ‘Minimize’ Her Blackness By Hiding Her Upper Lip: I Was Trying To Constantly Change Who I Was

Gabrielle Union is opening up on how she once tried to ‘minimize’ her Blackness in order to book roles in Hollywood.

Gabrielle Union, 50, has been in the entertainment business since the 1990s. Over the course of her successful career, the famed actress has appeared in many hit projects, including; “Love & Basketball,” “Think Like a Man,” “ Bring It On,” and “Deliver Us from Eva.”

Her latest project, “The Inspection,” was released on November 18. The drama film centers around Ellis French, (portrayed by Jeremy Pope) a gay Black man who is rejected by his mother Inez French (portrayed by Gabrielle Union), and enlists in the Marines due to the limited options he has for his future.

While doing press for the film, Gabrielle Union shared ways she relates to her character’s struggles with cultural assimilation. She said,

“I had to find the common ground with her. And that common ground is all of the things that we are willing to do in order to be seen, in order to move that much further ahead for a check, for a relationship, for acceptance, validation for white supremacy. What are we willing to gamble with? And for me, I didn’t gamble with my children, but I’ve gambled with all sorts of things.”

She continued,

“I mean to not make light of it, but I gambled with my upper lip. For many years I would literally smile [while hiding my lip]. Because I thought if I let my full lip be seen, then they would know I was Black. … As illogical and silly and stupid as that is, I tried to minimize my Blackness. I tried to constantly be shapeshifting that dual consciousness. I had multiple personalities.”

Gabrielle Union

She added,

“I was trying to constantly change who I was, depending on the room, if I thought it was gonna get me this far ahead. All the things that you do for a man, all the things that you do for Jesus, all the things that you do for whoever you think that is going to deem you worthy, deem you good enough, deem you worthy of all the opportunities in life, riches, you’ll do anything. You will barter with anything. And for some of us that’s children. And for me, it was my soul many times. So when I realized that common ground, it’s dark. It’s just very dark and disturbing.”

Speaking on the message of “The Inspection,” Gabrielle Union said,

“I think hurt people hurt people, and healed people have the ability to help heal other people. You just have to want to do different and wanna love differently and you have to know that you’re really losing nothing in loving completely.”

Gabrielle Union

Do you relate to what Gabrielle Union had to say? Tell us in the comments below! 


Authored by: Twila-Amoure McDaniel