By Mankaprr Conteh
Data agrees with him. A recent report compiled by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and released by the National Domestic Workers Alliance has found that despite our significant political participation, educational advancement, and entrepreneurial initiative, Black women in the United States are underpaid, underemployed, and overrepresented among the ill, the abused, and the incarcerated.
“So for a Black woman to feel that, and still find love within herself to give to her children, I feel like that’s just a testament to how Black women are in this world,” Siriboe continues. “They’re so resilient.”
He realizes the incredible pressure to exert superhuman emotional strength that Black women face, and is grateful to DuVernay, Winfrey, and Girls Trip co-stars like Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah for not placing that same pressure on him. In different ways, both his roles are taxing. As Ralph Angel, he is a young and complex formerly incarcerated father, fighting for his family’s farm and trust. As Malik, he plays a frat boy vying for the affection of an older woman—in real life, Pinkett Smith is 22 years older than Siriboe. While he says working with seasoned performers as a young actor can be “overwhelming,” he knows he can lay his uncertainties and insecurities at their feet and leave feeling motivated, but not forced, to overcome them.
“To me, that’s acceptance that the world doesn’t often give a Black man. We’re told to know. We’re supposed to be macho, we’re supposed to be confident,” says Siriboe.