Annie’s Black Now. Get Over It

The backlash over the casting of Quvenzhané Wallis has already begun.

Quvenzhané Wallis as Annie
Quvenzhané Wallis as Annie YouTube screenshot

“The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be sun.”

The words and the tune are familiar, but the decidedly hip-hop twist belies a completely different story: that of the orphan Annie, who, in 2014, just happens to be black.

On Wednesday the world was given a sneak peek at the new Annie—starring Oscar-nominated child star Quvenzhané Wallis and the ever talented Jamie Foxx—as the first trailer hit the Internet. The 2:30-minute clip shows a modern spin on the beloved tale of the mistreated orphan who went on to be adopted by one of the world’s richest men. Featured are the streets of Harlem and a mayoral campaign, as well as revamped versions of the classic songs.

“What will tomorrow bring?” The trailer asks its audience.

What would be truly remarkable and truly a sign of that “tomorrow”—to this writer, at least—is if a black Annie didn’t cause a stir within social media. And if a black Annie (or an Annie of any race) was just normal enough that no one even batted an eyelash about the details.

But predictably, Quvenzhané’s decided lack of red in her Afro and obvious blackness is causing a stir in social media.