Jennifer Hudson on Racism and People Assuming She Belongs in the ‘Back of the Plane’

Jennifer Hudson on Racism and People Assuming She Belongs in the ‘Back of the Plane’
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Jennifer Hudson‘s resume includes an Oscar, performing at a presidential inauguration, and dozens of radio hits. Yet, mind-bogglingly, some ignorant people still dare to reduce this formidable woman to negative racial stereotypes. In an interview with Cosmopolitan U.K., the 36-year-old singer opened up about facing bigotry, like a situation when she was asked to move from first class.

Hudson revealed that when she boards an airplane, she is frequently asked if she belongs “in the back of the plane,” instead of in first class, where she typically sits. “There have been several situations where I get on a plane and [the air steward] assumes that I’m [meant to be] in the back of the plane,” Hudson said. “That happens a lot. I’m like, ‘No, my seat is up there [in first class], thank you.'”

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The “Dream Girls” star also admitted that she faces prejudice in plenty of other circumstances. “People also assume that my home belongs to my white driver, Charles,” Hudson said. “One time, I was having something moved into my house and they wanted to know where to put it. I said, ‘There.’ [The mover] just stood there. When Charles came in, he asked him, ‘So where would you like these things?’ Charles said, ‘She said she wanted it right there. You’re talking to the wrong person.'”

Hudson speculated that the discrimination happens because it’s a “foreign” idea to some that a black woman can live in a “wealthy neighborhood” and be a “working mom.”

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“Stuff like this happens in your own home!” Hudson said. “I defy all the odds being African American, living in a wealthy neighborhood and being a working mom. It’s too many foreign things in one person! It’s so ignorant. Race is just one of them. I face them all.”

Wow. As heartbreaking and infuriating as racism is in any situation and targeted toward any minority group, it’s especially eye-opening to hear someone as successful and high-profile as Hudson talk about the experiences she continues to face even now. We can only hope that through stars like her speaking out, it will help educate those in denial about the discrimination that pervades every echelon of society.