Ditto, sis.!

Posted: July 23, 2008 in Commentary

I purposely did not watch CNN’s “Black In America”, simply because I AM BLACK AND I LIVE IN AMERICA. I don’t need CNN to tell me “What it’s like.”

Apparently I wasn’t the only one out there who was turned off about this and other similar programs like it in the past.

Who’s Really Watching “Black In America”?
By Karen Hunter

Who is watching “Black in America” on CNN? I ask the question because it was raging inside of me as I listened to pundits and experts, educators and pastors, business professionals and actors—all attempting to make sense and give shape to what it means to be black in America.

I asked the very same question after Tavis Smiley produced the “The Covenant with Black America” a few years ago. That book sold millions of copies, and was the topic of quite a few talk shows.

And this CNN “special” will probably be one the highest rated shows on the network ever. But I again I ask who is watching?

Is Shaniqua living in a tenement in Brooklyn with five babies by five different “men” watching? Is James, who stands on a corner in Baltimore selling crack cocaine to his community watching? T-Bone, a Blood from South Central and his boys and rival Crips from cross-town, are they watching? Janice, who dropped out of Somerville High School in Massachusetts, will she be tuning in?

I doubt it. And here in lies the problem with shows like “Black in America,” and books like “The Covenant with Black America” they don’t reach the people who need to hear and read it most. The people who need to change, probably won’t be tuning in—which is why years after the Million Man March and years after The Covenant with Black America and years after Black in America, nothing will change.

These outlets just become masturbation. A bunch of talking and pontificating and not a whole lot of what next. If you noticed, I hadn’t added Bill Cosby’s “Come on People,” in the mix with the above. Bill Cosby with all of his fame and fortune doesn’t just pay lip service to his desire to change lives. I have seen him show up to schools in Newark, NJ, with no media or handlers and talk to the kids. I have seen him perform at a club for free to help a black man open a club. I have heard stories of Mr. Cosby giving his time when no one is looking because it’s important to him. So when he writes and says the things he’s saying, he’s also someone in the trenches providing solutions. Whether you agree with him or not, you have to applaud that.

A lot of these “pundits” or “experts” who have been featured on “Black in America” make their living off of black poverty and downtroddeness. It gives them a platform to be able to travel the country and demand high speaking fees and folks who don’t need to hear the message because they are taking care of their kids and doing the right things pay to hear a message of gloom and doom. (more…)

Take this same article and apply it to the blogosphere and she would still be on point.


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