CNN's Black in America..A tale of 2 Stories...
If im being totally honest, I give the overall 2-day special a 5 on a 10 point scale. Before I breakdown why, allow me to express this quick point about the special. It was infact, groundbreaking. MSNBC tried something along these lines, but there story was based more on a young man tracing his roots back, and coping. It is my hope that other networks pickup where CNN left off. There are so many aspects of peoples lives that frankly we just dont know about, and with us on the verge of potentially electing a blackman as president, I for one am a HUGE FAN of full disclosure. I want want to see how this affects the whiteman, brownman, blackman, and soforth.
Ok , back on track..Day1 Black in America Blackwomen.
Family I was VERRRRRY dissapointed by this. 90% I repeat 90% of the special was dedicated to painting sisters as promescurous sex goddeses who rarely work, engage in unsafe sex, cant marry, and have low self esteem. The sistahs who are out there, are to out there, and only want to focus on there careers. Atleast thats the picture CNN painted on Wednesday's canvas.
Here's a summation
There was a story of a woman who through bad choices/lack of dad was living in Houstons fifth ward district(avg. ghetto usa) trying to make it as a real estate agent and raise her 5 kids by her self. Everyday was a struggle between want and need. She gets kicked outta her home, and the gamily has to move into a lower mortaged house. She's making it though, but its tough. She blames her upbringing for her decision to makem men her burden/pleasure. Growing up withoutt any prominent ones in her life, resulted in her chasing them in her adolescent age. 2 kids beofore 20, and 5 total by 35. Another story was of a cutie who had unprotected sex just once and contracted HIV. This one broke my heart. This girl has alot of energy, and she has the looks of a dyme. She's now an activist, and speaks out against AIDS/HIV. The last snippet I'll provide dug into the life of a biracial married couple in ATL. Sistah with Opie..The situation didnt bother me at all. Im all about people dating whoever makes them happy. What bothered me was the commentary given by Tara Wall )(conservative sistah) .."Black men are taken aback by my sucess and often dont want to date a succesful sister"
WRONG WRONG WRONG. I dont know what circles up in DC she's runnin in, but I know first-hand that nothing is more attractive to a man, then a woman that can do her. Throw in a cute face , and the ability to make a brotha a country style breakfast, followed with freakishly heathenist sex, and I'd say a sista is the most lethal thing on the planet. And those women exist.
The proffesional sista who was taught by momma the way to keep, and maintain a proffesional career/relationship. Sadly CNN was more interested in highlighing baby-mommadrama and the rest of the stereotypical assumptions made of black women.
Here's 3 things CNN could have done to improve the women segment.
1st. Hilight Sista's in there comfort zones. Ie the Beauty Parlor, Massage shop etc. Give them an open mike and moderate it all topics ranging from politics, to gossip.
2nd More showcasing of the Proffesional Sista. Investiigate her struggle to maintian in a workforce that is DOMINATED BY THE WHITE MALE, all the while maintaining her blackness
3rd. Coastal representaion. Sho how sista's from Cali differ from there Houston, Baltimore, and NY counterparts
Overall I gave the Black Womens segment a 3.
On to the Brothas.
Someone at CNN must have got the memo, either that or they were directed by 2 totally different people. Whatever the case, it was like night and day.
CNN showcased a tale of 2 brothas out the gate. Brotha one was the modern dayt Cliff Huxtable. Model family 3 kids all succesful, and wife is a Circuit Court judge. He a superintendent , along with his wife raises his kids to be smart, repsectful and value an education. Brotha 2 was a former felon who accepted God while in jail and made it a point in his life to turn young brothas life around.
Both men were in there mid to late 50's and had came up in newly de-segregated Arkansas.
The stories ran in perfect parralel as they showed how choices can shape and change your life.
Another story hilighted a young brotha who got a Computer Science Degree while in prison. No he's a felon so his job options are a little bleek, but he still remained positive and hopeful that his prospects will improve as time goes by.
Now here's where it FLOORED ME. A proffesor at Princeton did a study. Get this, 95% of blackmen with a felononious are criminal backround almost never get hired. Now that may sound steep but heres where I just sat there. A whiteman with the same prison wrapsheet has a 50% chance of getting hired. THE SAME STATISTICAL ODDS OF A BLACKMAN WITHOUT A PRISON RECORD...Essentially a blackman w/o a prison record is just as hirable as a whiteman with one.
Im going to let you digest that one for a bit....
Ok, Im back. They had Spike Lee on. He dove into the complexities he's faced trying to get his movies out. Many of them are privatly financed b/c Hollywood believes his message can be "to over the top"..Blackfolk we know code. The counter to his arguement was Joseph C. Philliips. He of Strickly Business, and small role fame. (He was the naval officer who married Denise on the Cosby's) He claimed that Hollywood does have the job's its just blackmen are lazy. Of course since he hasnt been heard of since Girlfriends axed him, I guess he's just to lazy to be found out there. Black conservatives irk me. Most of there stich is puttin us down. They seem totally oblivious to how society has ACTUALLY TREATED BLACKFOLK, and they come off as trying to hard to impress a culture that secretly could care less .
My last snippet is of he brotha they followed out on the job chase. This brotha was young, had 3 kids, and was on a daily grind. He was positive, and focused and in the end he got a job. A good one night stcoking, and delivering. Now they had another one, specific to me. A young brotha who was in a worfoce heavily dominated by wihtes. I thought it to be good as well, but I would have liked to see them go deeper into how he has to be proffesional while being black. Its a fineline that I think people need to see.
Overall I gave this special a 8
I'll close by saying this. CNN isnt going to impress everyone with there special I am one of those people. I will say though, that im really impressed with the effort. I felt Soledad Obrien did about as good as one could w/o the exp. of street life. I place a strong emphasis on someone being able to tell a story or drive a narrative they can somewhat relate to.
Blackfolk are a prideful people. We are proffesionals, we are entertainers, and we are family people. Not all of what you see on BET represents us . You wont catch a majority of our men walking around with wifebeaters and gold teeth. Also, you wont catch a majority of our sista's walkin round in booty shorts with 5 kids at home, and lookin to find there "Captain"... (dont act like dont know what that mean..)
CNN was able to provide insight on one of these,and for that I thank them. But im standin up for my sistas and asking them to to submit a better perspective on sistas the next time.