CNN Black In America

So far, I'm REALLY proud of CNN's Black in America! I was surprised, cuz usually TV does a wack job at addressing serious issues by using a bunch of "A-List" celebrities ie: Jay-Z, Chris Brown, or Russell Simmons to comment on our experience as if they are scholars on the subject. And CLEARLY they ain't. (No diss to them, let em do what dey do, leave social commentary to the big boys) We have been in an age where Tupac, Biggie, Nas, and the likes have had carte blanche on defining what our black experience is today! Soledad O'brien is doing a good job at showing many of the perspectives within the black experience. Yet balancing the responsibility to make it entertaining and appealing to CNN's wide audience. Our country has been plaqued with racism for so many years that I'm sure many whites will not even tune in. And blacks being dis-illusioned with media in general will surely have our judgments. I'm interested in hearing what our thoughts are. But my thoughts is that until we do our own documentaries on us then Hush up the mouth a bit cuz I think this one did a good job. It's always a trip to hear commentary from Michael Eric Dyson who is obviously intelligent yet I deeply disagree with some of his disses on Bill Cosby, and his tendacy to soften the blame of our own ignorance while keeping the fire hot on the systemic oppression that does exist. I'm also happy to see a wider range of blacks speaking about being black: Middle class, Rich, Poor, gang bangers, drug dealers, fathers, mothers etc. Usually we are so defined by violence or poverty that we leave out a great deal of our culture and reality.

14 comments:

Tom said...

I decided I'd repost my comment on this here..I didn't realize you had this place.


I'm glad you bring up topics like this. No offense, but the black community does need some better representation than what it's had the last few years. Hopefully, this show will help out. When the so called "intelligent" African-Americans to the average eye are Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, it seems like a joke. During the early 90s and most definitely the 70s the "in thing" for African-Americans to pursue power and enlightenment and that was a beautiful thing. Of course, nowadays it's not just African Americans who are dumbing themselves down..everybody seems to be doing so in America. Nobody wants to learn anymore. Speaking from a white perspective (not my own), I think white people won't tune in. I hear white people rant about how black people have their own separate things and that seems to bother white people. I have nothing against it, although ironically, it is kinda willfully segregating yourselves. Racism is something that will always be there, but I think the whites who dislike blacks see them as undereducated criminals. That is unfair to African-Americans who do not fall under that category, but the ones (especially the ones who want to appear like they live the thug lifestyle and embrace the negative attributes) are just reinforcing the racism that lies in some whites. It is a never ending cycle. I think blacks need to accept that there is a good portion of people in their community who are feeding into the negative perception that is given to them. Of course, nobody is fully resopnsible for the actions for others in our own race. It may sound stupid, but if all black people were like you and Bill Cosby (and you are nothing like Bill Cosby) I think the racism would die down quite a bit. I could go on and on about this, but I'll save your time. haha.

Darius said...

Of course it was not without it's flaws but it was much more insightful and balanced than most programs of it's kind. I REALLY liked the fact that there was such an emphasis on "regular" guys doing the right thing. Not everybody was a famous politician, athlete, or rapper. With a few exceptions, these were people that were not in the spotlight. I thought that was great.

Peace and GOD Bless
"Darius-from-Robbins"

Nicholas said...

I was really interested in watching this, but I unfortunately don't have cable and wasn't able to. I've heard from a lot of people that it was really good though, and I'll probably end up scooping it up off of the Internet at some point to see it for myself. Regardless I am really happy to see a major media outlet like CNN showcase black culture in America in a month that isn't February. It shows how far America is ready to go to accept racial unity, I think. Nicholas

SUSIE"Q said...

I HAVE BEEN WATCHING BLACK IN AMERICA ON CNN FOR I TOO FEEL RACISM HAS BEEN GOING ON TO LONGAND I HURT WHEN I HEAR SOME ONE BEING A RACIST, BUT SOLEDAD O'BRIEN HAS BEEN DOING A WONDERFUL JOB,AT TIMES I AM ASHAMED TO BE WHITE, FOR THE RACISM IN THIS COUNTRY AND EVERYONR WANTS TO POINT THE FINGER AT THE BLACKS AND SAY IT WAS THEM WHEN SOMETHING WAS DONR WRONG BUT I WILL TELL YOU I WILL BE THE FIRST TO SAY NO THEY DIDNT,FOR IN ALL RACES THEIR ARE BAD PEOPLE ALBEIT THEIR UPBRINGING , ABUSIVE HOUSEHOLD OR NO MOTHER, OR NO FATHER, BUT I FEEL THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE KIGS HAVE TODAY DOES NOT MATTER IF THEY COME FROM THE RICH, THE PREACHERS KIDS, COPS KIDS ETC, ITS THE PEER PRESSURE AND THE EXPECTATIONS KIDS FEEL THEY NEED TO DO TO BE COOL THATS WHACK BUT WHEN I LOOK AT SOMEONE I SEE PERSONALITY, NO COLOR FOR COLOR DOES NOT EXIST TO ME AND I SO WISHED THt thT WOULD BE TH ONE THING ALL PEOPLE COULD GET APAST IS COLOR, CREED, OR RELIGION, I LOVE ALL HUMANS , WELL OK ALMOST ALL THEIR ARE A FEW I DOUBT ARE EVEN HUMAN LIKE BUSH,ROSIE O'DONNELL. AND ANN COULTER TO NAME A FEW, BUT SERIOUS I AM ENJOYING WATCHING B.ACK IN AMERICA AND IF I MAY SAY SO YOU R 1 VERY HANDSOME MAN AND IF YOU EVER WANT TO HAVE FUN HIT ME UP BABE, XOXO SUSIE"Q"

Angele said...

I don't find many people willing to talk about racism. Will you? I have questions.

Angele

Tom said...

I'd like to add something important I forgot in my comment where I said "just reinforcing the racism that lies in some whites. It is a never ending cycle" I must not forget that that ends up making white people treat black people different and they project that negatively back onto blacks, thus reinforcing blacks perception of whites as racists

white wave said...

I only saw one of em but I think it was pretty good. I liked how they showed the positives and negatives in the hip hop industry instead of just showin losers like 50 cent and talkin bout how bad hip hop was for the community.

white wave

Jenny said...

When i was younger, I met a man named Kenny. Kenny lived in a ghetto of the Chicago suburbs. I was staying with my friends for about 2 weeks. Kenny was instructing his 13 year old nephew on going to jail. I was so confused and thought to myself Why would anyone tell their 13 year old family member that he's going to jail? Kenny said, "When you go to jail, what is the lit I told you to speak?" Kenny's nephew recited what was taughtto him by his uncle. The only thing i could come up with is that Kenny must have thought that all "black people" go to jail, and his nephew was destined to do the same. Perhaps that was his mindset.
I asked him why he would say such a thing, and said that he was setting his nephew up for failure, just not in those exact words. It made me very sad. That was 10 years ago, and the experience nor Kenny's words never left me.

Please correct me if i am off track anywhere in this message, and i do hope you take the time to read it and respond. =)


People tell me that there is equality in America and that racism is a thing of the past, but in my every day dealings with people, I don't see it. It is better than it was, but there is still so much room for growth.
I work as a waitress, and am so tired of people looking at people of all races as dollar signs instead of treating them like human beings, being happy to serve them, and taking care of their hearts and listening as well as watching for an opportunity to wait on their needs and just plainly doing their jobs.
Personally, i think service comes from the heart, not in a paycheck or a tip. If you don't operate your life that way now in the little things, you sure aren't going to operate your life that way when you finish school to become a teacher, dr., business major, etc. That, to me is dangerous.

But my question is...

What can "white people" do to help? God gave me a heart for all people. I try my best to be a servant of all. I put people in their place if they say anything remotely close to stereotyping any human being. But I still know there is so much more to be done. I personally know that God made us all, and we're all his children. I find beauty in the tones of our skin. It's like the work of an artist. Painting and shading our dna. Molding us like clay, and we are all beautiful in His sight. From the homeless man or woman, to the richest people on our planet. From the ignorant to the scholar, we all share a place and a purpose on our planet. Sometimes our hearts need work, but I think it's beautiful. But most people don't see it that way and it literally makes me cry.
I just want to know what i can do to help while being sensitive and considerate and understanding to people's feelings. I'm in search of an intelligent point of view.

God blesses!

Jenny.

Rocky said...

I want you to know I'm a Fan.

Pleas Hear what is realy being sed in his speach, He left nothing out,and he made it sound so Good,it almost put me to sleep.

Truth is we are in the last day's ! If your reading your Holly Bible you can see there is not much time left!

It's not about skin! Much LOVE & RESPECT - Rocky

Skully Quest said...

don't trust cnn and 90% of all media outlets... target audience "white" mainstream america. they don't "inform" us of anything, they just sell to investors and under represent minorities and subcultures!!

Purple K said...

Time proves itself: that the reality we face everyday will only be that way for so long. These days, landmark times in a society that has evolved for better or worse. Most important is that we, a people of so many colors; learn and grow to strive beneathe the pressure of constant insecurities.

Hunter said...

Ive seen the first part and have the second recorded. I was really enlightening because I wasn't really aware of so many of these social issues(In a large part because I live in one of the most conservative white areas in Texas). I was surprised to see this bulletin because I didn't know anyone else was watching it. CNN can make some good series...now if only they got rid of Lou Dobbs....

Liz said...

Hey Speech,

Thanks for posting this! I do not have TV in my home so didn't watch it, but as soon as I can get a copy of it I will.

I would like to say that as a white woman I am very interested in learning all I can about race relations, racial history in this country, and the continuing struggle for racial justice in America.

Did you see the movie "Race: The Power of an Illusion?" It's a three-part series that explores how race is a social construct, created to justify slavery and the horrible conditions European and US whites imposed on blacks from Africa. The film goes on to explain that although there is no genetic basis for separating the races, racism is very real and has affected us all deeply.

I would like to encourage other whites to explore how racism has affected our lives and how it hurts all of us. Whites (especially liberal whites like myself) tend to see racism as only hurting those most directly affected by it in material and physical terms. We don't see that it is an evil that has poisoned our souls. We don't want to admit that we've been conditioned with racist thoughts, beliefs and attitudes, but until we can honestly look at our families, our friends and ourselves, we will not be able to fully participate in the struggle for racial justice.

Part of the problem is that we have been conditioned to see racism as only individual acts of violence and exclusion; we don't easily see how structural racism works and how we participate in perpetuating it. Come on white folks, would we rather live in guilt and despair, or would we rather fight for a better society for ALL of us, especially our children?

I am currently reading MLK Jr's "Where Do We Go From Here? Chaos or Community?" and he explains personal and structural racism and how it functions in society and how we can work to end it. There is nothing abstract about his plans for changing society. He does not mince his words when he describes the white backlash to progressive policies and programs that would solve many of our nation's racial problems. Sadly, what he wrote 40 years ago is still relevant today. I'm often left wondering: What if? What if our country followed King's lead more than 40 years ago, before I was born? What if I'd grown up in a multicultural Chicago that offered decent homes, educations, and jobs to all instead of a segregated Chicago where I was taught that all blacks smoked crack and lived in ghettos?

Racism affects us all, and I hope that other white folks will learn to see that by recognizing the racism so prevalent in today's world, and understanding the history of how we got to this place, only then can we begin to dismantle it.

Peace and Love to you Speech! Thanks for doing what you do.

Liz

SPEECH said...

Thank you Liz,

I really appreciate your heart to help! Throughout slavery, Jim Crow, civil rights even until today. Some white people have been instrumental in helping to create equality, even some to the point of their own death!

And yet there are also so many that turn their head on an issue of such ignorance. You're right, race plays such a large part of society, and yet there are so few differences in us all.

I'm a Christian, and I believe that all people are created by God, and all are essentially equal!

Peace & strength,

SPEECH