Black in America

It’s a great time to be African American. Just check your television listings. It’s like this:

I mean really. We have a well-rounded array of representation:

Black-ish

Luke Cage

Scandal

How to Get Away with Murder

The Get Down

Queen Sugar

Empire

Atlanta

A friend of mine called it a “renaissance of black culture.” I agreed. It sounds nice. Poetic. Artsy.Β  A “renaissance of black culture” makes me feel good, until the next unarmed black man is gunned down by police. I can laugh at the upper-middle class woes of the Johnsons, until the next #BlackLivesMatter call to action. I’m considering buying a bullet-hole hoodie like the Luke Cage characters. The satire hasn’t escaped me. I watch Annalise, her students and her clients get away with murder, just like the police in my country. I admire how Duvernay wove BMike’s art and his message about police brutality in the last Queen Sugar episode. And even though I loathe Empire, I’m glad there are actors who look like us on television to serve as entertainment, until someone chokes, shoots or hangs another person who looks like me in real life.

Yep. It’s a great time to be African American, as long as you’re on television.

 

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31 thoughts on “Black in America

  1. What hurts us is this comparison right here. Agree or not Madea is kicking ass at the Box office but Birth of a nation barely broke even. We as a culture can not be selective on Support. Anything that is historic, or about improving our community never does well. That’s OUR fault. Don’t get me wrong I watch scandal, and how to get away from murder but I don’t like the message that Shonda Rhymes is portraying with her 2 main characters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree Tareau! I read something that said we’re comparing apples to oranges and that we’re not a monolith and don’t have to support everything. I totally disagree with sentiment. We haven’t come far enough, in terms of movies, to be that selective. I went to see Birth of a Nation too and there were exactly 2 more people in the theater…2. We have to do better.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. On the upside: in addition to Scandal, Empire and Black-ish, you gave me great suggestions for my binge watching bucket list. On the downside: Your analysis sounds harsh, but true. Which makes it even worse. Dance, blackface, dance. Dance and entertain us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good points all around, thank you for this article may I share it? I actually had just heard something on the news about black actors making significantly less than their counterparts. Not surprising that even in the world of make believe we are still slighted in so many ways. As long as people of color can entertain us be is sports, music, or television they love us. Once we question, speak up, and are unapologetic about our concerns in this world they got a problem. Its all our problems.. its globally systemic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right. This is part of what I’m saying. We’re still loved for singing, dancing, and everything in between, which is great, but I look forward to the day when we can be treated as American citizens, with all the rights and privileges within πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hm. So you say there are no successful and/or happy African Americans?
    They all do the things you listed? Or they all get discriminated?
    Maybe it’s my English and I just don’t understand your message…
    I know it’s still a though time to be not-white, even in 2016 and that is ridiculous, sad and frustrating. There is a saying that it takes double the time to change bad behavior, so since racism, discrimination already exists centuries, I’m afraid it will take centuries to change it. However, will have to keep fighting to change this!
    So I think this is the message of this post?
    I became a member of this: http://weareheremovement.com/ in the hope it helps πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ps…I’m really sincerely interested in this subject/matter.
      Is it true that every African American still feels discriminated on a regularly base?
      If I watch her in Europe, for example, American house-hunting TV-shows, I also see happy Americans with African roots. So, I really wonder…is the situation still so ugly when it comes to black versus white and vice versa?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Patty, let me first say thank you for reading and asking for clarification. I appreciate it. I would never say that “there are no successful and/or happy African Americans.” I’m successful and happy lol and I know quite a few others. This post is meant to show the irony of who we are as a people. While we’re being lauded for what appears to be entertainment success, every time there’s another report of police brutality where the officer faces no consequences, we are simultaneously shown how much we’re devalued in American society. Literally, sometimes at the same time. It’s also meant to inspire a little bit of action. I’m guilty of simply watching these shows every Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, while posting and hashtagging my way through, instead of rolling up my sleeves and helping in some other physical way. So, really it’s not to say that there are NO happy or successful African Americans; that would be false. It’s just to say, hey…let’s not forget that these are actors and while it feels good to watch their success on television and praise how far we’ve come in that arena, in our “real” world, unarmed people are dying at the hands of those who are supposed “to protect and serve.” We still have work to do over here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much for taking the time to clarify this. I watched a documentary about Senegal (Afrika) last night and one wise man said; what the world needs to do, is like here in Senegal: sit together with people of different cultures at the diner table with a good meal and just talk to each other, learn from each other.
        It is indeed sad that anno 2016 this still occurs. I think there is still a lot to do all over the globe.
        Thanks again dear Kathryn. XxX

        Liked by 1 person

  5. When I was growing up, there were black TV shows galore. The Jeffersons. Sanford and Son. What’s Happening. Good Times. Unfortunately, they were all white writers’ ideas about black people, which were no doubt a far cry from reality. Hopefully today’s shows have black writers at the helm of the ship. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I was gonna jump straight into the comments and say ‘wtf blah blah etc really???’ after you opening. Providing entertainment or playing some kinda sport- hasn’t that been the permitted presence of black faces? Mind you there is also the POTUS but the lives of ordinary people are far removed from these extremes of ‘success’.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The reality is on 1,000!! Television has always been a form of escapism. As the saying goes, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. We enjoy seeing our faces on TV because we don’t see us enough, but when another video is released of one of us being shot down and another name is added to the list, we are snapped back to reality. We are reminded that we mean no more to this world, than a form of entertainment.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I have to admit, I began reading this thinking how fun…because I LOVE watching “How to Get Away With Murder”, but then you smack me upside the head with some reality…
    Irony has a way of doing that, however.

    Liked by 2 people

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