Sunday, August 23, 2009

BET and TVOne: Who's Really to Blame?

I've been involved in some marvelous communication lately with a couple television executives and some random, 'round-the-way television watchers. It seems as if people are growing incredibly irate with the current state of Black television. I've even read an article on concerning The Real Housewives of Atlanta and how black women are portrayed incorrectly. Overall, one resounding theme is that people are looking to BET and TVOne to promote African Americans as educated and intelligent individuals.

I'm not saying that we as a race are NOT intelligent and not educated. We do have a plethora of black-owned businesses, networks, etc. But, neither BET or TVOne are black-owned. One day, we'll come to a place where a fully black-owned mainstream media agent takes the world by storm.

That said, we cannot look to BET or TVOne as outlets of/for our intelligence. Granted, there is some decent educational programs on both networks that offer an insight into Black culture and values and history. But, I have noticed that the network personalities on both have failed to realize that it's not enough. It's just like BET on Sundays...there's about a four hour or so block of television devoted to the church, then it's back to regularly scheduled programming. Gone are the days of BET being completely devoted to God on Sundays.

But, as we delve into the past just a bit and then return to our present and future television, whose really to blame for the lack of educational Black programming on television?


Yes, I said it:

Us. We are.

It is us who fail to continually support our educational programs on said networks but will desperately tune in to see what Tiny and Toya are doing this week or continually watch rehashed re-runs of Sister, Sister or The Game.

It is us who nominally watched the documentaries on black race and socioeconomic challenges we face but routinely watch music countdowns to see if our favorite video made it to the countdown. It is us who barely watched the presidential coverage on BET but repeatedly watch the BET Awards to see the same thing we've seen twice, three times, or more times before. It is us who wouldn't discuss children's education on TeenSummit but have no problems discussing Beyonce's latest lacefront wig.

I'm not here to point fingers specifically, for I'm not blameless. I do watch The Real Housewives of Atlanta, I do watch some other reality programming, but I DO KNOW that I cannot blame BET for not showing more educational programming when I know most folks didn't watch it or don't want to watch it. We as a whole don't want to see something intelligent! We want to see whose wig is being snatched off and who's getting beat down or cursed out.

I'll quote a comment left on the article I read on

"It would be great if there was a high-quality cable station devoted to black issues, arts and culture, but for some reason nothing like this seems to fly on cable. Both Bravo and A&E started out with the intent of celebrating the arts, but soon took the low road instead."

Truer words are rarely spoken. Gone are the days of even those channels showing programs about space exploration and our history as a people, gone are the days of those channels showing how the world words financially and geologically. We now have rampant reality shows and who-wants-to-date-me type shows. What?

Channels like A&E and Bravo started out well and then changed its format, because WE changed it. BET had some decent programs and shows but soon changed because WE changed. Even MTV rarely shows music videos anymore except roughly between 3am and 10am, simply because that's not what we want to see.

So, because of our nosiness and interest in others' lives and the drama that unfolds when those lives intertwine, we lose programs that could help to propel us and our children into the future. We can't blame anyone until we ourselves can show a vested interest in quality programming.

"We can't blame someone for not doing something we failed to do ourselves..."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Getting It Together...

I did say some time ago that I was going to come in here and write a lot more often. I think I have become flooded with the Facebook popularity and finally being more active on MySpace; seems only natural that I would come back here. I'm thinking of making this blog the more exclusive one; no more notes on Facebook or blogs on MySpace unless I see fit to post them there. This will give me the opportunity to get back to actually writing. Following the shenanigans of my online and personal friends via their Facebooks and MySpaces are fun; however, they can become quite irritating over time because we all seem to have this different persona when it comes to sites like that. Here is where you will get my innermost thoughts and feelings about a myriad of subjects.

My so-called life? I'm living it. I think I hate the fact that I am still in Jacksonville and have grown complacent to a lot of its foolishness, but I've become too lazy to move somewhere else. My first choice would obviously be Chicago, but after visiting New York City for my birthday and becoming a totally different person while there has bumped that selection near the forefront. Houston is still an option as is Los Angeles. I think I need to really think about where I want to take my life in the next ten years.

I've decided that it's high time to get my career path going. Yes, I have dabbled in the journalism industry after college and it didn't fit my needs at that time, so that's still a viable option. I've toyed with the idea of teaching but the kids these days are scary! Maybe they just need that one teacher that's not going to take their sh*t and slap them around a couple times, like they did in the ol'school. Yes, Target is great and all, and it does pay the bills and has me coming into contact with a LOT of different people and personality types, but Target is a JOB...I want a career. I think I have played around a little too long while some peers younger than me have advanced a little further (I'm not envious at all; I've made my own decisions and lived with them). I think I have had a LOT of fun doing what I want to do when I want to do it's just time to squeeze in some grownmanness. LOL.

I've started singing with a gospel ministry here in Jacksonville and things are REALLY taking off. I'm so excited about them and love the spirit they possess jointly and severally. Our name is Ledger and Voices of Remnant. You can check us out at and even purchase our EP on there. I'm excited and I hope you can share in that enjoyment.

I'm also going to be in a commercial for the Channel 4 ten o'clock news here in Jacksonville. Shooting is taking place this Thursday and I am soooooo excited about that. While I am sitting here typing to whomever I should definitely be trying to memorize my script. Pity I haven't done so before.

And yes, I am quite single and I LOVE it. I do have my people that try to knock down my door but I don't have an interest in them. I have "dated" (and we use that term so loosely these days, but I mean the word "date" not "hookup") a couple individuals without taking it anywhere physically, but in some regards I don't think I am prepared for all the madness and work that goes along with a relationship. I have to get MYSELF together first before I can offer myself to someone else. Feel me?

I'm getting it together. You'll see...stay tuned...