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 theroot.com:
"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..."