Wednesday, July 22, 2009

CNN – That’s a C (and I’m being nice)

I labored through watched CNN's Black in America 2 this evening. That's two hours I'll never get back ya'll. Okay, before I get to bashing; let me say this… I could see where they put in some effort to steer away from the stereo types. I was pleased that they had a lovely section for the Black 'n Bougie (Jack and Jill, private schools and debutante balls, WOO-HOO, represent!). They also had a section that was a complete confirmation of my post in education. (Go Steve Perry!)

Beyond that, there was still a half hour that belonged on a show called Black in South Africa. Malaak Rock (Chris' wife) had a program for kids in New York City highlighted by a trip to South Africa supporting community service. The lesson, I suppose, was that there were people in the world less fortunate then them. When they returned home, they did nothing to bolster them educationally besides some college campus tours.

The boys who had failing grades when she started the project, still had failing grades at the end of the project. The kid who had an imprisoned father (stereotype), wanted to be a baller (stereotype) and thought his fallback would be the law, had a D+ grade point average. The other kid, whose speech was almost unintelligible but was brilliant on the b-ball court and on the drums (stereotype), could not string two sentences together but had a blackberry. Who was he texting? No one from the project offered tutoring or male role model mentorship.

We still had the token basketball court shots, the black folks dancing shot, we had a crack mom, an alcoholic dad, homelessness and projects (stereotypes!). There was a segment on John Rice's Management Leadership seminar that seemed out of place and unedited with a completely unnecessary John Legend appearance at the end. Overall it was a disjointed effort lacking in segue and form.

I watched while chatting with a group of fellow netizens, mostly from AverageBro and The Black Snob blogs. It was a lively exchange, some positive and some negative comments until my bouge came on. The hateration came out of the woodwork. Comments like, "They are just elitist." "Those aren't regular black folks" "Siddity" and "Wow, it must be SO hard being rich and black" flew back and forth. And those were the nice comments.

I sighed since apparently more folks need to visit the Bouge and let go of the haterade. Lots of work to do promoting the "one love" bougie doctrine. Tomorrow night is Tyler Perry night – can't do it. What I will do is work on more of the Bougie Manifesto so we upwardly mobile types can get some love. Did anyone else watch? What did you think?


RiPPa said...

I liked the presentation. And while I watched, I couldn't help but to say, "I bet these keepin it real street Negroes are hatin the level of Bouge..."


I could see from the start what they were doing with this episode. And I think it bodes well. I guess myself being an immigrant born in the Caribbean and having grown up in Brooklyn not but a few blocks from Bushwick can relate and understand.

It has always been my position that kids and people in general in this country should broaden their world view. In doing so, it's always my belief that they would be more appreciative of the opportunities they have right in front of their faces.

Of course they didn't show the necessary followup on the kids, but I wanna believe that they did institute just what you suggested. I don't think they could have gone any deeper into it because it would have taken away from the initial message. However transitioning to the next segment showed just how the type of followup you suggested actually works. And works with kids who are probably no more fortunate than the kids in Brooklyn.

I have a lot more to say and I told myself I was gonna wait till Friday to post on it. But, I happen to love my Bougie cousins blog so you drew me out.


A.Smith said...

I think I straddle this line. I went to an elite private prep school, but definitely am not rich. I was not a part of any Jack and Jill stuff nor was I in any debutant balls (though one of my close friends was -- the difference was her dad was Deputy Chief of Police and my mom... well, she wasn't...)

It's hard for me to not comment on the lack of the bougie presence in the non-bougie areas of Black America and I understand that there are plenty of people who do show up and get no credit and that Black America expects too much from the elite black people (what, are they supposed to unload their bank accounts in the hood?) but at the same time there are little things that level of Black America has to address, like the exclusivity.

I don't wanna see Tyler Perry. We ALL KNOW HIS STORY. LORD. I really just want someone unknown to be profiled please. PLEASE.

But you know, overall, at least CNN is doing it and thank you Soledad for brushing us hard as hell to please black folks off your shoulder and trying again.

Tiffany In Houston said...

I posted this comment on another blog with slight edits.

I don’t begrudge anyone their affluence, however like I said on my Twitter last night, when you start to get on some Our Kind of People type shit is when I have an issue with it. I grew up middle class but my mama was a teacher and my daddy was blue collar. They didnt have the right professions/connections for Jack and Jill or Top Teens. I probably couldn't have gotten invited to a Tuxedo Ball back then. And as for now with my Delta Sigma Theta'd, MBA’d up self, I probably couldn’t get invited to certain parties on the Vineyard because I went to a land grant HBCU. It gets that serious for certain Negroes. If you didn't go an Ivy or the "correct" HBCU you still ain't shit.

Wasn’t it couple of weeks ago the article came out where Vineyard negros were calling Michelle O a “South Side girl”. And she is the FLOTUS!!!!

At some point the class distinctions start to get ridiculous.

Can we please see more REGLA black folks. We exist too.


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