A couple thoughts on CNN’s “Black in America” (black women and family)

24 Jul

The “Black in America” series is very ambitious and I think Soledad O’Brien worked very hard on this program. I intend to watch all three installments. All that said, the two-hour premiere of the first installment about black women and family was a little weak. Don’t get me wrong, I think O’Brien did a great job of talking to a wide range of people and some of the stories were truly touching ( I LOVE the Rand family!), but the program jumped around a little too much. There just wasn’t enough time to spend on each of those very important subjects, especially education. However, the show does reveal how diverse the experiences are under the umbrella of the “black experience.” We are “The Wire,” “The Cosby Show,” “Girlfriends,” “Boyz n’ the Hood,” “Something New” and a whole lot more.

The one thing that I thought could really just be gone forever and I wouldn’t shed a tear was that poet dude. I hope he’s not part of the entire series. I was particularly rolling my eyes at his little words about inter-racial dating. Everything that man said on the subject was about how black women feel like they have to “resort” to inter-racial relationships because of a lack of available black men. Go sit down somewhere! I’m so tired of that weak rationale. Some people date outside of their race because *gasp* they genuinely connect with someone who happens to be of another race.

Anywho, though perhaps a tad too scattered, I liked this first installment quite a bit and I hope they follow-up with the people they interviewed. I am especially curious to see how that adorable young man is doing who pledged to give half of his money to his father for the bills. Also check out CNN’s page of related links. That page has an excellent and diverse list of articles and videos about black America.

Great job Soledad O’Brien!


Posted by on July 24, 2008 in Love, TV


Tags: ,

14 responses to “A couple thoughts on CNN’s “Black in America” (black women and family)

  1. slimting

    July 24, 2008 at 10:26 am

    I only got to see bits and pieces of it due to all the darn rain (my cable went out twice) Do you think they will re-air the first episode?

  2. loveisdope

    July 24, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Yeah, they are showing it again on Saturday at 8 pm.

  3. Maxine Taylor

    July 24, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    I loved it! I hope what comes out of the series is everyone realizes Black America is America. Black experiences, Latino experiences, White experiences, Asian experiences of Americans is what make it ‘America’. All of us are inter-twined and a part of what America is. When Black America hurts it is a prelude to the rest of America. Take the recession for example: Black America has been feeling the pains of the recession for about 5 years now….
    PS: I was not impressed with the ‘poet dude’ either. I thought he was kinda hokey.

  4. Tameka Jo

    July 24, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Another Great Blog, Demetria!

    From my perspective, I was a little disapoointed with the show. And don’t get me wrong, I do give Soledad O’Brien her props. But I think that they were telling “us” what we already know. We already know that there are well-to-do black families and there are poor black families. So what was the point or deeper meaning behind it? I was really expecting something different. I don’t know what was missing, but something definitely was for me. With that said, I do agree some of the stories were touching and inspirational. Maybe, my expectations were too high! We all know that preconception spells upset!LOL

  5. loveisdope

    July 24, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    Maxine- Well said. And yes, the “poet” should have been left on the cutting room floor.

    Tameka Jo- I think the audience for the series is much wider than just black folks and so, I think there are people out there who would go “Oooooh” when they see that real life “Cosby Show” family or see what that adorable little boy has to deal with at home (going to 5 different schools before 5th grade, etc). There are a lot of people who truly know nothing about black people other than what is on tv shows and videos and movies. That said, I still think there was just too much crammed into those two hours. I’m curious to see how tonight’s episode will compare.

  6. RG

    July 24, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    Man, I’m sorry but this whole thing is some election year bs!!!

    I have nothing against blacks but how come they always have to be trying to prove that they fit in, that they are “normal”, that they are misunderstood? You want to know what the main differentiator is in my humble opinion? It’s ebonics, start speaking like you are native Americans and you will see how you are treated better and with less misconceptions about your race. Listen you aren’t the only ones with that problem, look at the Mexican American’s many of them are born here yet they have this unsettling vernacular. Meanwhile other Americans of hispanic, asian, and other ancestries speak like the majority of America. You all don’t realize how refreshing it is to hear a person speak standard english and then find out later that they are African American. They sound educated and pleasant.

    I know that my words may sound harsh but I truly feel that the African American vernacular is the main driving force behind the inability to realize that we are the same people, with similar values. Until that difference is overcome I fear that there will always be struggles.

  7. JBI

    July 24, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    I don’t even know where to begin in adressing your true, utter, and complete ignorance, RG. And btw, you may want to have an english speaking person check your posts before you submit them….

  8. embrownny

    July 24, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    To RG–do you mean we should speak like the native Americans that were living here before the Europeans came and killed them off, took the land and moved them to reservations?

    And BTW, we black Americans always have to prove ourselves so that we can be seen as “normal”–as you put it–because of people like you, who see us “less than.” Now, was that in Ebonics?

  9. loveisdope

    July 25, 2008 at 9:22 am

    RG- If I thought you were serious, I would actually respond, but I don’t, so I’m not.

  10. RG

    July 25, 2008 at 9:58 am

    I’m sorry for any grammatical errors, it was late…what can I say. If you need to be picky to feel better please do so.

    But back to the point, you know what I mean when I say “native”. I mean a person born in the United States. I believe I know the reasons why Ebonics is present and I’m not saying that it is easy to overcome generations of its use but at some point one has to realize that it is a shortcoming in this real world where perception is everything. The fact of the matter is that it is not seen as proper English and I know that some just don’t see a problem with it, but unfortunately those are the same people that would benefit from overcoming it.

    You know, I constantly hear the argument that immigrants need to learn English if they want to be successful in this country and I agree. Having said that I think that it is totally acceptable for an immigrant to learn English and still have an accent, in reality it is hard to overcome an accent and I would not expect them to. Even native born Americans have accents from the regions where they live or were raised in and that is fine. However, what I see as a negative is when people are born in the US have grammatical errors in their speech and that is what Ebonics is; in my opinion. I would apply the same criticism across all races: Blacks, Hispanics, Whites, Asians, etc. If you were born here we presume you went to school here so why the grammatical errors in speech?…again, yes they are errors! Like I mentioned above, I know it is hard but eventually one should be self conscious enough to know that hey!… I’m not speaking right. In school we are taught standard English, why not use it? And once again I know there are people who will say “well who are you to say that it is right or wrong to speak a certain way”. To those, I can only say…hey I’m not the only one thinking that it’s wrong. If you don’t think it is wrong and don’t do anything about it then don’t complain about how you are not treated equal.

    You know, I’m a God fearing man so let me refer to the story of the Tower of Babel. When the lord decided that he needed to divide the people he made them different. How? By giving them different tongues. If Blacks want to be rightfully seen as equals why in the world are Black people deciding to speak with a different tongue.

    I’ll say it again, overcome that vernacular and that will be the first step to success.

  11. embrownny

    July 25, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    RG–Not belabor this but… You are right, bad grammar is bad grammar and that is not what I’m disputing. But the point you are missing is that ANYONE can have bad grammar, and it is not called Ebonics. Not every white person is this country, that is a natural born citizen speaks proper English. Ebonics is not a language, but a term that someone invented, in my opinion, to make an excuse for poor learning. Every ethnic group has their particular vernacular and slang–that is not Ebonics–that is part of what makes up the tapestry that is this country. You don’t know me and have never heard me speak, but you have just lumped me and MANY other African Americans into your statement, “If Blacks want to be rightfully seen as equals why in the world are Black people deciding to speak with a different tongue.” If you don’t understand why that statement would piss someone off, then let he who is igorant be igorant still. No matter how well we (African Americans) speak the “King’s English,” we will be seen as different and “not as good as” by some. Selah.

  12. loveisdope

    July 25, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    RG- I wholeheartedly welcome and greatly encourage people to post on my blog, however, I do not appreciate long-winded, completely non-sensical foolishness that is couched in some paternalistic, pseudo-do-gooder babble…especially when it contributes absolutely nothing towards a healthy dialogue of the actual topic. The “case” you are making is so weak that just a single grain of common sense, self-reflection or open mindedness would make it collapse.

    I encourage you to open up your circle of friends and acquaintances to include more black people and have actual discussions with them. Surely some of them will be able to speak in a manner that you can understand. Maybe you can actually learn something. I will not engage in this ebonics discussion any further and I do not expect to see anything else about it posted here.

  13. RG

    July 25, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Loveisdope, I respect everyone’s opinion. Thank you for hearing me out at least. Have a great weekend.

  14. LR

    July 27, 2008 at 11:16 am

    I don’t like it. It shows how stereotypical people are, and that equality still doesn’t exist. Its not skin color that makes these people the way they are, but the CHOICES people make.
    Basically CNN- Your Failure, Are business


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: