Obviously, CNN did not read my criticism of the first “Black in America” episode because they kept that poet dude. But moving on…just like the installment on black women and family, this installment on black men had too much stuff crammed into it. Unemployment, prison, fatherhood, violence and all those other things could have easily been individual two-hour specials. I would have loved to watch the actual people, politicians (maybe), activists, social scientists and other scholars, tackle those issues substantively and really try to figure out what’s going on and how to move forward.
Three things that really stuck out to me:
1. That statistic about 60 percent of black male high school drop outs ending up in jail.
2. D.L. Hughley was a Blood back in the day. Fascinating.
3. That statistic about 60 percent of black children being raised in single parent homes.
This is very sobering stuff. Makes me even more determined to be a good example to my nieces, nephews, cousins and the kids in my neighborhood. It’s really not enough to watch something like this and then just shake our heads. Everything stays the same if we keep doing the same thing.
CNN has a page on its website that lists various organizations that we can join that address many of the issues brought up in the “Black in America” program. I applaud CNN for at least attempting to offer some concrete solutions, but I think the community resources page should have been prominently mentioned at the end of the program when it aired instead of just having a buried link on the “Black in America” main page.
It would have been great if “Black in America” had been a more comprehensive multi-DVD set that substantively addressed these issues. Can’t have it all though, I guess.