Well...it's not even noon and I have had numerous conversations and ready many emails regarding the CNN series, Black In America. Although the views vary, I am glad to see that is has opened a flood gate for communication and more importantly SOLUTION! I have taken the liberty of posting a couple of emails below for your review.
So now what? Did you see it? What do you think?
Dear CNN:Tell me something that I don't know. Black women raising children, got that. Young black men not finishing school, got that. Successful black women with no men, got that. Oh, and of course I was not aware that many black families could trace their roots back to a white man in the 1800's. That must have taken Soledad months to uncover! And, what's up with the quasi-spoken word, stereotypical dude? You could have put hard-hitting results reporting and investigative finds in those slots! Anderson's post dialogue was more insightful and interesting than the 2-hour special! Perhaps your report tonight, on black men in America, will shut my mouth that has been hanging open in shock.
Signed,Disappointed in Harlem
I did not watch the show after the embarrassing drivel of the first 45 minutes. Not only because she is pretty but also because of her sensible and accessible manner, Harvard-educated Soledad has been one of my favorites for about five years.But in recent years I have thought less of her as she struggles through her awkward career. After she got fired as morning anchor, her assignments have been more for junior reporters. Last night's much-hyped broadcast was akin to an elephant experiencing nine months of pregnancy only to give birth to a mouse. Having spent decades focused on improving opportunities and readiness of Blacks, in recent years I have become concerned with truth and reconciliation. In this model I concern myself with discomforting the comfortable white beneficiaries of unearned privileges and exposing the evil deeds of their racist ancestors that bring Black America to its present state. CNN tonight: soft core video porn. Good grief, Soledad.
Signed Anonymous in Pittsburgh
I respect your point of view. I don't know all there is to know about Black history or our people's contributions to society. But this show wasn't about our history. It was a snippet of the Black experience. Was it everything that you could possibly get? Absolutely not. How could you show everything in 2 hours with commercials. I applaud Soledad for taking a first step. Perhaps other networks or people-for that matter-will do it better. That is the challenge to anyone who is casting a stone right now.
Anonymous in New York City
"OK, CNN. You got me. I must admit that I have been bamboozled. You're a sly fox, you news network. You are clever, and you have proven an old myth to carry some weight: Put something bright and shiny in front of the Black person, and they'll follow it. CNN, you're genius in an idiot box.
Here I was thinking that "Black in America" was going to shed some light on parts of the African American experience that are often omitted from the news, special reports, Hollywood, etc. Like the Negro Millennial fool I am with an abundance of youthful optimism fighting to still keep hope alive, I thought you might do right by me, Black people and America, but you fell short CNN. And in my moment of vulnerability, I was positioned to be wiser, and now I know that I didn't need to watch the first night of that special, and I definitely will not be watching the second. No one did, and nobody should. It's just going to get worse.
CNN's Black in America was a "NO" all around.
No mention at all of Black Muslims or Negroes of a faith outside Christianity or perhaps without a practicing faith at all.
No commentary on the experience of many immigrants to this country who are third, fourth and fifth generation and very much a part of Black America (although I expected as much).
No serious look at the lives and legacy of Black middle-class people. No good news. No hope. No chance. No pride.
If you are a Black woman who has somehow miraculously transcended the almost inevitable hot mess of a life most Black people are destined to endure, you had better do us all a favor and mate with someone outside your race to end the vicious cycle. To assist you in your decision to take our advice, allow us to point out how few choices you have within your own community for a suitable mate. Speaking of mate, have you considered the penitentiary pen pal program? We'll tell you more about that tomorrow when CNN tells you all about Black men. Oh, but let us not forget that if you'd prefer to have a Black man, they are available for the position of "baby daddy."
However, I cannot leave on a sour note. It is clearer now than ever before that we have to be the agents of our own storytelling. We can't leave this important task to CNN, mainstream media, textbooks, white people the government. It won't get done, and if it is done, it won't be done well.
New Millennium Negroes it is on us! We can make this happen because of all the resources we have. The revolution may not be televised, but it can be uploaded. Post your story on YouTube. Post your story to a blog.
And perhaps it's my characteristic millennial optimism that has me feeling so foolish because I really believed and I still believe that we can fix this. Even though I know the statistics and see the disparities, I just feel it in my heart that we are broken, but not unfixable...
If the reality was what was presented last night, then we'd be dead. There has to be something keeping us alive, and I just don't think we've tapped into that thing... that very Blackness in America... in a way that is constructive and restorative. Will I grow out of this feeling?"
As seen on http://www.newmillenniumnegro.com/ (see full article there, great site!)