Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I want my Black TV!!

So I realized this just the other day. After my favorite show, Girlfriends was removed from TV, there was only a handful of Black TV shows on the air. And I really mean a handful. I think there are about 4 or 5 out there. I know the numbers were always low, but this really bothers me. I think about the time I was growing up. My tube was beset by Cliff & Clare, Whitley & Hillman College, Benson, George and Louise, 227, Living Single, even Homeboys from Outer Space. At that time, I was able to see us in a myriad of roles that were funny and interesting, but it sent a message that we could do anything and be anything.

But these days, I’m not seeing the same messages. From the limited amount exposure we get, I’m reminded that:

1. Black women main two goals in life is to drop it like’s hot and meet Flavor Flav

2. Black men will only be rappers, criminals, or straight-out-of-high school sports stars

3. We don’t have exciting lives unless we’re on Cheaters or Cops

4. We are always in some sense of trouble from the man

Now, I have noticed that black characters are showing up in different shows and in interesting and positive roles. However we are not headlining many TV series. I would love to see more TV shows with a Black people as the main character or more Black-led casts. I think our younger folk need to see those images. Also it’s good for the rest of the nation to Black people beyond Flavor Flav and BET Live.

Girlfriends was a show that showcased the diversity of Black women. And for 8 years, it provided great perspectives in our culture as well as women in general. (you can tell I loved that show) We need more shows that display the diversity of our people. In some ways, I think it can hit a symptom within our racial & ignorance disease.

And speaking of BET… you can do more, you can do better. I will write all about my “love” for BET later.

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Viktor is a small town southern boy living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Twitter, writing about pop culture, politics, and comics. He’s the creator of the graphic novel StrangeLore and currently getting back into screenwriting.