Black In The Prime Time

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In order to change perception, we must first begin by transmogrifying the stereotypical imagery that is continuously projected upon the masses as factual information. By no means is this restructuring an easy task, however, progress is a process for the diligent and not a mechanism for those who seek instantaneous gratification. You have to endure the laborious hardships that come with the territory of revolutionizing “change”, as wars are often fought in stages that result in the loss of innocent lives, the surrendering of territory and the losing of battles along the way. In fact, the validity of war will come into question at some point, however, it is not until the smallest of victories are achieved, that we find a reason to forge on and continue to live and fight for another day. “Change” is at the forefront of my writing. It is the very reason I continue to pursue this avenue of expression, with the hopeful intent that my elocution of words can somehow raise the collective awareness of those who chose to read my work. With this being said, creative consciousness is not alway at the forefront of entertainment. In fact I often credit Vince McMahon of WWE fame for being truthful with his product, as the images he parades in front of his million plus viewers weekly, truly reflect the stereotypical stigmas associated with race, religion and creed. Who we are in mainstream America, has everything to do with the images we are portrayed as in the arena of entertainment. For so long, we as black people, have been portrayed as a hustler, a gangster, a joker, a servant and most importantly as a buffoon. In fact, I can recall very few television shows that showed the black culture in prominent positions, with the exception of “The Jeffersons”. We saw the strength of a strong family structure with the 1970’s show “Goodtimes”, but would not see the same socially conscious material being replayed until the early 90’s in Charles S Dutton’s show “Roc”. Of course “The Cosby Show” would reflect a more pronounced version of prominence with having two professionals (lawyer & doctor) married and raising upstanding kids in the community, but for the most part, we have always been typecast. Even channels like BET, who are supposed to spearhead our image, have removed integrity and replaced it with entertainment. Shows like Teen Summit and news anchors like Ed Gordon, have long been removed and replaced by more music shows and mindless television series. Reality television as a whole, continues to fill households with belligerent characters that all but reinforce stereotypical black behavior. With that being said, I wanted to honor NBC, CBS, Fox Television & ABC, for helping in the fight to breakdown the walls of ignorance by placing African Americans in prominent roles that show us as moral citizens that are professionals and not the “A” typical molds we often find ourselves submerged in. And let it be told, these are great shows with an eclectic ethnic cast, so it’s even more of a good reason to support their work. I’ll list the actor/actress along with their shows and the networks they are on. The list is as follows: Blair Underwood (Ironside-NBC), Kerry Washington (Scandal-ABC), Nicole Beharie (Sleepy Hollow-Fox), Taraji P Henson (Person of Interest-CBS) and Russell Hornsby (Grimm-NBC). These types of roles are pertinent for our racial makeup and America at large in helping to combat ignorance and reconstruct a tainted image that continues to plague our communities. Please go and check your local listings and support these shows. Enjoy.

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