Wednesday, July 23, 2008

CNN's ' Black In America', Day One - Open Thread

I know that Mirror On America readers are going to have a lot to say about this series.

So, debate, discuss....tell us what you think of it.

Is this YOUR Black Family?


damien said...

At first, I though it focused a lot on the negative... but once I realized that I was apart of those statistics I began to realize that a lot of what was shown was reality.
I didn't graduate high school, yet I did go back and get my GED and then went on to get an Associates degree in CAD.
It's rough being a black man in America as far as making it through the teenage years, cuz I almost died.
Overall, I thought it was good. Can't wait to see the rest today. I would like for them to dive into the reasons and the causes a little more.

Anonymous said...

I watched most of this first part of the series, and realized that I knew everything that was covered - why? because I am black. Is this a discussion to come up with a solution or is it just to let everyone else know how we feel as blacks in "America"? We know that there is the junk food in the hood. We all know that you can find a gun faster than a tomatoe in these neighborhoods. Now what, are we going to get the stores we need because it was discussed? I am waiting. I must commend Prof. Roland Fryer on his efforts to find a way to help the youngsters learn. And I saw that it was working for them. Kudos to you Prof. Fryer. I saw and know that housing discrimination is real for "Blacks in America" -- I pray that someone has compassion upon the gentleman and his two children and is provided a place to stay. Why show it, if we are not going to help. We can talk and report everyday, and you will get listeners because it's a hot subject with Obama being potentially the next "President", but I believe it is all about action. Please America we all know that America has done to the black man and his family. I think that the show was to show that America has been not fully successful but success in some areas in degrading the black man, and how he has to even look to his child to help him meet the needs of his family. Come on CNN.

Anonymous said...

I was a bit disappointed with the show, primarily because each subject was just touched upon, in my opinion.
I would have liked to have seen them do 5- one or two hour shows on the following:

Single parent crisis
Male/female relationships
The future of Black America

I think this would have gotten them more bang for the time invested.

Anonymous said...

Did not watch the program.... the previews seemed to be a mish mash of the same thing.

Brian said...

I am usually working when the program is on.

But I really don't have much interest in watching. I hate most of these "race" programs... because they tend to recycle old themes and use talking points from Civil Rights Incorporated.

I don't care to be defined by these programs. How can we get past race when the subject never seems to go away?

And who picks the guests for the show? Certainly I had no hand in it.

I saw one preview that included DL Hughley.... speaking on my behalf I assume. Who in the Hell invited him?

No thank you.

Although it does seem that this time they tried (a little) to get to some of the more "current" issues.

But i'll still pass.

Zig B Free said...

IVerall, I thought the program was decent. I think at the end of the day this program really isn't for us but for others to show them some realities of black life.

I think too many times, people say we are as Americans...well, "no where not the same" (c) Chuck D. Recently the View was talking about the N-Word and one of the co-hosts said we are all the same. I think this program is for those people who subscribe to that type of thinking.

Hopefully all different types of people will see this and realize the black community has it's own concerns and they should be respected. Too many times I think when black folks talk about issues about our commuity some people act as if we are whining...until you look at the appalling numbers on health, education, poverty and family structure and see we are going through some real shit.

At the same time we have mad amazing progress, that should not be forgotten as well but there is still a lof of work to do

Anonymous said...

I am a 22 year old black woman in america. I have been to college and received an associates degree and am 1 year shy of my Bachelors in English. I want to participate in the Teach for America program when I graduate from college because I feel so much pain for the kids in inner-city schools who want to learn and are suffering from all the hardships in their daily lives. I live in a poor black community. I was raised by a single mother who worked hard to see me and my brother succeed financially. YES, I know how to read (I love it with all my heart and sometimes more than I love my own life)and speak Kings' English. YES, I had a father who forced himself into my life against my wishes (thank you justice system). He abused me verbally and physically and NO, I do not look to boys or wannabe men to fill the VOID in my life. NO, she was not there to teach me every single life lesson. NO, I do not have any children and NO, I do not have HIV or AIDS. I am in a healthy adult relationship with a young black man my own age and he is from a middle-class neighborhood. We have goals and aspirations. I want to be succesful and able to support myself. I want to be a homeowner and I also want to be able to depend on my boyfriend (hopefully, future husband) because men and women need each other to survive. That is why they both exist and they fit together and together they create new life and the cycle continues. I can say that I will be married because I do not have a stick up my ass and know what it takes to be a damn good wife. I have priorities, morals and values. I respect myself. I know exactly what I want out of life. I do not play games. I know I am NOT alone, other people like me exist so why did I not see them? Stop with the sterotypes and show the real people like me next time.

Brian said...

I think I may have spoken too soon.

I am usually at work when these episodes air. But I was able to catch the replay of "The Black Man" segment.

I have to say, CNN actually got it right (for the most part). And they actually held my attention for the entire segment.

I particularly enjoyed the story of Butch Warren & his family.

I am glad that CNN (finally someone) took on the "acting white" issue. I dealt with the same nonsense. I was so confused about who I was supposed to be growing up. Even today the problem of social identity, and the poor state of the Black image (esp. the Black male image) is a source of stress, anxiety, and constant anger for me.... mainly due to the fact that there is nothing that anyone can do about the skin...the human shell, that they have been given. My skin tone and race are outside of my control. And the actions of others who look like me are also out of my control. Yet I am left to deal with the social consequences...the collataral damage left behind as a result of other people's actions (black folks) or other people's perceptions & stereotypes (non-Blacks) of Black people.

I'm not sure about the other segments, but i'll give CNN a B grade for this one.

Brian said...


Single parent crisis

The causes for those three are all connected. It comes down to a value system (in mainstream Black culture) that has deteriorated. For many Blacks, marriage doesn't seem to be valued as much as it used to be... nor is education. And "street life"...or urban terrorism as I sometimes call it, is now the "in" or cool thing to do, at least for Black males in the younger age groups.

And it doesn't help when there is a Black rap culture that reinforces all of these negative stereotypes. The current generation of Black teens, twenty somethings (and many thirty somethings), are programmed to follow a certain code or lifestyle....and it's leading them straight to Hell.



"health, education, poverty and family structure"

But don't you think that Blacks are bringing much of this upon themselves? Yes, Blacks have certain concerns...certain issues that deserve attention... but attention from whom? Are you waiting for government to fix these problems? There aren't enough government social programs in the World that could fix these problems IMO. These are problems brought on by a deteriorating Black culture, and a lack of personal responsibility for the most part. Politicians are not going to solve these social problems.

Look at many of America's major metro areas. Many have (or have had) Black Mayors. Detroit, KC, St. Louis, L.A., Atlanta, DC, Philly, New Orleans, Oakland, & others.... yet look at the Black social and economic conditions in those cities. It has been a disaster. Why? Because government can only do so much. Government can't take the place of personal responsibility and making good decisions. People have to do that on their own....based on good value systems. The problem with many Blacks today (esp. those of younger generations) is that Traditional value systems that worked up until the 60's and 70's have now been replaced by a new degenerate modern Black culture...that puts value and importance in too many of the wrong things. And we have been seeing the consequences for the last 20 years.

Do those who raise the issues of poverty & racism have a valid point? Partially.... these are legitimate issues. But the main causes are internal...issues that have to do with personal values, etc.



Congrats on your success with college.

Why CNN didn't do a better job with the Women's segment.... I have no idea. There are several young Black women who could have contributed to the program.

Brian said...

This episode highlighted almost all of the reasons why I absolutely hate being Black...esp. Black in America.

Just about everything that they pointed out was true, especially the issue of finding employment. There have been several instances where I have called employers or written e-mails, sent resumes (where they can't tell for sure whether I am white, Black or otherwise). Everything in the process seems fine until they meet me in person and see that i'm Black. That's despite being dressed to the 9's..... resume's in hand, and being qualified for the job.

One thing they could have left out was Michael Eric Dyson.... and another thing... I don't quite buy the argument that corporations are responsible for the Black social condition regarding Rap and Rap culture. That excuse really doesn't work anymore (and probably never did)... There are too many Black rappers who control their own music now....and have for several years already.

Rap and Rap Culture is (and will remain) a Cancer for young Blacks.

Anonymous said...

Honestly? I thought the series was overhyped and...tedious.

Same old, same old.

Anonymous said...

I didn't watch 'Black in America' because I was pretty much certain that it would be some of the some ol' same-same ol'. The same attention to exterior factors and not enough of "leaving the white man out of the room" conversations for me.

This is a statement that, for me, signalled, what I thought at the time, was the beginning of a paradigm shift for black America.

"Racism is dying but black people need to let it die a natural death."

Who said this? Some out of touch black republican sent to ease the white man's guilt? Some young, black, college humanist, raised in a "good" neighborhood not far removed from his parents house and who doesn't know the history of our his own ppl?

No. Try, Minister Louis Farrakhan.

I'm not a fan of his. But when I heard this I thought, "THIS IS IT!" The ignorant couldn't hide behind the old "out of touch, wanna be white" excuse w/ this man. Here is a man, who no one could dismiss w/ the same tired lines. Here is THE black nationalist himself saying that [BLACKS CONTROL HOW THIS WILL GO DOWN ULTIMATELY!]

Did it have the effect I thought it would? No. But it did mark a shift of sorts or at the very least a crack in the armor of the "white racism dictates to me who I am" crowd.

AI, you have truly inspired me throughout the last year or so to join the fight against the ignorance that not only plagues our ppl. but that plagues all. Thanks for your courage. You have made a positive impact on me.

Look for my blog in the coming months.