Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Black History Month

Despite "Nipplegate" and the "Bra ha ha" of last Sunday, I've learned that television still is modern society's necessary evil. And it is that time of the year when most of the networks and cable stations pay tribute to African Americans in their own special way.

I viewed the second half of America: Beyond the Color Line with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. last night. I found it to be frustratingly realistic at times. A thirteen year old was making $700 a day slinging drugs in Chicago...and we wonder why he didn't want to go to school!? The message I got: Young black men must learn to delay gratification for education. Part II airs tonight.

I also saw VH1 Goes Inside: Barbershop. It was a surprisingly well produced feature discussing all of the controversy surrounding the film with insider interviews with the cast and crew.

Then VH1 kept me at attention with the Fabulous Life of Lil Kim. For some reason gluttony and materialism is fun to watch. I continued to think about how many bills I could have paid off as each of her toy dogs' minks were displayed across the screen. It also made me think back to America: Beyond the Color Line because those flashy Hip Hop images are what black kids are striving for without realizing that true success is significance not Gucci or Bentley.

I then went back to PBS and caught James Baldwin: The Price of a Ticket. This documentary was an in depth account of the life and activism of a man that was ahead of his time. It also gave a glimpse into what it was like being black and gay at that time. It was quite interesting to see footage of him and his friends in the South of France carrying on and then to hear their emotional tributes on the day that Jimmie died.

Finally, I flipped back to TV ONE to catch 227 in syndication. Ain't nothing like Mary, Rose, Saundra, and Pearl reading each other on that stoop.

I can't wait to get home and see what's on TV tonight.

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